One of the main IT projects which is currently being pushed through by the government is the One Login digital identity service, and it has recently been announced that the DBS will be the first organisation to trial the new system.
The idea behind One Login is that it allows the “cross-checking” of identity details from other similar government portals. If you already hold a passport, then the information you have provided for your passport application can be used to verify your identity for a DBS check and vice versa. The system is designed to make things quicker and easier for individuals and cut down on administration costs for employers. DBS was initially supposed to be using the One Login system in April 2022, and the reasons for the delays are unknown.
One of the key concepts in the One Login system is confidence levels. This will tell users what level of confidence they need for a specific process. A low level of proof into identity might be required to check your entitlement to a pension contribution for example, but for enhanced DBS checks or advanced vetting for the security services, a much higher level of assurance will be required. Depending on the documents someone has provided and the other services they have accessed through the portal, their assurance level may increase or decrease.
Initially, the app system is only available to people who have already signed up for HMRC services such as tax self-assessment through the Government Gateway, but plans are already in place to extend it to everyone who signs up for One Login. The app will work by using smartphone cameras and the user’s biometric information. This is then compared with images already held on file for passports and driving licence, in the same way as some phones can be unlocked by looking at them.
People who do not have photographic identity documents or access to a smartphone will have other methods to prove their identity by using a face-to-face system. Planning in already underway with the Post Office to provide a vouching service, and to set up a way of using questions which only the individual concerned will know the answers to.
DBS Checks and Identity
Verifying identity is a key step in the DBS checking process, in order to make sure that the details on the form apply to the person who is making the application. Traditionally, this has been done using hard copies of documents and a visual inspection by the employer. Moving the process online is far less time-consuming and allows checks to be done remotely rather than applicants having to attend offices in person. Although there are bound to be teething issues with any new computer system, it seems certain that the move away from paper forms and hard copies of documents is a thing of the past, which should be good news for all employers and workers in sectors where DBS checks are required.