What Is A Digital Certificate? The Complete Guide

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Digital certificates are the newest currency in the professional world. Individuals can use them to join an organisation, while organisations can use them to retain existing employees and motivate them to improve their performance. 

In today’s competitive world, digital certificates have the power to redefine one’s future. This article will explain what they are, why they’re important, and how they can benefit your organisation.

What Is A Digital Certificate?

A digital certificate is a verifiable document that proves an individual’s skills, knowledge, experience, and achievements in a digital format. They can take the form of educational certificates, certificates of achievement, or certificates of compliance, to name a few. 

Here is an example of a digital certificate:

Example Of Digital Certificate

An example of a digital certificate

The digital certificate provides information about an individual’s achievement, including specifics, duration, and issuing authority.

It is very similar to traditional paper certificates in that it is issued by a reputable organisation or institution that will verify its authenticity. But, what makes them more valuable than paper certificates are the unique benefits they bring.

Digital vs Paper Certificates: How Are They Different?

Apart from the apparent difference of existing in an electronic format, digital certificates are different from their paper counterparts in the following ways:

1. Authentication

While paper certificates rely on seals and signatures to verify their authenticity, digital certificates use cryptographic mechanisms like blockchain technology to do the same.

2. Accessibility

Digital certificates, due to their electronic nature, can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Paper certificates do not offer this convenience as they are physical in nature and need to be personally delivered or presented to be accessed.

3. Security

Because of the cryptographic mechanisms and encryptions, digital certificates are highly secure and resistant to tampering. Comparatively, paper certificates are susceptible to physical damage and can be easily misplaced, lost or tampered with.

4. Cost

Paper certificates are expensive to issue and distribute as they require paper and ink to produce. On the other hand, digital certificates are cheaper to issue as no raw materials are required.

5. Sustainability

They are more environmentally friendly as they exist in the digital sphere, compared to paper certificates, which directly impact the environment1.

6. Verification

Verifying the authenticity of a digital certificate is as easy as clicking a button and can be done from anywhere at any time. Paper certificates, on the other hand, require a lengthy verification process, leading to delays and errors.

7. Storage

Modern digital certificates are backed up on the blockchain. They can be stored indefinitely, unlike paper certificates, which degrade over time.

8. Reusability

They can be shared an infinite number of times, while paper certificates usually have only a single original copy, which cannot be shared.

These differences make it clear that digital certificates are superior to paper certificates and will shape the future of credentialing. However, digital certificates are not just limited to their advantages over paper certificates. They offer many advantages to both organisations and individuals, making them incredibly useful.

Why Digital Certificates Are Important

Digital certificates mark a crucial step in the advancement of credentialing. It can offer many benefits to the individual, making them a much sought-after tool. 

Some of the benefits they provide an individual are as follows:

What Are The Benefits Of Digital Certificates?

1. Portability

They can be stored in an electronic format, making them incredibly portable. They can be stored and accessed through digital means from anywhere in the world.

2. Shareability

They can be shared easily through many means. Be it through emails, social media or direct messaging, digital certificates pose no limits on their shareability.

3. Credibility

As their authenticity can be verified with a single click, the credibility of digital certificates is very high. And because of their immutable nature, your organisation can rest assured that they will always be authentic.

4. Micro-credentialing

Digital certificates, unlike traditional certificates, allow individuals to get certified for each skill and knowledge they learn. This is known as micro-credentialing, where individuals can specialise in areas that will help with their career advancement without doing multiple courses for it

Even though the benefits of digital certificates may seem geared towards individuals, your organisation can easily make use of them to enhance its workforce.

How Do Organisations Benefit From Digital Certificates?

1. Versatility

They can be used across various applications, from inter-organisational communication to employee recruitment. This makes them a valuable asset to your organisation.

2. Scalability

They can be scaled to meet the growing needs of an organisation or institution without incurring major financial or logistical challenges.

3. Global Accessibility

They eliminate the need for expensive shipping and transportation costs as they are globally accessible.

4. Marketability

They can be designed to highlight your organisation’s brand so that it is visible to everyone when shared. This is an effective way to increase brand visibility.

5. Skills Gap Assessment

Since they are stored digitally, your organisation can use digital certificates to create a database of skills in your organisation. This will help your organisation assess the skills gap efficiently and take action accordingly.

6. Motivation

Studies have shown that a motivated employee can work 20% better2. By incorporating digital certificates, your organisation can motivate its employees by providing them with tangible proof of achievements.

7. Engagement

Digital certificates in the workplace can promote friendly competition among employees and increase employee engagement overall. A higher employee engagement can eventually lead to an increase in profitability by up to 21%3.

8. Learning Culture

Incorporating them will cultivate a culture of learning in your organisation. This will improve the overall skill level of employees in your organisation.

Now that a comprehensive understanding of digital certificates has been provided, the final section of this article will cover how your organisation can incorporate them.

How To Incorporate Digital Certificates Into Your Organisation?

Incorporating digital certificates is not a process that requires a complete overhaul of the organisational structure. Your organisation can incorporate them by following these simple steps:

1. Identify Goals And Objectives

The first step of your organisation’s credentialing journey begins with identifying goals and setting objectives. Having a clear understanding of the required results is mandatory for an efficient integration.

2. Set Clear Guidelines

Once your organisation has identified its goals and objectives, the next step is to decide on the guidelines for issuing digital certificates. 

For educational institutions, this could include issuing a certificate on the completion of a course or program or achieving certain objectives. 

For corporate organisations, this could take the form of stellar achievements, learning a skill through the workforce development program or even just completing a certain period of employment.

3. Address Issues With Stakeholders

Any major undertaking will lead to issues and disagreements among the stakeholders involved. This is the case for incorporating digital certificates as well. Therefore, it is necessary to bring all the stakeholders into the decision-making process for a smooth incorporation.

4. Implementing Digital Certificates

The next step in the journey is to finally implement digital certificates. Since they use specialised encryption methods and cryptographic mechanisms, it is always recommended to seek professional digital certification services.

5. Seek Feedback And Improve

Your organisation’s credentialing journey does not end with the implementation of digital certificates. It is always necessary to seek feedback from the stakeholders and find areas to improve. A constantly evolving framework is necessary to maximise the benefits they provide.

The steps required to incorporate digital certificates are straightforward but require careful analysis of many facets of your organisation. It consumes both time and resources to implement them efficiently. Therefore, seeking an expert on digital certificates is the easiest way to move forward in your organisation’s credentialing journey.

CredSure: Redefining The Future Of Credentials

A platform with extensive experience in helping organisations issue digital certificates is the best partner to help your organisation incorporate them. CredSure is one such platform.

CredSure is a powerful platform that helps organisations create, issue and manage blockchain-empowered digital certificates. With CredSure’s user-friendly interface and robust features, your organisation can easily meet its credentialing needs.

From the number of certificates issued to the engagement behaviour of recipients and even the number of times they have been shared on social media, CredSure’s platform offers crucial analytics and reporting capabilities so your organisation can gain insights into the digital certificates it issues.

For organisations and educational institutions, as well as individuals seeking learning opportunities, digital certificates are a vital tool. Embrace the digital age. Get your digital certificates today!


Beginning your credentialing journey? Book a demo with CredSure today!

Sources

  1. TheWorldCounts
  2. TeamStage
  3. Gallup

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