A Kitemark for Expertise
When it comes to product safety, there is a clear standard to uphold. But what about when it comes to expertise?
The Kitemark is the famous UK product and service quality certification mark, owned and operated by The British Standards Institution. It is most frequently used to identify products and services where safety is paramount.
To obtain Kitemark certification, products and services are assessed to ensure that they meet the requirements of the relevant British, European, trade association or International standard. Delivery of the product or service is audited against an accredited quality management system and then regularly checked to ensure continuing compliance.
The Kitemark provides consumers with a trusted source of information. It’s a simple, reliable solution to the complex problem of ensuring safety.
This concept of a trusted indicator of product and service safety is recognised and highly valued globally. It seems that the equivalent is desperately needed in the field of expertise.
The rapid proliferation of noisy social media as a means of sharing ‘knowledge’ has provided the means for anyone to publish their unverified opinion and has led true expertise to be drowned out. At the same time, the recent rise of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ is diluting public trust in experts and previously-trusted channels, specifically publishing.
Furthermore, the confirmation bias of social media means it is easier and easier to be supplied with what you want to hear, reinforcing, rather than challenging what you already believe to be true, and therefore making it less likely that consumers will search out verified sources of expertise
As this supply of unverified information increases exponentially, so the need for an effective, reliable and trustworthy guarantee of expertise grows.
Giving publishers (who arguably are THE source of verified expertise) a simple, independent, verifiable seal of approval - like the Kitemark - could be one way to help them and their audience fight back against these anti-expert forces. Such a badge could enable them to showcase their expertise (or, more specifically, the expertise of their writers, editors and contributors), to re-engage audiences in informed debate and to return bona fide expertise to its crucial position at the top of the information food chain.
We are determined to be a key part of the solution to these problems and are fully behind a Kitemark for Expertise.