UK Overhauls Its digital identity certification guidelines for the RTW, RTR, and DBS Checks

    The UK government has updated its guidelines for digital identity certification for right-to-work, right-to-rent, and criminal record checks. This update, which encourages employers and landlords to leverage only authorised digital identity services providers (IDSPs), was rolled out on 8th November. Section 6 of the guideline details the list of certified IDSPs, to which two new providers have been added. 

    The digital identity guideline sets rules for IDSPs regarding conducting identity checks for RTW, RTR, and DBS schemes as per the UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF). DIATF is a compilation of statutes companies must adhere to in order to offer safe, reliable identity or attribute verifications.   

    IDSPs must meet the criteria detailed in the latest DIATF edition announced this January to get certified against the aforementioned RTW, RTR, and DBS schemes.

    According to the UK government, “The Right to Work, Right to Rent, and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) initiatives are part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)’s trust framework’s testing process.”

    The DBS—formerly known as CRB—check is a type of background check. It helps employers find out if employees have any criminal convictions or previous criminal records. It is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

    Earlier, the DBS checks were conducted by physically verifying the identity documents of the candidates. However, employers, landlords, and candidates couldn’t do so during the pandemic. To facilitate them during the lockdown, DBS checks were permitted to be conducted via video call. Since the termination of this temporary free support service on 11th May this year, the government has mandated the implementation of digital ID verification technology for background checks. 

    From 6th April, the government has mandated landlords and employers to leverage certified IDSPs such as Yoti for DBS checks. However, the IDSPs are not obliged to carry out digital ID checks for RTW and RTR checks. The identity of the prospective employees or tenants for these two services can be verified manually.

    To become certified, IDSPs need to confirm the scheme against which they want to get certification—RTW and RTR, DBS, or both. The DCMS will conduct rigorous on-site audits and an assortment of desk assessments. These will be based on the scope of the preferred certification scheme. Only then will the certification request be approved. 

    “DCMS will review the outcome of the assessment process and, if all requirements have been met, the name, contact details, and certification status of the IDSP will be published,” according to the guidelines.

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