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GOV.UK Verify

Identity assurance for local authority and private sector services

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Industry and market engagement, Policy

We’ve had a few questions on the blog and elsewhere about how GOV.UK Verify might be developed in the future for users of services in the wider public sector and in the private sector.

At this stage, we're prioritising building and scaling a service that works for users of central government services. We’re working hard to make it easier and quicker for people to prove their identity digitally when using digital government services.

But now that we’re in public beta we’re also starting to turn our minds to what the wider market for identity services might look like in the future and the commercial, legal and operational policies that might be needed to help make that happen.

GOV.UK Verify operates according to published standards. We designed the standards to make them usable for services in any sector and in any countries. We work with industry through the Open Identity Exchange ( to explore possible applications of the service in the private sector and in local public services. Some of the projects OIX members are working on are listed on the OIX website, at

We’ll be carrying on our work with partners in the private sector and the wider public sector so we can fully understand their needs and issues, and you can expect to hear more from us about this as we move into next year.

In the meantime we’d recommend that any organisation that’s interested in the wider application of identity assurance should get involved in OIX - there is a lot of interesting work happening there that will pave the way for the future of identity assurance services in the public and private sectors.

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  1. Comment by Geoff Bawn posted on

    I work in the public sector and one of our services is to provide grants to students on NHS courses. We need to verify their identity and at the moment they send us their original driving licence or passport. We would love to get involved with the Government's Identity Assurance program so we could verify the student electronically.
    What is the best way to get involved as a solution maybe to have direct access to the Identity provider

    • Replies to Geoff Bawn>

      Comment by Janet Hughes posted on

      Hi Geoff. The best way to get involved at this point if you're outside central government is to go along to the regular meetings of OIX, if you can, or at least become a member and keep up to date with their work.

    • Replies to Geoff Bawn>

      Comment by Graham Sadd posted on

      Dear Geoff Bawn
      PAOGA has participated in the Cabinet Office IDAP program and OIX for some years.
      We are currently working on pilots with 2 Universities to provide students with secure Personal Clouds in which the student/applicant Identity and documents, including Passport, Visa, Work Permit can be verified and authenticated (with a track back to the verifiying authority) and then shared with relying parties such as future employers such as the NHS. This cloud will also grow with certified copies of Academic and Professional qualifications as they are achieved and the users CV.
      The benefit to the University is reduced cost, time and DPA compliance risks.
      We would be delighted to discuss this with you to ensure that we meet your requirements.

  2. Comment by Georg Mueller-Koegler posted on

    Hi all,
    I am sure that this will be a great and useful service to use, and I understand that initially the focus is on central government services - but when will this become available for other (smaller) government-affiliated organisations, and their services that they want to build and provide to the public? If an organisation wants to build a new service and provide that to the public - and the service owners express e.g. a need for two-factor authentication, will GOV.UK Verify be an option to use, if the service wants to start a private beta in summer 2015?

    • Replies to Georg Mueller-Koegler>

      Comment by Rebecca Hales posted on

      Hi Georg, thanks for your comment.

      At this stage we're prioritising building a scaling a service that works for users of central government services before we look at extending its use to the wider public sector. Expanding the service in this way won't happen by summer 2015.

  3. Comment by Darcy Ogston posted on

    Hi, I represent a private company that would be interested to get involved with GOV.UK Verify. How is best to contact you?

  4. Comment by Mark Midwinter posted on

    Verifying ID on-line is of course important but I can no longer sign-on to my HMRC account even though I have a valid account, password & six digit mobile phone number. I live in Sydney as a dual national & this ludicrous BETA facility actually cost me late filing fines because I cannot access my account. Getting help borders on the impossible.

    • Replies to Mark Midwinter>

      Comment by Emily Ch'ng posted on

      Hi Mark,

      I am sorry that you experienced issues logging into your HMRC account.

      I am afraid that at this stage, GOV.UK Verify does not work for people with overseas addresses as the database is not available to us for the certified companies to check against.

      There will continue to be other ways for people to access services if we’re not able to verify your identity through GOV.UK Verify.

      Overseas residents with non-UK addresses may still be able to sign up and enrol for HMRC Online services. When you enrol you'll have to enter specific HMRC reference information that identifies you. You won't have to enter a UK postcode, unless you are registering (signing up) as a Corporation Tax agent or a PAYE employer.

      Once you've enrolled to use the online service you will have to wait for a confirmation letter containing an Activation Code before you can use the service. This can take up to 21 days to reach you.

      Please copy and paste the below link into your browser to start the registration process