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About the A4L Community
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There is no other global community made up of educational policymakers, marketplace product and service providers and the customers they serve, collaborating daily to address real world learning information and privacy issues.


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 who collectively address all aspects of learning information management and access to support learning.  The A4L Community strives for these educational stakeholders to establish common expectations in the connecting and securing effective learning ecosystems regardless of the platform hosting those applications. The Access 4 Learning Community has united these education technology end users and providers in an unprecedented effort to give teachers more time to do what they do best: teach.



Education is a complex activity that is part science and part art…

With this in mind, education, parents, and school administrators must have access to state-of-the-art tools populated with secure, up-to-date information in order to make effective use of a myriad of diverse resources. Seamless integration of a broad a spectrum of instructional, administrative and communication tools is an essential foundation for an environment that addresses the needs of all learners.


Background Information and International History

In response to demand from educators, a series of meetings began in July 1998 between Microsoft Corporation in partnership with 18 other companies, on the topic of interoperability between education applications. Their primary conclusion was that the best solution was for interested parties to collectively define standards that all software vendors could adopt. These standards would define common data formats, naming conventions, and rules of interaction between applications.

The SIF Association (now the Access 4 Learning Community) was initiated with a set of data, infrastructure and support working groups which have evolved over time but which generally correspond to application verticals within the education sector. Today, the Access 4 Learning Community is global in nature, with an additional focus on data privacy and is made up of established and recognized communities in the Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand and North America. Each entity maintains its own leadership and Project Groups, all under the general guidance of the Access 4 Learning Community Board of Directors.


If you have a specific question, we are always keen to talk, so please Contact Us.



Our Vision

Learners will be supported by technology that allows for their successful information ownership and usage based on their specific needs.


To develop a 'Learner Centric Model for Data Management' to provide learners and practitioners the flexibility to choose student administration and learning tools that work seamlessly while ensuring data integrity, security and privacy.


A Unique Community... for learning!

How is A4L unique?
   “…focused on learning – no matter where the solution comes from…

20 Years of Development Experience in K12 Interoperability


100% Membership Dues Funded – No Outside Funding Dependencies


Expertise in Balancing BOTH Data Interoperability and Data Privacy


School, State, Government and Vendor Members Across 4 Global Communities


Well-established and Transparent, Governance, Finance and Development Processes


Leadership Committed to Using Multiple Standards Together to Address Any Use Case




It’s Not One or the Other!

Increased interoperability without the inclusion of privacy requirements = increased RISK.
Both data sharing and privacy parameters must be identified and communicated.

It is all over the news every day.  Organizations having unauthorized access to their critical data and/or that data being made available where it should not.  Silos like retail, finance, government, credit ratings, social media, and yes even schools are all at risk and constantly must address appropriate access to information but also control over who has that access.


 The SDPC is:

  • 29 State Alliances, 4 Countries and thousands of schools working together for “Tactical” data privacy support
  • Released the National Data Privacy Agreement and Global Education Privacy Standard

The Unity Specification enables:

  • 'on the wire' security
  • Global Education Privacy Standard (GEPS)
  • support for API development
  • maturation to a more powerful infrastructure
  • the responsible use of data



The A4L Community and the Student Data Privacy Consortium are the only places where the leading experts in data management address BOTH data interoperability AND privacy.  Contrary to what many say you can successfully balance the two!



For additional help and information, why not consider joining the A4L Community?

As a member you can access additional support from our Staff and Community members, gain full access to the Community Site and get involved in specific areas of interest to you, get discounted registration at our events, and help to define the SIF Specification to meet YOUR needs!

Join the A4L Community        Contact Us

  • SIF Association (dba Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community)

  • PO Box 1024, New Albany, Ohio 43054-1024

  • Phone: +1.202.621.0547