The SIF Association is proud to announce a new standard in its SIF Certification Program – the SIF 3 Enabled product standard. This is the first and only marketplace verification process for software developers to provide evidence of their products supporting the National Center for Education Statistic’s (NCES) Common Education Data Standards which are now embedded in the SIF Data Model.

The SIF Association established the SIF Certification Program over 10 years ago to help ensure that data is successfully transferred between hundreds of certified applications by using an open, community developed data standard – the SIF Specification. The SIF Certification Program was developed by schools, government entities and vendors and is a voluntary program open to any member of the Association.

This SIF Implementation Specification (North America) 3.1, is made up of a globally utilized reference infrastructure and North America specific data model focusing on supporting the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) initiative. Now, for the first time, vendors have a program capable of testing alignment to CEDS as well as functionality core to a Direct Data Provider. SIF 3 Enabled Certified applications utilizes the widely marketplace adopted REST technology which is a major component of the SIF Infrastructure Implementation Specification 3.0.1. The new 3.0 infrastructure allows the transport of various data models, including those from the other global SIF communities, as well as data from the numerous “alphabet soup” data initiatives that are populating the education landscape. In essence, education now can utilize “one wire with one plug”, not the never-ending proprietary API’s and “one off” connections! Development is also underway for future SIF 3 programs to include data providing applications in a Brokered Environment and then a Consumer, with a full data API, to ensure proper use of the infrastructure and the validity of those data requests.

“This is a major step forward in technical development for the SIF Association showing the Community’s commitment to federal, state and local educational data management and usage” states Larry Fruth Ph.D., Executive Director/CEO, SIF Association. “We are very proud of our members and the evolution of the SIF Certification Program to now validate the latest transport technologies and CEDS data objects. We look forward to expanding the SIF 3 Certification Program further in the coming months”.

Details of the SIF Certification Program can be found here:
SIF Test Harness Suites can be accessed here:

About the SIF Association
The SIF Association is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of over 3,200 schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively define the rules and regulations for educational software data interoperability. The SIF Implementation Specification enables diverse applications to interact and share data efficiently, reliably, and securely regardless of the platform hosting those applications. The SIF Association has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach. For further information, visit

About the Author: