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Ukraine

Online Verification of Education Certificates (UA0085)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Ukraine Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Education and Science State-run Enterprise “InfoResource”

Support Institution(s): Government-Civic Initiative “Together against Corruption,” National Council on Science and Technology, Joint Representative Body of Employers at the national level, EU Programme Erasmus+ other CSOs and international organizations (upon their consent)

Policy Areas

E-Government, Education, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Ukraine Transitional Results Report 2018-2020, Ukraine Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Enabling online verification of education certificates If a person has fulfilled his/her right to education, it is certified by a respective document issued by an education facility. A person needs this document if s/he is going to continue education and enter another education facility to receive certain specialty, qualification, or to seek job, to get registered with the employment centre, etc. Considering that education certificates are sometimes forged, various institutions, enterprises and organizations need a mechanism to verify their authenticity. Moreover, these certificates should be verified when a person is seeking certain administrative services, or when persons who studied in education facilities located on the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and non-Government-controlled territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts request duplicates of their education certificates. Nowadays, authenticity of an education certificate can be officially verified by sending a written request to an educational facility, an administrator or a technical administrator of the Unified State Education Electronic Database. The latter considers a request and provides an official response on the authenticity of a certificate or reports that a certificate is missing from the Register of Education Certificates of Unified State Education Electronic Database. Such a verification procedure is time-consuming and thus complex for the citizens. Actions Responsible Timeframe Partners Indicator 1. Determining requirements to an online service of education certificate verification Ministry of Education and Science State-run Enterprise “InfoResource” December 2018 – February 2019 Government-Civic Initiative “Together against Corruption,” other CSOs and international organizations (upon their consent) ToR developed 2. Developing an online service of education -//- March – -//- Software developer selected; 26 certificate verification May 2019 Software developed; Texts, photo and video content produced, software installed 3. Beta testing of an education certificate verification Ministry of Education and Science State-run Enterprise “InfoResource” June 2019 Government-Civic Initiative “Together against Corruption,” other CSOs and international organizations (upon their consent) Technological processes of an online service for education certificate verification piloted; A manual on its use produced 4. Putting an education certificate verification into operation -// July 2019 -//- Adequate operation of an online service ensured Expected results of this activity are ensuring prompt verification of authenticity of education certificates; enabling certificate holders to fulfil their rights

IRM Midterm Status Summary

16. Introduce online verification of education certificates

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: Enabling online verification of education certificates [141]

If a person has fulfilled his/her right to education, it is certified by a respective document issued by an education facility. A person needs this document if s/he is going to continue education and enter another education facility to receive certain specialty, qualification, or to seek job, to get registered with the employment centre, etc.

Considering that education certificates are sometimes forged, various institutions, enterprises and organizations need a mechanism to verify their authenticity.

Moreover, these certificates should be verified when a person is seeking certain administrative services, or when persons who studied in education facilities located on the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and non-Government-controlled territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts request duplicates of their education certificates.

Nowadays, authenticity of an education certificate can be officially verified by sending a written request to an educational facility, an administrator or a technical administrator of the Unified State Education Electronic Database. The latter considers a request and provides an official response on the authenticity of a certificate or reports that a certificate is missing from the Register of Education Certificates of Unified State Education Electronic Database.

Such a verification procedure is time-consuming and thus complex for the citizens.

Milestones:

  1. Determining requirements to an online service of education certificate verification
  2. Developing an online service of education certificate verification
  3. Beta testing of an education certificate verification

Start Date: December 2018

End Date: July 2019

Context and objectives

Because education certificates in Ukraine are sometimes forged, enterprises and organizations need a mechanism to verify their authenticity. [142] For example, according to TSN journalists, in April 2017, the Counterintelligence Office and the Security Service of Ukraine revealed an illegal printing house that was issuing fake educational diplomas for separatist hitmen. [143] Educational certificates are necessary for certain administrative services, including to use the public e-procurement system ProZorro. [144] Persons who studied in education facilities located on the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and nongovernment-controlled territories in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts also must request duplicates of their education certificates. The government acknowledges that the existing verification procedure is time-consuming and complex for citizens, [145] with an official answer about authenticating the documents under question taking 10 to 30 days. [146]

To solve this problem, the government aims to enable online verification of education certificates. As the focus of this commitment is not disclosure of public data, but online verification of education certificates, it is not directly relevant to OGP values.

At the onset of this action plan, there were already several online services for verifying educational documents. In particular, the Unified State Education Electronic Database [147] (USED) has accepted online requests for such verification since at least July 2018. [148] The Cabinet of Ministers’ (CMU’s) portal of e-services also offers the e-service of verifying educational documents, [149] as does the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) online system. [150] Still, the government expects that this commitment will ensure more prompt verifications, [151] providing digitally-signed certificates via email within three working days. [152] According to the consulted representative of RPK, such advanced online verification could decrease the number of fake diplomas and save time for law enforcement. [153] Taking this all into account, the commitment has positive but minor potential impact.

Next steps

  • The government should define and implement advanced verification procedures, as a representative of RPK suggested. [154] They can include checks in several government databases and result in the issuance of an official certification.
  • The IRM researcher also recommends advanced data protection mechanisms to ensure the confidentiality of personal data. In particular, the online service should verify the identity of its users before performing a search of educational documents and disclosing such information.
[142] “The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Decree on 18 December 2018 #1088-p” on The Government Portal, The Unified Web-portal of Executive Authorities of Ukraine (Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Secretariat, 18 Dec. 2018), https://www.kmu.gov.ua/storage/app/media/17-civik-2018/partnerstvo/plan_2018%20-%202020.pdf.
[143] “Counterintelligence Office has Revealed a Colossal Scheme of Printing Fake Documents for Hitmen in Kyiv” (TSN, 19 Apr. 2017), https://tsn.ua/ato/specialisti-shirokogo-profilyu-doneckim-boyovikam-masovo-shtampuyut-falshivi-dokumenti-u-kiyevi-916177.html.
[144] Mykhailo Serebriakov (RPK), interview by IRM researcher, 26 Feb. 2019.
[145] “The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Decree on 18 December 2018 #1088-p” (Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Secretariat).
[146] Oksana Bielik (Inforesource), email exchange with IRM researcher, 4 Mar. 2019.
[147] “Register of Education Documents” (The Unified State Education Electronic Database, accessed Dec. 2019), https://info.edbo.gov.ua/edu-documents/.
[149] “Educational Document Verification” (The Government Portal, The Unified Web-portal of Executive Authorities of Ukraine, accessed Dec. 2019), https://www.kmu.gov.ua/ua/service/perevirka-dokumenta-pro-osvitu.
[150] “Verifying Educational Documents” (IPS Education, accessed Dec. 2019), https://osvita.net/ua/checkdoc/.
[151] “The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Decree on 18 December 2018 #1088-p” (Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Secretariat).
[152] Bielik, email.
[153] Serebriakov, interview.
[154] Ibid.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

16. Introduce online verification of education certificates

Completion: Substantial

The Ministry of Education and Science adopted technical requirements for verification. It also commissioned, developed, and installed an online verification software for educational documents. [128] This software exists within the Unified State Education Electronic Database. [129] The government clarified that the online verification service checks higher education certificates, but it still has to be extended to secondary and vocational education certificates, accompanied by a manual, and beta-tested. [130]

[128] Dmytro Yelchenko (Inforesource), email exchange with IRM researcher, 4 November 2020.
[129] “The Register of Education Documents,” The Unified State Education Electronic Database, (accessed Nov. 2020), https://info.edbo.gov.ua/edu-documents/..
[130] Open Government Partnership, The Report on the Realization of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Open Government Partnership Initiative in 2018–2020, 3 December 2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Ukraine_End-of-Term_Self-Assessment_2018-2020_UKR.pdf.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership