Accreditation buttons – who are you?
Is the person why they really say they are? – protecting your IP & reputation – “accreditation buttons”
Recently I have been thinking about using of the logos of the professional bodies I belong to on this and other sites – but then many do not want their IP used (ie their Logo) as it may be seen as an endorsement. At the same time I want to be able to use this as a differentiation. How could this be a win/win?
This got me thinking about security and authenticity. Many people especially on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and on their CV claim to be members of professional bodies. To confirm this it usually means viewing a potentially outdated plastic card or phoning the institution or organization and gaining confirmation. This has all sorts of data protection and privacy issues. If however as members we WANT people to be able to confirm that we are members or accredited users of a service or product then such a facility could be an advantage to all.
One site I am a member of provides a “badge” which links to their site, and this link confirms the site name and their status.
Putting accreditation buttons into practice
Earlier this week I proposed the idea to a professional body I belong to and they said they are looking to investigate its practicality. Here is the idea.
An organisation has a specialist button/ graphic like the ones above (on the left and right – click each to see how it might work), then each member or authorised user has a unique web page on the “issuing” web site. When a person clicks on the link, it confirms their status, for example look at the two links above. One is an authorised version – the other is not a current user/ member – you will need to click to find out.
In a real implementation the link address will be the same – however for demonstration purposes I have changed the link slightly. For professional bodies all they need to do is to use the membership number as the page name.
Now imagine that every professional body and provider of tools and accreditation maintained such a system – would it not be easy to check a persons status? A simple implementation of “accreditation buttons”.
Benefits of accredited user buttons:
To the organisation:
- Less phone calls to check,
- Links from other sites back to yours
- Easier to control inappropriate use of your branding
- Useful marketing strategy
To the member/ user
- Easy third party evidence that you are who you say you are
- A useful “badge” or differentiation for your site
- Demonstrates your commitment to quality/ continuous development
To potential clients/ employers
- Shows third party verification of what a supplier says
- Easy verification
Getting commercial with accredited user badges
Taking this one stage further.. an organization could provide a simple confirmation for free (it’s in their interest too), and in addition provide an enhanced service where the individual has the opportunity to add their own text and a link back to their site and other social media channels.
This whole process should be easy to set up and manage and in-fact reduce costs of providing confirmation of affiliation.
This approach could also be adopted by universities & other qualification providers to confirm the individual studies there and the qualification actually achieved.
What do you think?
This post created 1 July 2011
Updated December 2014,
Maybe it is time for other services like ATOL or ABTA travel “badges” to use such a system too!