What will be the use of a qualification register?
When I started as a director at the Centraal Register Techniek (Central Register for the Technology Sector) six months ago, there was an ambitious plan and a lot of preliminary research. What made me decide to say "yes" to this challenge?
I believe this can be a success. I see the need to make craftsmanship more transparent. I see the challenge of doing this with the entire qualifying field. And last but not least, I see the need as a registry to make responsible choices, to be transparent and not to compromise on the robustness of the ICT and security of the registry. I think I can add value and give direction to this.
Will a register further advance the technical sector?
A register can be very useful to quickly gather all the qualifications of professionals and specialist companies. You can identify yourself with the customer. You can get machines started if someone has the right certificates, and with a little imagination, so much more is possible. But maybe you are also a bit suspicious: personal data in a database? Is that safe? What is being done with it? And who has access to all that data?
I know that these thoughts and doubts prevailed at the start of the Centraal Register Techniek and formed the basis for our project. And I think it took quite a bit of vision and courage to start this up despite all the ifs and buts. And I'm not even talking about the size of the investment it costs to finance such a large project. In our case, Techniek Nederland, FNV Metaal, the NVKL and CNV Vakmensen together with Wij Techniek, have dared to do this.
Before I came there was already a lot of preparatory work. Research into the legal and technical possibilities, elaborating the architecture of the register, user surveys, a lot of research into safety and support research in the qualifying field. Despite that, we still don't know much. Not everything can be investigated in advance, but it will have to become clear when we are operational. We will start with the central register and the trade passport app in July. With this we will test live at the first specialist companies and their professionals. I expect that we will get more answers then. An exciting step. Then we show that we were able to realize a complicated idea in a safe and working register. And that we have thought about many things and have made substantiated choices. Then we can invite everyone to work with it, to find something about it and, if desired, to reveal the weaknesses in our system.
I see a challenge in that. Are we able to ask the right questions? Are our users an accurate reflection of the professional field? It is easy to brainstorm with people who are in favor, but we also consciously look for critical noises. We have a strong team, with a lot of knowledge and imagination. I also trust that we have set up a strong register. We listen carefully to future users, our owners and the qualifying field and do a lot with it. In my opinion, the success of the Centraal Register Techniek lies in good listening. ICT, security, useful functionality, good communication. That will all work out well and lays a good foundation. We will really become a valued register if we continue to be able to listen to the sector and do something with it.