Certification of data, tools and services requires a process whereby a community is heavily involved in defining the certification criteria, in developing the assessment regulations and in determining the conditions for passing / failing certification tests.
In order to structure the entire process, it is important to define a number of functional actors.
- The community, defined as involved stakeholders, capable of bringing relevant and specific domain expertise into the process. The community provides the input for the definition of the certification schema.
- The schema, a list of requirements or certification-criteria. Potential candidates for a certificate will need to be evaluated against such a schema. Criteria can be defined as “mandatory” or as “desirable / optional “ and criteria can be linked to a score-value when the criterium is met.
- An assessment framework, defined as a set of rules to be used in order to calculate a value upon which a certificate can be granted.
- The schema-holder, defined as the party responsible for articulating, for publishing and for maintaining the schema’s and the assessment framework.
- The certificate, a document, preferably machine actionable, defining that a certification candidate has passed the tests as defined in the assessment framework.
- The certifying body, defined as an accredited party that may be asked to execute the certification process in a certain domain or market, using the published schemas and assessment frameworks from the schema-holder.
- The nano-publication, a unique digital record, stating that a certain certificate has been granted to a certain candidate, against a certain schema, using a certain assessment framework. The nanopublication has a time-stamp and has an expiry date.
In order to build up a solid certification program, it is vital that the process is done step-by-step, with continuous support from the community.
It is also important that certification is introduced in such a way that the criteria are achievable for the candidates, but that the bar should be positioned in such a way that the chance of watering down the requirements is minimized.
GFF is involved in building up the elements that may lead to the above described certification process, with the ultimate goal to become the schema-holder. Certifying bodies and other international institutes will be involved to assist in the upscaling.