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Identity service

Over the last six months, PDP has continued to develop the requirements for the identity service, which will verify that users are who they say they are. While the identity service is part of the central digital architecture that will make pensions dashboards work, we will procure this as part of a separate process.

Analysing the existing evidence base

PDP issued a call for input on proposed standards and approaches for the identity service, which ran until April. We were pleased with the number of responses and found the nature of the submissions incredibly helpful in confirming or challenging our thinking to date.

We identified the following from the responses:

we need to provide further information on the architecture, and the identity service position within it, to promote wider understanding of this

we need to promote deeper understanding of the government’s Good Practice Guides to ensure informed feedback

some respondents called for a higher level of confidence in identity than that proposed by PDP, which the team will validate and assess within the alpha test period

liability and the role of the ICO are key for some providers in understanding their liability

To address the need for greater information and understanding, we have created an identity service information hub on our website.  The identity service hub is a resource that will provide ongoing updates on the identity service and the programme’s approach to its delivery.

UK digital identity and attributes trust framework

The UK government aims to make it quicker and easier for people to verify themselves using modern technology, with a process as trusted as using passports or bank statements. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is developing the UK digital identity and attributes trust framework, as part of this ambition.

The trust framework is a set of common rules, including legislation, standards and guidance that different organisations can agree to follow, to deliver one or more of their services. All organisations using the trust framework can describe digital identities and attributes they’ve created in a consistent way. This should make it easier for organisations and users to complete interactions and transactions or share information with other trust framework participants.

PDP considers this trust framework as pivotal to the creation of a cohesive and interoperable identity market for the UK.  As such, we would prefer our identity service to be supported by the governance and rules of the trust framework. 

What's next?

We expect the trust framework to be in place in 2023, which is too late for PDP’s testing phases. As a result, the programme is in the process of procuring a single identity provider as an interim measure, which will support our testing phases and help prove the functionality of the central technical architecture.  This procurement will lead to the award of a contract this winter, in line with our previous updates.

We will undertake the procurement under G-Cloud 12, through the Crown Commercial Service, with the aim to award a contract for two years, to start from January 2022. 
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