Competency Certificates

What is Compassly?​

Compassly is an innovative app that allows simple assessment of competencies, live and in clinical practice. It’s extremely flexible and easy to use, eliminating all paper competency records, giving a full picture of competency skill mix and saving time for everyone.

Achieved competencies are kept by each user in their “Passport”, meaning they always have a personal record of their achievements on Compassly, even if they leave the organisation that issued that competency.

You can find out more about the Compassly system by visiting, or contacting us directly.

What are these certificates?

When a competency is completed on Compassly, the system automatically issues a competency certificate. These certificates can be downloaded directly from the Compassly app, either by the person who achieved the competency or by someone supervising them. They can then be shared outside the Compassly app, as a PDF or a printed copy.

The certificates are generated each time they are requested, and this date is included on the bottom of the certificate.

More information about how this certificate feature works in the app can be found here.

What does or doesn’t it prove?

It’s important to understand that Compassly itself is not a certifying body, it’s a platform to allow others to certify competencies.

The content within Compassly is written by author organisations and actual competence is assessed by staff employed by organisations using Compassly. Ultimately any certificate is only as good as the organisation issuing it, the processes they use to assess competency and their staff carrying out the assessments. The certificates present this information, to help you use your judgement on the validity and applicability of any competencies certified in the system.

The certificate is also not designed to show the detailed steps that have been carried out to assess a competency. This further information is available for users of the app – if you wish to see this information, ask the user to show you the competency in their My Passport section of the app.

Any PDF or paper copy of the certificate will show, at the bottom, the date that this copy was issued by the system and this should be checked to see how recent the certificate is. The live version can always be checked online (see below).

How come there are multiple organisations and assessors on there?

One of the strengths of Compassly is the flexibility and sharing of standards across organisations. Competency libraries can be written by one organisation and then shared with other organisations, to promote the use of best practice and reduce the amount of re-invention of the same fundamental standards.

Assessment of the same standard can also be carried out across multiple organisations using Compassly simultaneously, for example within an Integrated Care System or group structure. The certificate reflects this, and so you may see assessors from across different organisations.

The organisation name you see underneath the competency name itself (under “Completed”) is the organisation which wrote the competency standard.

The organisation name you see under each assessor is the organisation the assessor was working for when carrying out the assessment. All assessments in Compassly must be done by a registered user of a validated organisation, which helps to help assure competency standards. It is even possible for a single assessor to appear multiple times but working for different organisations, Compassly allows for this flexibility too.

What do the start and end dates mean?

The completed date is when all assessment criteria for this competency were successfully met and the competency was signed-off as complete.

The start date is when the competency was first added to this person’s portfolio of competencies (which may not be when they actively started working on the competency). The competencies in Compassly can be updated by the authors of the competency library, and when an update is published that may lead to a user re-starting on the latest version. In that scenario, the “Started on” date will be that of the latest version they worked on.

Competencies in Compassly can have optional expiry dates set by the competency author. The certificate will show the next expiry date (”Expires on”) and when the competency was last renewed, if applicable (”Last renewed on”). Competency expiry is optional for competency authors and some competencies will be set to never expire.

Can a certificate be invalidated?

Yes. There are two main ways in which a competency certificate can be invalidated after it is issued:

  • An event, such as a clinical incident, leads an organisation to no longer deem a person competent in a competency. In this case they can invalidate the competency on Compassly
  • An individual can themselves request a competency be invalidated, for example if they feel the competency has lapsed and they are no longer competent

If a competency has been invalidated on Compassly then this will be reflected in the live certificate (see below), and it will remain invalid until re-proven.

Note that this is separate from an expired competency (above) – expired competencies can still be renewed through the standard renewal approach.

How do I know it’s genuine and up-to-date?

Whilst it is unlikely that anyone would fully fake a Compassly competency certificate (and we have deliberately designed them to make this more challenging), it is not impossible. The reality is, someone skilled with digital tools like Photoshop will be able to fake almost any document or certificate.

However, they would not be able to fake the online validation.

In the top-right of every certificate issued on Compassly is a unique alphanumeric link. You can quickly scan this with a QR code reader, you can click on the link, or directly type it into your web browser – and this link can be shared with others for them to be able to instantly access the live version.

You don’t need to be a registered user of Compassly to see the live certificate, they are available to anyone with the link. There are more than 2 billion combinations, so there’s a far better chance of winning the lottery than guessing any other certificate link.

This online version is generated each time it’s requested from the live, up-to-date version on Compassly. This gives you the true latest version of the certificate for full validation, including any expiry or invalidation.

Can this online version be faked?

Only by creating a fake version of the online certificate. But even if they were to attempt this then it would have to point to a website other than, so it is important to check that you are being taken to on your browser:

With each layer of security we have added it becomes more and more unlikely that anyone could fake it, or that it would be worth investing the significant time and effort to do so. Compassly certificates, properly validated online, can give you an extremely high level of assurance that the certificate is genuine.