For a long time what was on offer to advice people was restricted to joining divinely inspired or powerful collectives. In the last couple of centuries the emphasis has shifted towards being informed about the environment in which actions take place, irrespective of whether these are good or bad. Further shifts in how action is informed now emphasise the use of interfaces. The aim of this work is to find the point where a suitable referent or validation criterion would be available. In the report it is argued, theoretically and empirically, that this point is characterised by the notion of an internally structured and stable collective performing a collective task. This notion distinguishes members’ activities inside a collective that inform each other as well as contribute to the maintenance of the collective, from collective actions. Knowledge resulting from the use of this notion refers to what makes the collective survive in some environment, and includes knowledge that helps distinguish between (good) actions that contribute to the collective performing its task, and bad ones.