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Why Choose SIF?
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Why Choose SIF?

interoperability vs no interoperability
This diagram illustrates a high-level example of the benefits of using SIF, based on actual figures provided by a School District in the United States.   The School District calculated the total time taken to perform regular daily tasks before and after implementing SIF. 
Based on these figures, a School District could save over 40% of their time allocated to these tasks every week using SIF alone.



24/7 access to accurate school and learning information is now essential.

Interoperability (the ability to share data between different systems on different machines) solves these issues and should be a major component of your planning for a 24/7 world.  Selecting the SIF standard gives you a solution that is:  

Open Standard                    Vendor Neutral                    Platform independent

SIF is designed specifically for technology providers and educators.  It is not a product, but a technical blueprint for software that:
  • enables your current applications to interact and share data seamlessly in real time
  • manages your current educational data
  • now works cross-platform over modern technologies
  • allows automated reporting



Additional benefits of using SIF include:

Improve Management

By utilizing SIF, accurate, timely and up-to-date information is shared with all appropriate applications, within the learning establishment and its partners. 'Write once, use many times' is the mantra for good system design, which greatly reduces the burden on schools by eliminating data entry into disparate systems, helping to save time and money.

  Future Proofing

A SIF infrastructure allows 'best of breed' applications to connect to each other. This gives schools, free schools, academies, districts, higher & further education establishments, local authorities, LEAs, and SEAs greater choice in choosing software to meet their current and future needs.

  Improve Learner Attainment

SIF provides the ability to record and exchange learners' marks for attainment between your software applications. By providing real time learner attainment both teachers and parents can use the information to positively influence the learner's outcome and progression.

  Safeguard Your Learners

With the advent of mobile learning, more and more learners are no longer educated in a single establishment. With a SIF enabled application for recording learner attendance, schools are informed as soon as a learner's attendance is recorded at their 'off-site' learning venue.

  Single Sign-On

Use SIF to link the student/management information and identity management systems to automatically generate accounts. Accounts are synchronized and updated without further staff intervention.

  Reduce Administration costs

With SIF you have the ability to transmit data that is required by external agencies. The same infrastructure is used many times to get data where it needs to be, reducing the reporting burden for learning establishments and external agencies.

  Vertical Reporting Solutions
In the United States, 75% of State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) grantees are using SIF to successfully implement their grant applications - some States are using it for one function (i.e. Student ID generation) while others are using it for their entire student management and reporting.



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


Starting a SIF Implementation can seem a little daunting...

... but there are several things available to help you, including the rest of the Access 4 Learning Community! With their help - many of whom have been where you are now - we have developed several tools which will help you get started.

To understand more about the SIF Specification CLICK HERE.


Implementation Readiness & Planning (End Users)

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Ecosystem Empowerment Guide PDF (1.26 MB) Administration 10/22/2019
Unity - Marketplace Providers Readiness Scoresheet PDF (138.4 KB) Administration 6/21/2019
Questions for your Integrators PDF (155.95 KB) Administration 6/20/2019
SIF Planning Questions PDF (85.47 KB) Administration 6/18/2020
SIF RFP Language PDF (198.45 KB) Administration 8/29/2019
IEP RFP Language PDF (163.13 KB) Administration 2/2/2018
SIF Implementation Planning Toolkit US.pdf PDF (1.24 MB) Administration 1/11/2017
Readiness Assessment Survey 2014.pdf PDF (435.07 KB) Administration 1/11/2017
Protecting YOUR Data Investments.pdf PDF (293.01 KB) Administration 1/11/2017
SIF Implementation Tools PDF (122.43 KB) Administration 6/3/2019
A4L Requirements Scoresheet - Introduction PDF (178.22 KB) Administration 6/20/2019
Access 4 Learning - End User Decision Tree - N.pdf PDF (1.04 MB) Administration 1/11/2017
Access 4 Learning Toolkit.pdf PDF (1.02 MB) Administration 1/11/2017
SIF Implementation Planning Toolkit UK PDF (1.13 MB) Administration 2/20/2017
SIF Implementation Planning Questions_UK.doc DOC (95 KB) Administration 2/20/2017
ITT - sample questions v1 3.doc DOC (159 KB) Administration 2/20/2017
  • SIF Association (dba Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community)

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

  • Phone: +1.202.621.0547