Credential Integrity Action Alliance (CIAA)

Last Updated: 03/12/2024

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In August 2023, the National Healthcareer Association (NCA) and Ascend Learning announced an initiative within the state of Colorado called The Credential Integrity Action Alliance. The 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation is working to combat the commercial exploitation of assessment programs that lead to academic and professional credentials which is currently legal in the United States. As a result, businesses are free to provide “cheating services” (inclusive of proxy testing, in-examination help, and essay preparation); to raise capital; and to promote and manage opinion about their services.

The alliance is leveraging existing state law to thwart businesses that are providing cheating services by advancing legislative proposals to increase the risk of criminal and civil liability associated with cheating services (inclusive of advertising and payment processing) and discourage investment in related businesses. Through collective action in the U.S., the aim of this effort is to achieve the success of the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand in prohibiting cheating services as a matter of policy and law -- and discourage enablers and investment.

Alliance membership includes universities as well as licensure and certification authorities and their service partners. It is governed by a five-member board of directors and has two subcommittees: one focused on legislative action and one focused on membership.


Because the exploitation of exams and assessments leading to academic and professional credentials is lucrative, such businesses have attracted capital from public and private investors and grown significantly in scale and sophistication. They have now created an existential threat to the reliability of academic and professional credentials as signals of skill attainment in local and global economies.


The Alliance currently includes 20 organizations. Its contributing founders include American College Testing (ACT), Ascend Learning, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), CompTIA, Coursera, Examity, National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), Pearson VUE, Proctorio, Turnitin, University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), Western Governors University (WGU), and Wiley Publishing.


CIAA 1-page description (August 2023)[79][31] (3).pdf

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