The last decade saw the remodification and introduction of several game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and the internet of things. In today’s technology-driven landscape, credentials fraud and identity theft are a global challenge that has undermined trust and the recognition of genuine qualifications.
“Diploma mills” have reputedly become a billion-dollar industry, making it effortless to purchase fake credentials, get jobs, admissions, scholarships, funding, and more, without putting in the work or bearing the true cost. Just as problematic as false qualifications, it is now easier to commit academic and financial fraud by stealing the identity of innocent victims.
DreamApply and PrivySeal join forces
With the educational and professional sphere being DreamApply’s terrain, the company is always looking for new solutions that have the potential to evolve the digital landscape for education. “We are 100% focused on the first stage of the graduate’s journey and will continue to provide educators with excellent tools and solutions to manage the recruitment, admission, and enrolment processes. At the same time developing partnerships is a great way to keep supporting our clients and their applicants and offer solutions to the challenges they face throughout the whole graduate journey,” says DreamApply’s Co-Founder and CEO, Sten Rinne.
In line with the common visions, DreamApply and PrivySeal are announcing a partnership. A pioneer in the industry, PrivySeal has, since 2015, been providing secure digital certificates and seals/badges that are verified in real-time, confirming the authenticity of the credential and its holder ongoing and instantly.
“We are on a mission to make real qualifications very visible and easily shareable, building trust and recognition in genuine qualifications. People invest huge amounts of money and a lot of personal time and effort into getting their qualifications. It is unfair for others to get fake credentials or pretend to be other people to override, undermine, and defraud the system,” says Stephen Logan, the founder, and CEO of PrivySeal.
How does it work?
Once an educational institution or any other organisation deems an individual fit to be issued a certificate or license, the individual’s certificate data is shared securely with PrivySeal, which generates the digital credential (as both a seal and certificate) in an encrypted TLS/SSL stream to be viewed through a web browser, email program or other interface that can decrypt the credential, all in real-time.
While PDFs can be edited, PrivySeal’s encrypted digital certificates cannot be manipulated. For educational institutions that still retain paper and pdf certificates, the QR codes from the digital certificates are easily added so the PDF or printed certificates can be verified in real-time. Along with each certificate, PrivySeal also issues a seal of authenticity, or micro-credential, called a PrivySeal. Certificate holders add the micro-credential and certificate to their email footers, website profiles, LinkedIn profiles and social media accounts to build trust and recognition in their skills.
PrivySeal has built a confidence-intensive global marketplace by offering HEIs and other Certificate Issuers the ideal means to use their Trust as a Service (TaaS) platform to issue secure, GDPR-compliant credentials. What really sets PrivySeal apart from other digital credentialing platforms is that their service is easy to implement and the resulting credentials are highly customisable (bespoke), low cost and updated automatically, as the certificate issuer’s data changes in real-time, thereby reflecting their current status and validity.
A win-win situation for graduates and universities alike
Graduates typically have to wait long periods for the manual verification of their certificates by universities due to the rise of fake credentials among admissions and scholarship applicants. This delay and frustration are eliminated as universities can swiftly verify the authenticity of the qualifications of the certificate holders, in real-time and from anywhere in the world.
Likewise, the probability of the graduates’ identity being stolen is reduced because the digital identity is associated with their contact details and made instantly verifiable. The certificate becomes more than just another home trophy for the graduate. Instead, graduates can showcase their academic achievements/accomplishments and prove their expertise constantly on their emails and job and career platforms like LinkedIn.
A win-win solution for the issuing bodies
Of course, the educational institutions and organisations issuing digital certificates and licenses get to enjoy multiple benefits too. Firstly, they never have to worry about replacing or reissuing certificates or licenses since once issued, they are always available and can be updated with corrected/changed spelling of names whenever appropriate. Of course, this saves the money and effort spent on the issue, delivery, storage, and re-issuance of credentials yearly.
Secondly, it takes significant effort to organise the printing and secure distribution of paper certificates. If some educational institutions decide to phase out paper certificates completely, it is just as well since digital certificates serve the same purpose with greater usefulness in our now largely digital workplace. Meanwhile, this certificate automation increases efficiency and reduces operational costs while also enabling environmentally friendly, low carbon sustainability, as digital certificates are not stored on blockchains.
Thirdly, the use by graduates of their digital certificates and seals is a great marketing strategy, for alma mater, “word of mouth” promotion. Graduates are proud to be associated with their educational brands and advocate for them. They display their real-time seal micro-credential in their email footer, which reflects in every email that they send out, and often embed the seal and/or certificate in their website profiles, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
And lastly, “going digital” is a great selling point for any institution in attracting digital native graduates in the first place! Interestingly, using the issuer and user portals, both the qualification holders and the institutions/bodies can check the number of times their certificates have been viewed to track their impact. There is no doubt that the digital certificate helps strengthen the relationship between the graduates and their universities.
Focused on the whole graduate journey
Instead of the graduate-university admission and enrolment journey, which ends with DreamApply, the two companies’ collaboration converts the process into a three-part partnership. As before, DreamApply continues with laying the foundation by handling the recruitment, admission, and enrollment stages.
Once the Graduates are admitted and settled in, the educational institutions focus on what they do best, – providing a first-class education experience. Towards the end, once the students complete their education, PrivySeal comes in, issuing their secure and easily shareable digital certificate, and transcript, as the case may be, issued by the higher institutions.
This is a great time for DreamApply and PrivySeal to join forces to help the education sector by transforming the status quo while at the same time combating the credentials fraud and identity theft menace. Aside from alignment in terms of solution offering, DreamApply and PrivySeals have similar agendas for expansion, already having significant client networks globally.
“PrivySeal is highly aligned with DreamApply as we both have a strong client focus delivering significant value at low cost; that will likely open up new markets and opportunities in our existing markets and internationally,” Stephen reveals.