Our stories

Smart thinking: digitising credentials

We have developed Smart Credentials, a blockchain platform for secure digital certificates, with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland.

Setting the scene

As one of our Essential Eight technologies, blockchain is changing the way we deliver solutions for our clients. One example of this is Smart Credentials, a new way of storing credentials digitally, with reduced exposure to fraud.

In a world turning paperless, Smart Credentials is an innovative technology which allows qualifications to follow the likes of bank statements and household bills by replacing paper-based certificates with secure digital versions.

How we helped

Smart Credentials uses blockchain technology to give the owner complete control of their data, while also simplifying the process for regulators or institutions who issue credentials, as well as the reviewers who need to check them.

The platform was launched in February 2019 in a groundbreaking trial with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS), which saw more than 50 newly qualified chartered accountants sign up.

With data protection being one of the most important technological challenges businesses face today, the Smart Credentials trial allowed our newly qualified staff to take complete control of their data.

With businesses spending significant amounts of time and money contacting universities and institutions to verify qualifications listed on the CVs of prospective employees, this new blockchain platform offers reduced risk and costs.

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“Data protection is of utmost importance to ICAS and we very much value our involvement in PwC’s pilot of the new Smart Credentials platform.”

Bruce Cartwright, Chief Executive of ICAS

Making a difference

Six months on from the launch of the trial, Bruce Cartwright, Chief Executive of ICAS, said:
“The platform allows our members to have control of their personal data, potentially replacing their paper certificate with a secure digital version. Our newest chartered accountants involved in the pilot have provided positive feedback around this blockchain concept. We are now looking forward to moving the pilot project into the next stage.”

The technology has the potential to change the way many different professionals handle and update their qualifications. The likes of doctors, pilots or engineers continue their professional development throughout their careers and Smart Credentials can allow them to keep their credentials in one safe and secure place, with the ability to update at any time.