What is the A4L Community?

Created by Penny Murray, Modified on Thu, 13 Oct, 2022 at 6:00 AM by Penny Murray

The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community, and its special interest group the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC), is a unique, non-profit collaboration composed of schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants. 


The Community started in 1997 (known as the SIF Association) focussed on developing Community-driven, open standards for data management and exchange, “Powered by SIF” as its major technical tool to help manage learning data simply, securely and in a scalable, standard way regardless of platform. The SDPC was formed about seven years ago, designed to address the day-to-day, real-world multi-faceted issues faced when protecting learner information by setting common expectations between market providers and end users. The A4L Community (as a whole) has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to ‘connect and secure effective learning ecosystems’ to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach.


On the data privacy side, the Consortium aims to facilitate common expectations and streamline application contracting in addressing legal obligations on student privacy. Thousands of schools are using the SAME privacy agreement with thousands of vendors. For more information on the National Data Privacy Agreement (NDPA), please go to https://privacy.a4l.org/national-dpa/  (Please note: Consortium members are currently working on a ‘version 2’, which we hope will be released by end 2022).


More information about membership of the A4L Community can be found here https://home.a4l.org/join-the-community/. A copy of the Membership Agreement can also be found on this page, which outlines the ‘member commitment guidelines’ around participation and promotion. In addition, you can also find out more about the benefits of membership from this page.



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