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On 28 August 2011 12:57, Charles-H. Schulz <> wrote:

Hello Ian,

Le 28/08/2011 12:30, Ian Lynch a écrit :
First let's be clear that there is a whole range of different types of
certification. Certifying trainers or organisatons is not the same as
certifying end-users or developers or the quality of a product. In about
weeks time I travel with Manfred Reiter and Alexandro Colorado to Ecuador
train trainers for certification for end users in schools
across Panama, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. This is because the client
specifically asked for certification but I suspect that is
probably more a brand knowledge issue than related to the specific
that they use. I would like to suggest to them that if they achieve a
certificate with we put the OOo logo on the certificate
already got clearance for this from Oracle) and if with LibreOffice, the
LibO logo. Alexandro got the client originally through the OOo
project but I think there is no wish to do anything but share benefits
fairly. Really it needs to be the client's decision.  We will be putting
OOo name and logo on the handbook and again we could do that for LibO too
but the handbook will be printed soon so we need to know quite soon if
is OK with the LO community. The idea is that we can give back a donation
either project based on the number of certificates issued.

Who would be in charge of checking the number of certificates?

It will be recorded automatically by the LAMP based management system. We
can provide metrics on certificate numbers automatically eg to the LibO web
site. We provide similar metrics to the UK regulators on a regular basis.

We can just go ahead with OOo as the differences from an end-user
perspective are negligible,

... for now :)

In terms of end-user certification probably for quite a long time. The
assessment criteria are deliberately generic to cover eg Word Processing
 rather than specific products. The specificity comes from the context used
to produce evidence to match the criteria. This way there is no need to make
expensive changes to the assessment materials because eg a new version is
released. These criteria are already widely used for MS Office and probably
in some cases things like Google Docs too. If you look at the development of
say ECDL, it is rather tilted to MS Office and of course MS has its own
certification program but it is possible to do say ECDL with OOo. Our
methods are simply more up to date, more flexible and less expensive. We
spent a lot of time researching this. Manfred and myself have years of
senior management experience in the German and UK education systems. It
makes sense to use a common method for all FOSS applications because it
streamlines the cost for the administrative centres. In my experience,
relatively few centres will want only LibO certification, they are more
likely to want say LibO, Drupal, Web software, IT Security etc. with a
common assessment method. In schools and colleges they will want integration
with their VLE and e-portfolio systems.

but IMHO that misses a marketing opportunity for
LibO and I think we should be even-handed and inform people of the
differences so they can decide if that results in a preference as to the
software they use. Again informed choice is the objective. The training
provider we are going to train has 1575 centres but to start with we will
providing for a small number then building.

This somewhat sounds like the TDF certification, but I might be
mistaken. The certification programme is currently being built as you know.

I know there was talk about it but I didn't know there was much produced in
any detail. As you know I have been working on this for several years now
and I am very pressed for time so its not always possible to keep up with
the details. We now have 3 transfer of innovation projects in progress
related to certification across the EU and that is quite demanding time

This is just one provider and we
have plans to extend to others. It's taken us about 5 years of
to get to this point and probably ~ 2 million Euros of investment so if
don't have experience of certification in general, don't assume it is
trivially simple to do ;-).

No one does here, I think. It is crucially important to get it right for
TDF, but we also want to do this on our own terms.

Getting it right means having professional expertise - just like coding

At this stage the certification is for end-users and conforms to the UK
regulatory requirements for competence based vocational qualifications
is referenced to the EU Qualifications Framework, the biggest reference
system for national qualifications frameworks in the world.

I may not fully understand what kind of certification you're talking
about. Now we're talking about end-users but I did perceive in your
comments above that this is also about "training the trainers", isn't it?

We train assessors to make assessment judgements in schools and colleges. We
have external moderators for quality assurance using on-line systems that
manage the award and authentication of certificates, the submission and
verification of evidence, progress tracking and reporting. This is based on
a combination of a LAMP stack and a customised Drupal environment. We have
to train the assessors and moderators in its use and in the interpretation
of the criteria. So assessors are effectively accredited by us but the main
certification is for end users. These can be children in schools or adults
in colleges or the workplace. Existing customers include schools, colleges,
adult education providers, prison service etc. We currently have active
partners in more than 12 countries.

It is not
possible to get public funding for training courses in many countries if
qualifications are not referenced to the national system so apart from
credible quality assurance, there are financial practical reasons for
gaining official accreditation.

So my question is whether the community would like us to help promote
through this initiative? With the ASF there is a method of "lazy
ie if you make a proposal and no-one objects after a period it is deemed
be accepted. Here I think I need some +1s from TDF members at least. If
I'll assume it's not what is wanted and just focus on the certification
OOo specific.

We are in the process of developing our own certification. I would
suggest that if you wish to receive a clear answer you post your
specific request to the steering-discuss@ list.

That doesn't sound too enthusiastic. If this is the general feeling, let's
just agree to go our own ways. I was simply trying to be helpful in avoiding
re-inventing the wheel, enabling better use of resources, and finding some
common ground between OOo/LibO. If you have everything covered, ok, no


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