By Precious Orji, Snr. Reporter
The innovativeness of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in developing digital form of its certificate, surely promises to put an end to the rising trend in certificates falsification.
This will also give respite to stakeholders in the entire value chain of result verification, confirmation and as well created ease of processing student’s admission into tertiary institutions anywhere in the world at record time.
The digital certificate platform which was launched on October 20, 2022, as a smart and secure way for institutions and organisations to confirm certificates has the fool-proof capability to prevent fraud and delay while also ensuring seamless access across mobile and web devices through the aid of the internet.
Patrick Areghan, Head of WAEC National Office in Nigeria highlighted the purpose and many benefits of the initiative.
According to him, the new digital platform, developed in conjunction with Botosoft Technologies, one of the world’s foremost security technology providers, is being implemented to streamline the issuance and verification of certificates from all over the world.
“The platform involves mobile and web-based application that is designed specifically for candidates, individuals, institutions, and organisations. It holds powerful features that enable users to access, share, request, and confirm certificates. It is also used to recover candidates’ forgotten/lost examination numbers,” he explained.
He further informed that the cost is for setting up the app, and a candidate pays the money once, and continues to use the app afterwards. There is no limit to the number of times a user can use the app. Candidates can through the app channel (www.waec.org), initiate an instant request for confirmation to be sent to the interested institution or organisation anywhere in the world, and the contact will receive a confirmation email from WAEC via an encrypted channel.
In this instance, interested parties, otherwise known as the third parties or institutions with the candidate’s consent, visit the platform to confirm the authenticity of the certificate they received. The module, according to WAEC, can process a single or bulk confirmation request.
On how to create an account for the digital certificate, WAEC said: “First, you will go to the website, www.waec.org, to get started. Then, you click on the ‘create account button’, and move on to setting up the account. As a candidate, select the ‘certificate access’ or as an institution, the ‘candidate confirmation’.
“Then enter the information required, confirm the information provided and proceed to ‘sign up’. Note, you must enter your name as captured on your WAEC certificate. Then enter the verification code sent to your email and click the ‘submit’ button. The next step is to log into your account using your registered email and password.”
It said with these steps duly followed, a user can now access, share, request confirmation, and confirm his or her WAEC certificate with ease.
WAEC again assured stakeholders that the platform comes with many other benefits such as the ability of candidates to seamlessly generate and share certificates. It said candidates will no longer have to share photocopies of their certificates with institutions and organisations.
It said: “The digital certificate platform offers users security/data protection; it gives certificate holders the power to prevent unauthorised users from accessing their data.
“The platform is compliant with global best practices by ensuring that the data of candidates are protected securely and cannot be accessed by third parties without the consent of certificate owners.”
The certificates are now easy to carry about without any fear of loss or theft, and the recovery of lost certificates is possible with the app. The certificate owners can also print their digital certificates in high quality to have a physical copy if they so desire.
The platform, which is available to both old or new candidates, will enable over 30 million certificate holders to access and share the original copies of their certificates from anywhere in the world.
As a prove of competence and integrity, WAEC however made good it’s claim by ensuring that as it released the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, (WASSCE) results there was also room for candidates to simultaneously access their digital certificates.
This feat as well give opportunity to schools anywhere in the world to seamlessly process the admission of the candidates into higher institutions of learning in 2023 and onward.
The HNO during a press briefing in August, 2023 said:
“Gentlemen of the Media, the results of candidates who wrote the WASSCE for School Candidates 2023 are being uploaded on the results website, as I speak a very big innovation is that after checking the result, candidates can access their Digital certificate simultaneously.” The HNO stated.