What is the UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework from the DCMS, for digital identity certification?


The UK Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework, from DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) is a set of rules for digital identities, announced and developed since 2021. It provides a framework that organisations must follow to conduct secure, trustworthy identity and/or attribute checks when onboarding staff.

The framework was developed by the DCMS, in conjunction with the Home Office, alongside a Home Office review of the availability and ability of specialist technology to support digital Right to Work checks in the UK. 

New right to work regulation, from October 1st, 2022

‘Adjusted’ right to work checks were originally introduced in March 2020 during the pandemic. Employers could verify that someone was eligible to work in the UK by checking their passport over a video call. However, from 1st October 2022, employers can no longer verify someone in this way.

There are now three ways of performing these right to work checks which are discussed in more detail in our blog on what hiring managers need to know for right to work checks

For the purpose of this blog, we discuss the digital route using the services of Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) that offer IDVT (Identification Document Validation Technology).

What are IDSPs?

The new framework enables employers to use IDVT for their right to work checks. Service providers that have digital identity solutions, have been invited to gain certification to carry out digital identity checks on behalf of businesses that are required to perform time-consuming right to work checks. These providers are known as IDSPs.

Using certified IDSPs, such as NorthRow, businesses can be assured they have access to processes that will reduce fraud and provide them with compliant procedures to avoid fines and increased threat of audits, whilst delivering improved efficiencies.   

IDSPs for identity checks

The legislation stops short of making it mandatory for organisations to use a certified IDSP. However, the Home Office strongly recommends that they do so, as this provides them with much stronger safeguards against risk. 

Certified IDSPs, including NorthRow, have all met the standards set out in the trust framework’s scheme guidance meaning employers can be confident that employee identities and eligibility have been assured, using consistent and secure methods.

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