Design And Implementation Of A Certificate Verification System

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Design And Implementation Of A Certificate Verification System


Over the years there have been a great need of easy and fasted means of verify result/certificate to reduce the level or certificate forgery and to ease the stress and also save the time of certificate verification which is done manually today, an employer or anybody concern will have to come or send delegate to school to verify a particular certificate, some employer never did and this has resulted on accepting a forge certificate. Verification is the process of establishing the truth, accuracy, or validity of something such as the verification of official documents. In this study the document in reference is the academic certificate.

In this prototype which we have created for this study, the user can request the certificates verification through the app. This prototype is created using Java for front-end user interface while the database is controlled my MySQL. We developed a prototype which allows users to make request to get the academic certificates verification by filling the name of institution, course name, year of graduation and the verification code.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Globally, most of the institutions and organizations rely on use traditional paper verification methods to verify the documents presented to them. These organizations and institution do not have the capacity to verify the document presented to them instantly. One of the problems we have in traditional paper based is that people and especially recruiters and employers find difficult in knowing the validity of documents such as academic certificates presented to them because there is no way they can authenticate those documents instantly. In the current scenario most of the organization does not have the capacity to instantly authenticate the documents presented. Traditional identity information verification and validation processes were developed in a “paper” transaction world.

This Paper is centered on the need to adopt automatic online verification system that will save the huddles of manual verification method. This will enable anybody or an employer to verify an institution certificate online, without having to come down to the school to do so. All that is required of the employer is to log into the verification link given, which is a link to the university portal and enter the certificate number of the certificate he/she wants to verify, then the original copy of that certificate will be displayed on the screen along with the following message (assuming the name of the certificate owner is “NjoeteniOrikeze”), “NjoeteniOrikeze is a graduate of Computer Engineering Department, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, he graduated in the year 2015. Please carefully compare the certificate you have there with the one on your screen any alteration renders that certificate invalid”. But if the certificate number is invalid (i.e a forged certificate number), the following message will be displayed on the screen “Invalid Certificate, we don’t have details of this person in our record, it is either you missed typed the certificate number or the owner did not pass through this institution, Verify and try again, please if the problem persists contact the school +2348000000000,”

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Verification of certificates is a major concern in organization, academic institutions, recruiters and employers. Employers have been experiencing has high alarming rate of fake certificates. This is as result production of fake certificates. Firstly, the traditional paper-based prototype of verification contributes in production of fake certificates which poses a difficult in knowing the validity of such academic certificates presented to them because there is no way they can authenticate them instantly. Secondly, modern technology and the rise of the internet have undoubtedly contributed to the wide-spread trend of educational fraud and fake degrees, accuracy and convenient.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study to design and implement certificate verification system which verifies a certificate against the certificates produced by the school. This method will phase out outdated paper/manual method, though the papers will still be kept safe in schools for future reference.

Other objectives include:

  1. To make Certificate accessibility Easy
  2. To save time and Resources
  3. To prevent risk in transits in result verification, etc.

1.4 Scope of the Study

This study will concentrate on the development of a prototype for academic certificates verifications. The product/Output is a software product called vericert. Vericert is a system for verifying academic certificates. It is available for anyone or any organization that wishes to establish the veracity of academic documents presented to them by any candidate seeking a job.

1.5 Research Questions

This research work will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. Which methods are currently used for academic certificate verification?
  2. Why proposing a computerized Certificate Verification System for the institution? Is it really important?
  3. What method and technology may be used to develop and deploy the academic certificate verification system?
  4. How will the proposed computer-based system affect the existing conventional system?

1.6 Significance of the Study

When the project goes online the following benefit will be realized:-

  1. Recruiters and employers receive the benefit because the system gives the opportunity to authenticate the certificates.
  2. Help the recruiting agencies in verification academic certificates held by an individual.
  3. Verification Software reduces instances of academic fraud. Improves fraud detection.

1.7 Definitions of Important Terms

  • Grid: Globally distributed units with different operating prototypes and hardware being capable of processing a large amount of data collaboratively.
  • Virtualization in computing is a term that refers to the various techniques, methods or approaches of hybrid online creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as a virtual, operating prototype (OS).
  • Clusters A computer cluster consists of a set of loosely connected computers that work together so that in many respects they can be viewed as a single prototype.
  • Hypervisors: In computing, a hypervisor or virtual machine manager (VMM) is a piece of computer software, firmware or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines.
  • A computer cluster consists of a set of loosely connected computers that work together so that in many respects they can be viewed as a single prototype.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.0 Introduction

This research work is an effort towards elimination of fake certificates in learning institutions. As discussed in the introduction chapter of this study, verification of academic certificates is one of the important research areas today. This work contributes towards solving problems in academic fraud. A part of this work focused on the application of the proposed prototype as proof of concept. In our proof of concept, the prototype was able to verify the student’s academic details as they are in the database which was uploaded by the learning institutions.

5.1 Achievements

The following were achieved as per the objectives set in chapter one

Objective 1
  • Research on the use of online computing platforms and models
  • Research of related work on online computing was achieved. Several online computing models were discussed in literature review.
Objective 2

Develop a prototype for certificates verification and hosting on online environment.

The prototype was developed using the Code igniter PHP framework and hosted in online computing environment.

Field test was done at various institutions, University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya, and School Of signal, National Military Communication Centre and Recruiting agencies.

  • We implemented a Vericert prototype as proof of concept. The implemented VeriCert prototype targeted the recruiters, employers as the primary users.
  • Advances can be made to adopt online computing to provide verifications as a service.

5.2 Finding

According to the evaluation and test carried out it was concluded that this study has shown that verification of academic certification is necessary.

Various institutions of higher learning, organizations were identified. The results suggested that the prototype was helpful in verification of academic certificates. It showed that organizations attitude and perceived usefulness both directly drive the usage intention.

The finding highlighted that institutions, organizations and recruiting agencies have the ability and willing to use this technology.

5.3 Challenges and Limitations

Installation of datacenter in an online computing environment is quite expensive.
Online computing is still a new technology which is not fully adopted in Kenyan market.

5.5 Data Collection Method

The main challenge was unwillingness of the user to provide information of how they verify their certificates. It was considered as very sensitive and confidential data. After talking at length with the users some agreed and others refused completely.

5.6 Recommendation

Based on experience during the research, we would like to recommend that more research be done in online computing and a lot of literature review done for related work.

After successfully implementing and testing the project prototype, in order to realize the intended purpose of the study we recommend the prototype to be adopted by:-

  1. Online computing providers
  2. Higher learning institutions
  3. Organizations and recruiting agencies

5.7 Future Work

To enhance this system and to increase the usability of the overall solution in learning institutions and organization the needs certificate verification the following items may be considered for future implementation;

First and foremost as part of continuation for this project, lots of future work is ahead for the full implementation and deployment online computing environment as Software as a Service; hence inclusion in the online computing would add more value to the research.

Secondly, development for a wider scope should be incorporated into the whole project to ensure that the solution is all rounded.

Lastly the solution should be tailored and security mechanism implemented well so that it will build more trust to the targeted market/users. Security measured to be included are as follows:

  1. Public key to be issued to the users of the system
  2. Authentication of all devices that will be used to connect to the online databases
  3. Institutions to be verified before they use the system by certification authority.
  4. All the email used to be verified
  5. All the device connecting to the online must first registered and then authenticated.
  6. All the academic certificates to have sealed verification code which when scanned will provide link to the academic database.
  7. Authenticate the IP address to ascertain that they are tied up with the institutions hosting the academic database.

5.8 Conclusion

From my research, I can clearly state that online computing technology and its’ application has been taken with a lot of seriousness globally and I have no doubt that my research has as well contributed positively towards the uptake of this novel technology. It’s my hope that when the whole system is developed and implemented the problems of having fake certificate will be greatly reduced.

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