» Accreditation for Certification of Identity Providers – Call for Expressions of Interest

24 November, 2014

At the request of the Cabinet Office, Government Digital Services, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service is proposing to establish a project to develop accreditation for the certification of Identity Providers (IDPs). UKAS intends to run a pilot accreditation programme and is inviting expressions of interest from organisations that may wish to seek accreditation for the certification of IDPs.

The Cabinet Office is currently developing standards to support the need for citizens to have proof of identity when applying for Government services such as passports, driving licences, benefits etc. The proof of identity will be awarded by an approved organisation (an Identity Provider) and the Cabinet Office wishes to expand the number of IDPs available to citizens. It is intended that, to operate as a Government recognised IDP, organisations will need to be certified by an accredited body against the standards being prepared.

Participants in the pilot assessment programme will be required to agree to the terms of reference of the pilot, still to be prepared, and will be subject to assessment by UKAS against the international standard ISO/IEC 17065: 2012 (Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services) and the standards being developed by the Cabinet Office. On satisfactory completion of assessment by UKAS and on completion of the pilot assessment programme, the applicants will be accredited to ISO/IEC 17065 for the certification of IDPs.

The pilot programme will consist of the following key stages:

• Expressions of interest from potential applicants
• Consultation meeting with those who expressed interest to participate in the pilot, other key stakeholders and other interested parties to discuss the objectives and terms of reference of the pilot project and the draft Cabinet Office standards
• Publication of Cabinet Office standards
• Applications
• for accreditation
• Planning and assessment of pilot applicants
• Announcement of accreditation
• Review/lessons learned discussion with stakeholders

Organisations wishing to express an interest to participate in the pilot programme are requested to contact the UKAS Development Coordinator alison.severn@ukas.com and provide their contact details, no later than 15 December 2014. UKAS will supply copies of the draft Cabinet Office standards on request to those organisations expressing an interest in this pilot programme, and comments on the drafts (eg on their suitability to provide a basis for certification) will be welcome.

It should be noted that an expression of interest does not indicate any commitment to participate in the project on the part of the interested parties and nor does the acceptance of an expression of interest commit UKAS to accept the interest party on to the pilot project. A decision on participation will be made once applications have been received.