Jon Foster-Pedley, dean and director, Henley Africa

Jon Foster-Pedley, dean and director, Henley Africa.

Henley Business School Africa has become the first business school in Africa to offer digital certification for graduates of its programmes – guaranteeing the security of its qualifications and brand.

In a world where ‘deep fakes’ are becoming an on-demand service and documents, videos and even likenesses can be easily forged, there is an ever-growing need for individuals and organisations to be able to prove their identity and the authenticity of their qualifications quickly and unequivocally.

“Strong digital credentials enable graduate professionals to protect and display the value of their qualifications anywhere in the world,” says Jon Foster-Pedley, dean and director of Henley Africa, “They give prospective employers and clients the confidence that someone has the experience and knowledge that they claim. Henley’s triple-accredited international qualifications are in high demand worldwide and we are making sure that nobody can claim to have them unless they have earned them.”

Henley Africa’s new digital certificates are created by PrivySeal, a technology company founded by South African attorney Stephen Logan. The certificates and linked seals can be embedded in emails, websites, documents or social media, and are checked against Henley’s graduate database. All a user has to do is follow a unique link via a click or QR code to prove the document’s authenticity.

“The ability to quickly confirm a certificate as genuine is important to building trust,” says Logan. “It enables third parties to have faith that they are dealing with a recognised, responsible person with a proven top-class qualification.”

Because the check is made in real-time against an active database, if a qualification has to be corrected or withdrawn by the awarding institution, this is immediately reflected.

PrivySeal’s technology is already in use by professional bodies and statutory regulators in the architecture; quantity surveying; accountancy; governance; IT; engineering; health & safety; education; and, construction sectors in South Africa. It is also used by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and qualification authorities within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to produce secure and dynamic e-Certificates verifying qualifications in real-time.

“We encourage all of our students to be pioneers in grasping the opportunities and challenges around digital identity. The value of the genuine, the original, the untarnishable is becoming greater every day,” says Foster-Pedley.

“Trust is a critical currency in the digital world and this digital certification will build trust between service partners in the evolving fourth industrial revolution. Backing up their professional qualifications with this technology will let them build their businesses and reputations with confidence.”