The SIF Association, responding to the needs of its membership and the overall educational marketplace, is proud to announce the release of the SIF 3 Certification Program. The SIF 3 Certification Program 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 (CEDS) which are now embedded in the SIF Data Model. SIF 3 Enabled Certified applications utilize the widely adopted REST technology across the education marketplace, which is a major component of the SIF Infrastructure Implementation Specification 3.0.1.

An exciting aspect of this launch is the strong, flexible, and scalable foundation that it is built on. From a simplified and streamlined Conformance Statement Questionnaire (CSQ) that will enable better reporting to the scriptable Test Sessions, we are truly walking through a door that will enable innovation for years to come! The SIF 3 API and upgraded tools and policies all make this release a great step forward for the educational market which not only adds some quality control to marketplace products but also helps clarify expectations between education software providers and their school, district, and state clients.

SIF 3 Certification innovations: from ‘select all’ in the CSQ editor; through the searchable log; to real time updates of the current test; bring a real sense of ease to all educational technology application users. SIF 3 is a whole new ballgame built on top of the SIF Association’s institutional knowledge accrued since the launch of SIF as a standard in 1997. This version 3 introductory release includes not only new software but also an updated Certification Policy and rewritten Product Standard. Most impactful are the requirements for, and demonstration of, current Internet grade security standards.

The stakes have never been higher in addressing the privacy and security issues around student information and the SIF 3 Certification Program aims to provide you with information on the latest developments, resources and technology now available to support your work – finally putting the educational institution in charge of their own data!

The next action item is yours… Begin to ask interoperable technical standards questions to the marketplace providers you partner with in your solutions development. Implemented products built on standards put you in control of choice, costs, time, security options, and ownership control. Don’t settle for “aligned”, “like”, “based on”, or “mapped” to CEDS/SIF – demand it! The SIF Community stands ready to help – and we don’t want your data OR have anything to sell you!

Further details on the SIF Certification Program can be found on the SIF Certification website:

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:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.