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Where Can You Travel To With A Digital Passport?

A passport is an exciting thing. Something that gets you from one place to another. It allows access. Acts as identification. Proves who you are. Contains your personal information. And enables so much more! The digital version of the bound book, with the dodgy photo, we are all used to carrying around with us on our travels is already here.

Posted 9 September 2021

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Part of daily life

Digital passports are already a part of daily life. If you've received or renewed your passport, in the last decade, it will have a microchip in it to ensure it can be read digitally wherever you travel to. If you travel by bus regularly, I’m sure you use a digital bus pass. To travel on public transport in London most people use an Oyster card – another digital passport. 

I'm sure all of you have used a digital passport at some point recently. Many are accessed via an app on your phone. Like your wallet on an iPhone or a loyalty card for a store.  Even the old-fashioned library card is a digital passport now!  

They also exist in the world of work and as online learning tools. If you swipe into work using a passkey, you are using a digital passport every day.

Vantage POB

As an online learning tools consultant, the thought of a "passport" mapping learning, individual talent, competencies, and standards across companies and industries in a measurable way is the holy grail. It was first talked about as a home for the competency models we were all developing in the 1990s. I started working in the Oil and Gas industry in 2000 and that's where I first came across Vantage POB.

The Oil and Gas industry on the UK Continental Shelf uses the Vantage card to travel to and from oil and gas platforms.  The vantage card also holds information about the skills each worker possesses and ensures they have the relevant qualifications and safety training to board the helicopter that will take them to their destination.  

Vantage POB is managed by LOGIC and is unique in that it is shared. In 2000 the industry initiated a project to establish a shared solution replacing the individual systems previously used by each operator. The digital passport system was designed by logistic personnel in the industry, embodying best practice in aviation logistics, and has been available since 2003 for use within Western Europe for any user. Funding member companies, who paid for the initial project work, have an existing license for global use.  The service is widely shared with 46 oil and gas operators using it to track more than 1.3M movements across 420 locations for in excess of 4K users.  

The digital passport system underwent a major extension in 2011 to incorporate Personnel Scheduling and Competency Management (PSCM). PSCM made it easier for planners to ensure that the correct mix of skills and people with special duties are present and correct on all oil and gas facilities. Users access the MyVantage website to access information relating to current and historic offshore training courses, flight details, and emergency contact details.

How we've helped

In another example, eCom worked with IWCF (International Well Control Forum) to build an eAssessment solution on a secure platform that improved their processes and helped them focus on improving competency across their core values of quality, safety, and integrity. Once their bespoke version of eCom's assessment platform, eNetAssess™, called FORUM was in place the next logical step was to include the option for candidates to receive digital certification via a mobile app or digital passport. The bespoke solution was developed using our eNetBadges™ product. 

"The introduction of digital certificates within IWCF has positively impacted our accredited training centres and candidates. There are many benefits including reduced costs, increased security, and the ability for candidates to share their qualifications through social media.”  Joanna Taylor, Head of Operations  

All the online learning tools examples above have several things in common. A digital passport provides a unique identifier for an individual combining database information typically with an enhanced UX. They reduce the labour-intensive processes that predated digital passports. They are more secure and much harder to fake than paper-based systems. They provide accurate information for analysis and allow efficiencies to be made in the updating and processing of data. This provides benefits across competency management, maintaining compliance, operational benefits, and user engagement. 

The way forward

The digital passport is the perfect repository for digital and micro-credentials. We see individuals sharing their credentials on platforms like LinkedIn and systems like Vantage and Forum can support users in doing just that. 

How do you manage data on staff competence or compliance? Is it stored digitally?  Can that data be easily analysed and is it accessible corporately, to line managers or employees? If you still have data in a paper-based system or stored in a myriad of Excel sheets now is the time to think about your learning strategy and what benefits you could achieve if you went digital. 

For those industries without the foresight of the Oil and Gas industry, you don't need years to develop an online learning tool anymore, it can be done in mere months. Going digital for part or all of your learning processes will definitely involve an investment of both time and money, however, the benefits reaped at industry, corporate, management, and individual level will far outweigh any cost. 

The question you must ask yourself is can you afford not to?

If you'd like to talk to one of our Learning Technologists about digital passports or anything else, please get in touch here. We would love to help you start your digital learning journey.