Skip to main content
GOV.UK Verify

How certified companies verify your identity

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: How GOV.UK Verify works, Standards and certification

Today we've published a guide on GOV.UK that explains in more detail what checks identity providers must perform to meet the published standards.

When you use GOV.UK Verify to access a government service, you will be asked to choose a certified company. The certified company (also known as an 'identity provider') will verify your identity to a defined level of assurance to meet published government standards. They will ask you to give them some information and carry out some checks to allow them to verify that it's really you.

Any information stored by the identity provider has to be stored securely and handled in accordance with data protection law. They are not allowed to use data you provide for any other purpose without your informed consent.

We hope this guide will help people understand how GOV.UK Verify works. We'll welcome any comments about how we can improve it to make it clearer and more informative.


Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by simonfj posted on

    That's very good Janet. Thanks.

    Could you confirm one thing for me. I was reading

    Can you confirm that Local authorities are not "excluded from the next procurement round for government information assurance services".

    • Replies to simonfj>

      Comment by Janet Hughes posted on

      Hi Simon,

      Thanks for commenting and for your question.

      We're working on the details of our next round of procurement now and will announce more in the coming few weeks.

      We want GOV.UK Verify to be available for local authorities to use. We've built the service to make that possible and we've supported alpha projects with local government services through the Open Identity Exchange - see for information about them.

      However, we haven’t yet developed the model for how GOV.UK Verify would be used by local authorities; we're prioritising central government services in the first instance and will start working on this as we move into next year.

  2. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Thanks Janet,

    I have to say, this has been the most interesting journey so far.
    Those projects with the OIXUK have been fascinating. (Yes my friends do say I should get a life 🙂

    Just want to give you the heads up about the local councils now, as there are a bunch of conversations going on about lots of "tails wagging the dog". If there is any chance you could stream that next meeting, and maybe offer a place where people could ask questions, it might help bring the central/local discussion about this IDA issue to one point (without distracting your top-down approach). Many thanks.

    • Replies to simonfj>

      Comment by Janet Hughes posted on

      Simon thanks very much for the heads up - I would very much agree with you on how interesting this has been and still is!

      I'm really happy to talk to people and answer questions, either here through comments on the blog, or at a meeting if there's one scheduled that I can come along to.

      I wouldn't say our approach is top down, we have just been focusing on setting up a service that works and then building out from there. We've been sure to work with local authorities on pilot projects through OIX to help us make sure we're building in a way that can be applied more widely, albeit not immediately.

      • Replies to Janet Hughes>

        Comment by simonfj posted on

        Thanks Janet,

        Please never think I'm being critical of you and the team by saying you've taken a top-down approach. You have have a very tight timetable to stick to I know.

        Those projects with Rob and Ian are just terrific. But we're still in the "central" vs. "local" gov frame of mind. All I meant was that eventually, as we come to terms with building (shared services on) a platform rather than a (UK.GOV or other) website, we'll start to get a focus on prioritizing individual needs. i.e. a "place" to come from.

        That's why always point to this graphic. The IDA question is Stage 1. But we could never start there. We had to start by getting the Gov.UK framework/website up (at Stage 3).

        This is one thread in the OPM Linkedin group. which touches on the IDA.
        If you want to get the word out at a level, you're always welcome here.
        All the best.

        • Replies to simonfj>

          Comment by Janet Hughes posted on

          Thanks Simon, all that info and links are very useful and much appreciated.