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UCD partners with IoB on award-winning blockchain platform EdQ to verify student credentials

IOB has been busy leading the development of a new, innovative blockchain technology platform EdQ in conjunction with Deloitte, Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank. On 20 September last, the EdQ project won the ‘operations category’ at the inaugural Innovation in Financial Services Awards and on 7 October, at an event to mark the fourth Blockchain for Finance Conference, UCD announced its intention to partner with IoB in the next phase of the technology’s development.

Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies and Deputy Registrar at UCD, said: “We became really interested in the work IOB was doing in relation to blockchain and how it was using the technology as a mechanism to credential both the professional qualification and the CPD activities of its members. As IoB is a recognised college of UCD, we saw this as an opportunity to look at what we could do together.

“As a result, we are partnering up with IoB and Deloitte to introduce the concept of credentialing our students in the college of business using blockchain. We will be able to have a record of all the activities our students do both from our records within UCD, but also if they take placements or internships.

“We know that students in today’s world not only take degrees, but more often they actually build on those through internships, placements and international experiences. Blockchain would allow us to have a record of all those activities which are unique to the student and the student would be able to share their career record with organisations into the future. They would have a seamless use of all their credentials over time.”

Kevin Gallen, Deputy CEO of IoB who is spearheading the project, said that IoB continues to strive to add value for its members and EdQ is a good example of this. He said: “We work to continuously improve our supports for our students and members. Collaborating with technology pioneers such as Deloitte and piloting with three of the major banks allows us to deliver just that and we now have a product that we plan to launch to the wider industry in summer 2020.”

A first in the European financial services industry, the platform will support the verification, management and sharing of regulatory and other professional designations, education qualifications and lifelong learning credentials. The platform will offer attractive benefits to IoB members, financial institutions and their employees. It should reduce operational and regulatory risk and the manual effort and related costs around compliance with the Central Bank of Ireland’s Minimum Competency Code (MCC) and Fitness and Probity regimes for financial institutions. In addition, the new platform will enable banks to have a single view and support their competency and talent frameworks.

Members will have a greatly enhanced user experience, with an easily accessible digital wallet containing all their educational qualifications, professional designations, CPD and completed lifelong learning courses and events.