Employers and landlords are now equipped with a fresh set of rules from the UK government on how to effectively utilise certified digital identity service providers (IDSPs) when confirming people’s identities. These updated rules are part of the Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF), a key initiative of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

From 6 April 2022, the mandate for employers is clear – certified IDSPs must be used for criminal record checks. But when it comes to the verification of someone’s right to work (RTW) or rent (RTR), the rules are a little more flexible. Employers and landlords have the liberty to use either an IDSP or do it the traditional way, manually.

However, the landscape changed when the pandemic measures were lifted on 1 October 2022. This brought an end to checks over video calls or scanned documents. If employers choose to go down the path of not using an IDSP, they are now required to check the RTW paperwork face-to-face.

But here’s a silver lining for job seekers from outside the UK and Ireland. If they hold a biometric residence permit, a biometric residence card, a frontier worker permit, or an e-visa, they can still provide a “share code” to employers. This code enables the employers to check their right-to-work status online, making the process much smoother and less time-consuming.

The updated guidelines also illuminate the pathway for IDSPs to obtain their certification. They are required to adhere to the trust framework that was updated in January 2023. They can opt to get certified for the RTW and RTR schemes, the DBS scheme, or decide to pursue both. After selecting their route, they’ll be put to the test with desk reviews and on-site audits. If they successfully meet the stringent requirements, the DCMS will publicly display their name, contact information, and their shiny new certification status.

Rudi Kesic, the CEO at DynamicID, a prominent player in the IDSP sector, shared his thoughts on the updates. “We’re excited about the evolution of these guidelines,” he said. “Our industry is advancing rapidly, and these changes not only acknowledge that but actively support it. For us at DynamicID, it’s about ensuring the most secure and user-friendly experience for both employers and potential employees. And with the UK government reinforcing these new digital standards, we believe we’re heading in the right direction.”