Singapore rolls out blockchain platform for verifying educational certificates

The Singapore government has developed a blockchain-based platform that will enable employers to verify the educational qualifications of employees and job candidates who have graduated from local universities, polytechnics and other educational institutions.

Called OpenCerts, the platform was built on open source technology and standards by SkillsFuture Singapore, Government Technology Agency (GovTech), Ngee Ann Polytechnic and the Ministry of Education.

From this year, 18 institutions in Singapore, including the National University of Singapore and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, will issue graduates with OpenCerts certificates, which will be stored in each individual’s Skills Passports accounts under Singapore’s SkillsFuture national skills training movement.

When an OpenCerts certificate, which includes details such as certificate names, transcripts and other metadata, is issued, a unique code is published onto the blockchain. A cryptographic proof is appended onto the certificate data and sent to the individual recipient.

During verification, the certificate data is checked against its proof for signs of tampering and against the code on the blockchain for validity.

This automatic verification is expected to simplify and reduce administrative processes and physical paperwork for institutions, as well as save time and costs by not having to manually verify issued certificates from individuals.

The first batch of digital certificates was issued to Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s graduating cohort last year, following a pilot project by GovTech and the institution to test the use of blockchain technology for secure and reliable digital certificate verification.

OpenCerts is first time blockchain technology has been harnessed for use at the national level. GovTech chief executive Kok Ping Soon said it is an example of how the government is harnessing technology to deliver secure and easy-to-use digital services for citizens and businesses.

“We see enormous…

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