The Home Office and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) are working with DCMS as it develops proposals for new legislation to establish a UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework. This framework will set out the rules and standards for organisations to follow in order to carry out secure, trustworthy, and consistent digital identity checks.
The trust framework was initially launched in February 2021 as an early prototype (alpha). It has since undergone two rounds of public consultation, to be thoroughly tested with services, industries, organisations and released to potential users. The framework continues to be developed and the next stage (beta version) will begin in early 2022, ahead of being formalised in legislation.
Following the positive feedback received about the ability to conduct right to work and right to rent checks remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Home Office initiated a review of the availability of specialist technology to support a system of digital checks in the future.
This review has now concluded, and this update sets out the key outcomes.
The Home Office recognises the benefits the adjusted checking process has brought and are mindful of the shift towards increased hybrid and remote working models.
As a result, the Home Office will enable employers and landlords to use certified Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) service providers to carry out digital identity checks on their behalf for many who are not in scope to use the Home Office online services, including British and Irish citizens. The relevant changes to legislation will take effect from 6 April 2022.
This development will align with DBS’ proposal to enable digital identity checking within their pre-employment checking process, through the introduction of its Identity Trust Scheme.
For employers, the introduction of digital identity checking into the Schemes will mean they can assure prospective employees’ identities, using consistent and more secure methods, reducing risk and allowing them to recruit in a safer way.