Introducing Data Standards United – A Global Standards Collaborative

Washington, DC, 9 June, 2021 — A new collaborative Data Standards United (DSU) has recently formed, led by some of the most prominent open data standards communities. With a vision of “collaboration and alignment of standards to support the global education and workforce digital ecosystem”.  DSU is not a new organization, but a voluntary collaborative of some of the world’s most widely used data standards from education to workplace,  engineering to health professions, all for lifelong learning.

“With data standards in use across many sectors and markets, coordinating and aligning them has been needed especially with the explosion of them in the past 20 years”, states Larry Fruth II, PhD, A4L’s Executive Director/CEO and DSU Chair. “DSU is focused on sharing success and promoting partnerships between these groups to support seamless, lifelong learning, provide a forum for emerging technologies, promote existing standards-based solutions and ideally foster an understanding of each community’s role across education, employment and training sectors.”

Early DSU “Signatory Members”, those communities openly developing consensus standards, include:

• Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community,

• Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI),


• HR Open Standards Consortium,

• IMS Global Learning Consortium,

• MedBiquitous and

• Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC).

DSU “Affiliate Members”, organizations impacted by the development and usage of openly developed data standards and much needed in this marketplace collaborative, include:

• Common Education Data Standards (CEDS),

• Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative,

• Credential Engine,

• IEEE’s Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC)

Together, DSU establishes common ground mechanisms to coordinate and align disparate global data standards while respecting each organization’s independence across systems, platforms, networks, sectors, and industries.

“The current paradigm of many data standards being developed and supported independently from one another is an ongoing challenge for marketplace providers and end users.  With a learner-centric focus and attention to user communities, the DSU collaborative looks to improve and simplify digital interoperability for all stakeholders across lifelong learning and employment.” states Michael D. Sessa, PESC President & CEO.  “As an example of the benefits of DSU, all communities would benefit with a more coordinated, informed tactical approach to JSON and JSON-LD.”

To access the Data Standards United Charter and Signatory Member information visit:

SLIDE DECK:  Data Standards United for Lifelong Learning and Employment 

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