The use of blockchain in verifying professional qualifications may change the landscape of hiring. Source: Shutterstock

The use of blockchain in verifying professional qualifications may change the landscape of hiring. Source: Shutterstock

Blockchain to ensure accountability during hires

QUALIFICATIONS matter because it proves that one is qualified to do a job, especially if it requires a statutory license.

Credentialing is the process of verifying a candidate’s professional licenses or certifications to ensure the legitimacy of qualification stated. Verification is not a task to be taken lightly.

It is undoubtedly a common challenge for employers to ensure that an applicant holds the credentials listed on their CV. Blockchain technology is about to change that.

Recently, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced that it is trialing an incorruptible blockchain-based ledger to verify the qualifications of employees.

The audit and consultancy firm is partnering with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) to implement this solution.

PwC isn’t the pioneer of this utility of blockchain technology. There are some in the education and healthcare industries that have already implemented credentialing via blockchains.

However, the firm’s global influence over brands makes this digital adoption one to watch out for.

The use of blockchain in verifying professional qualifications may change the landscape of hiring for its unparallel transparency and accountability.

This is going to benefit not only employers but also certificate issuers as well as owners.

PwC employees who qualified as chartered accountants at the Institute within the past two years will soon be issued a blockchain-based certificate, to be held in a unique digital wallet owned by the employee.

By doing so, PwC will move the firm as well as its employees and the Institute up the digital maturity ladder.

It is digital optimization shifts like this that transform the industry as a whole from the core.

Coming together for the common good 

For certificate issuers, the use of a blockchain platform can eliminate the liability of storing paper-based certificates on their in-house systems. When the certificates are digital, it also becomes tamper-proof and hence, more accountable.

ICAS Chief Executive Bruce Cartwright is confident that blockchain is more secure as well as efficient compared to paper-based certificates.

“Our newly-qualified Chartered Accountant members involved in this trial can now take control of their personal data by replacing the paper-based certificate with a secure digital version.

“The technology allows instant verification of [credentials], putting an end to the back-and-forth involved,” Cartwright commented.

As digital certifications are stored on owners’ digital wallets, it gives owners fuller control of the documentation too.

So, they are able to update them in accordance with personal development over time. On top of that, the permission to review the documentation could be provided and revoked by the owners when necessary.

Owners are accountable for their digital wallets and the data privacy of its contents.

In the digital world, being able to prove one’s identity and qualifications is critical. PwC Global Blockchain Leader Steve Davies said that the trial will resolve one of the biggest concerns during the hiring process.

“We’re seeing high demand for verified, trusted and irrefutable identities from many different types of organizations, but a common challenge for employers is ensuring that an applicant holds the credentials listed on their CV,” Davies said in a press release.

Using the blockchain platform places more confidence in the authenticity of employee documents when it comes to qualifications.

As blockchain is immutable, hiring managers screening candidates would be assured that all credential documents are accountable.

While credentialing may seem like mundane paperwork task, it carries a lot of priority. By employing blockchain, the verification process could be vastly automated and would carry that much more accountability for all parties.

Accountability is important for every job there is. This utility of blockchain is sure to catch on among other industries as well.

Though, for any technology to become a truly integral part of the system, a wider adoption is required.