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xAPI Conformance and Certification Programs

Facilitating xAPI adoption through certification

The Challenge

Adoption of the xAPI Standard supports digital learning modernization, but the complexity of effectively implementing it can be a barrier to adoption. Similarly, organizations that purchase xAPI-enabled software or courseware need a way to verify that the vendors providing those products have implemented xAPI effectively in them.

The Solution

Develop software requirements for xAPI conformance testing and define certification requirements for the professional competencies needed for working with xAPI.

About the Project

The xAPI Conformance and Certification project provided DoD with guidance on meeting certification requirements for learning systems as well as developing talent within their organizations to manage xAPI data using these systems. One key activity was to define xAPI Learning Record Store (LRS) requirements that conform to the xAPI Specification and set expectations for interoperability with xAPI LRSs. Made available on GitHub, every “must” requirement explicitly stated in the xAPI Specification is documented, as vetted by the xAPI user/developer community through an open process. The LRS Conformance Test Suite software was later developed by the ADL Initiative to test how well LRSs meet these requirements.

This project also provided recommendations on additional means of certifying xAPI-enabled products and personnel. The xAPI Certification Program Recommendations for Learning Record Stores report describes a comprehensive approach for certification, including governance roles and responsibilities. It suggests opportunities for developing product and technology certification programs that employ xAPI functionality, testing procedures, and supporting business processes.

The final project deliverable details definitions for skills and competencies that personnel should possess (and be certified for) to produce xAPI-conformant digital learning materials. These include the competencies needed to access xAPI data while also addressing privacy and ownership concerns and ensuring semantic interoperability. Recommendations to inform DoD and Federal Government stakeholders of specific roles and credentials were made available in the 2018 publication of the Learning Record Provider Professional Certification Recommendations document.




Project Details

Period of Performance



Data Interoperability Standards Consortium