Inkpath Insights: The Journey to Being Assessed by JISC.

We champion the importance and potential of digital technologies for UK education and research

JISC website

At Inkpath we are now proudly wearing our ‘Assessed by JISC’ badge! It’s the result of going through a really interesting, helpful assessment process, and we’re glad to have come out the other side with JISC’s assessment that Inkpath is suitable for ‘full-scale implementations’ – the highest rating possible.

OK, great. So what is JISC?

JISC is a not-for-profit, UK-based organisation which counts UK universities and Colleges among its members. It has been around since 1993, and does three main things as part of its vision ‘for the UK to be the most digitally-advanced higher education, further education and research nation in the world’:

  1. operate shared digital infrastructure and services;
  2. negotiate sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers;
  3. provide trusted advice and practical assistance for universities, colleges and learning providers.

You can read more on the JISC website.

Stepping up

In 2019 JISC launched its ‘Step Up’ programme, which aims to assess the very best EdTech companies and present their innovative solutions to the Higher Education community. We were delighted to be part of the first ‘Founding 50’ going through the assessment process. The assessment is rigorous and considers all the aspects across which we work:

The process involves making a form-based submission supported by further documentation, which is assessed by a panel of experts appointed by JISC. The output is a report and website entry. You can see our website entry on the JISC Step Up website.

Would we recommend the programme?

Yes! It has been a really helpful process, and we are looking forward to the rest of the journey with ‘Step Up’, which will involve being part of their institution networks. That said, if you’re thinking about putting your platform through the assessment process, it should not be taken lightly: our submission to JISC was about 40 pages long, with more than 60 supporting documents. This is partly because Inkpath is at a relatively advanced stage, and we have a proven platform that is commercially available: those at an earlier stage can pursue the ‘ready for piloting’ rating which will require a bit less evidence to attain.

What did we get out of the Step Up programme (apart from our lovely ‘Assessed by JISC’ badge, that is)? The answer, like most things, is ‘at least as much as we put in’. ‘Step Up’ has given us access to interesting and timely online discussions hosted by JISC partner Emerge Education with representatives from HE and the EdTech space in attendance. The prospect of getting into a room with some of the most innovative, forward-thinking HE professionals in the world, who are ready to ‘Step Up’ themselves and use Inkpath to revolutionise their training and CPD programmes is of course a great draw.

But the most valuable aspect of the programme to us has been JISC’s really thorough health-check of our business and product. For a bit of effort on our side, we’ve been rewarded with an outcome which has given us huge confidence in the quality and sustainability of our platform, and even more reason to shout about it from the rooftops!

You can apply to the JISC Step Up programme on the JISC website:

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