D’Alessandro Nicholas, Managing Director, AllSecure Ltd, nda@ebizmalta.com

D’Alessandro, Stephen P.; Director, AllSecure Ltd, sda@ebizmalta.com

This brief article outlines the eB-Valuate project, a collaborative effort between AllSecure Ltd operators of eBusiness Systems (eBS) and EduAlliance to establish a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for microcredentials. The project was funded by MCST as part of the Fusion R&D scheme.

An EU context

The skills card approach adopted in the EU was taken as the benchmark reference for the development of the eb-Valuate system and platform. The EU SkillsCard is a standardized approach to documenting and verifying an individual’s skills and qualifications for specific job-related tasks or professions across the European Union. It functions as a tool to promote mobility amongst EU countries since it offers a recognized format for skills documentation. The SkillsCard aims to ease movement of workers within the EU. It enhances transparency as employers can readily understand the qualifications of potential hires based on the SkillsCard. Similarly, it recognizes skills since The SkillsCard system acknowledges skills obtained through various learning pathways, including formal education, vocational training, work-based learning, or non-formal courses.

Key Features of the EU SkillsCard programme is a focus on specific sectors. SkillsCards are often developed for industries with standardized skill requirements, such as construction, healthcare, transportation, or hospitality. These are tied in to the concept of microcredentials, whereby the SkillsCard system can integrate microcredentials, representing smaller units of learning or achievements that contribute to overall skill development. Most relevant to the eb-Valuate programme, the EU skillscard adopts a digital format.  The EU emphasizes a digital SkillsCard infrastructure, with web-based portals or platforms for managing and issuing cards. This facilitates easy verification and transferability of skills across borders.

While the EU framework provides a common approach,  the  specific  implementation and recognition of SkillsCards  vary  between member states due to existing national systems.  Mutual recognition agreements  between countries are  encouraged to  facilitate  broader  applicability and  worker mobility. An integral part of the skillscard process is the evaluation of candidates skills and the integration of the different functionalities required to evaluate the skills, set-up evaluation sessions, manage results and issue and manage the skills cards. Eb-Valuate is developed as a web-based platform that performs these functions.

The eb-Valuate MCST Project

The Goals of the project were twofold:- (1) To Develop a microcredentials platform (eB-Valuate): This web-based solution will function as a SaaS product for independent configuration and operation by subscribed clients. (2) Facilitate stakeholder engagement: The platform aims to connect various user groups, including master centers, exam centers, employers, educators, and students, ensuring the system’s sustainability through its value proposition for each group.

On the basis of these two broad aims, the following objectives were defined:-

  • O1: Customized solution for on-the-job training: Develop a microcredentials solution tailored to the specific requirements of on-the-job training in designated industries within Malta (e.g., construction, tourism). This solution will cater to the needs of entities seeking to implement microcredential processes.
  • O2: Standalone product development: Transform the core system modules of eB-Valuate into a product-based web solution. This will allow for independent configuration and operation, encompassing the entire process from launching an evaluation program to integrating payment gateways for online service fee collection. This solution will empower authorized users to manage online and on-site evaluations within the Maltese regulatory framework.
  • O3: User feedback and product development: Gather feedback from each user group to inform the next cycle of product development. This feedback will guide prioritization efforts, enabling a better understanding of diverse user needs and facilitating the resolution of potential conflicts arising from these needs.

Edu alliance led the research related to the creation of the local job profiles and evaluation databases critical for the testing of the system in the context of local sectorial requirements. The sectors addressed were those of the hospitality and tourism and building and construction. In addition, the healthcare sector was also addressed to establish the suitability of the platform for on-the-job competency evaluations and skills card processes. The combination of job market requirements to technical systems development characterised this collaboration. In this way, the MSCT Fusion programme allowed for the development of eb-Valuate to serve as the basis for an extended skill card process based on the management of learning activities, effective online and hybrid evaluations and the issue and management of the relevant skills card and micro-credentials on successful completion of the relevant programme.  This involved the creation and implementation of:- (1) Learning objectives; (2) Learning Activities; (3) Defined Learning Outcomes; (4) Skills Cards; (5) Relevant Evaluation Process; (6) Evaluation Tests; and (7) Micro-Credentials on Completion.

The ebValuate system accommodates a variety of user groups with designated access levels and functionalities based on the use of a hierarchical structure to ensure appropriate control over access and use of system data. The Project Deliverables  are based on the development of a web-portal that will serve as a central access point for all users to the system’s functionalities. This will include:-

  • Public Website: This website will serve as an external resource for third parties to learn more about the microcredentials process and its potential benefits as participants, evaluators, employers, etc. The public area provide general information and validation data for different user groups, be they employers, educators, students, etc. It will also serve as the front end of the system with full contact information and communication options.
  • Restricted Access Area running the eB-Valuate engine: This core system will manage the full evaluation and micro-credentials process for authorized users. User dashboards will be provided for specific user groups (master centers, exam centers, employers, educators, students). Functionality specific to each user group (e.g., exam center management for exam center users, student progress tracking for students) will be available in this area as well as dedicated secure communication channels for communications between the different users and user groups.
  • API Linkages to Third-Party Services: The system allows integration with external platforms to enable payment gateways, elearning, ID verification and validation, certificate management etc.

An integral element to the success of the eb-Valuate platform is no doubt the security considerations that have been taken into account in its architecture, design, development and operation. The eB-Valuate system prioritized data securitywith various security measures built into the infrastructure. These include: User authentication and authorization protocols; Secure data storage and encryption and regular security audits and updates.


The eB-Valuate project is designed to establish a comprehensive microcredentials platform that caters to the needs of various stakeholders in Malta’s educational and professional landscape. The project emphasizes user-centric design, customization options, and secure operation. By facilitating the development and implementation of microcredential programmes, the eB-Valuate platform caters to highly customised solutions that allow for a one-stop shop solution to the development and operation of a modern skills card process. The system will provide authorities with a reliable, secure framework with which to evaluate and showcase the competencies and skills of the target audience. Eb-Valuate empowersindividuals to showcase their skills and qualifications, enhance their employability, and contribute to Malta’s economic growth.