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GOV.UK Verify

Creating test environments with the private sector

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There are three ways, broadly speaking, that private sector organisations might work with Verify. The first is as a certified company - and this is so far how Verify has worked with the private sector: companies are certified to verify people’s identities to government. The second might be as a service that relies on Verify - companies providing a service, whose users need to verify their identity. The third possibility is a private sector organisation building its own version of Verify, but using Verify’s standards.

A number of private sector organisations have asked us for a way to explore and test Verify, to understand in more detail how it could work for them. To address this we are working with organisations interested in building test environments that simulate how they might connect to certified companies. These environments will enable these organisations to understand some of the implications of a private sector Verify framework, including the requirements involved in connecting to Verify and the path to live operations.

Ultimately we expect the private sector to build their own hub services that work a lot like Verify, with their own relationships to certified companies. There are currently several comparable examples in other countries such as SecureKey Concierge in Canada, EHerrkenning in the Netherlands and the BankID systems in Sweden and Norway.

This paper describes how Verify test environments could work, sets out the standards expected, and shows how organisations can demonstrate they have met them. We’ll be working on the process by which private sector organisations can come together to start testing over the next few weeks. We’ll provide updates on this process as we learn.

During this testing period, participating organisations will be able to self-certify that they comply with Verify’s standards. At this stage of testing, our aim is to understand how well the standards for GOV.UK Verify could apply in the private sector, rather than scrutinise the adoption of the standards themselves.

Private sector organisations that self-certify against the Verify standards will be listed on this page.

If you’re an organisation in the private sector interested in starting to test Verify, you can get an overview of the process we’d like you to follow here. If you’d like to know more about what we are doing, or if you have any questions then please email us.

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