Important questions to ask when choosing an Identity Service Provider

Before choosing an Identity Service Provider, make sure to consider these key 10 questions.

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From the 1st of October 2022, the UK government introduced changes to how organisations carry out identity verification checks. Covid-adjusted checking over a video call is no longer part of official guidance. Employees like yourself are encouraged to fully adopt digital checking – and start working with certified Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to conduct these digital checks securely. Alternatively, you will have to revert back to time-consuming and unsecured face-to-face checking. 

Since the change, organisations have been rushing to engage with certified IDSPs in order to meet the new government guidance. But with new providers getting certified each day, how do you pick one that is right for your organisation? What does a good IDSP even look like?

These questions can be overwhelming. We realise it may be difficult to filter through the many solutions available on the market. To help, we have compiled a list of key questions for your consideration, so that you can be fully aware of specific IDSPs strengths and weaknesses and avoid falling into pitfalls.

1. Is the IDSP fully certified under the Trust Framework?

Your first step when choosing an IDSP is to make sure they have gone through the Home Office approved accreditation process and have achieved full certification.

All IDSPs that want to offer digital checks have to go through a rigorous assessment of their technology, processes and security before they are certified with a trust mark. If they have passed, that means they meet the official requirements and you can trust them to be safe with secure internal processes.

If you do not choose a certified IDSP, you will not be able to conduct digital checks and you will have to go back to meeting candidates face to face only.

The Amiqus way: Amiqus is a fully certified IDSP under the Trust Framework. We have achieved official certification for both right to work and DBS checks and now carry the official trust mark.

2. Is the IDSP up to date with the regulations laid down by the regulatory bodies?

Before you commit to an IDSP, you should feel fully confident that they are aligned with the latest regulation and guidance.

Make sure the IDSP you choose is one that works and consults with a variety of regulatory bodies to ensure they meet all standards and rules on an ongoing basis. This will mean less hassle for you to stay on top of ever-changing regulation.

The Amiqus way: At Amiqus, we place a high value on staying up to date with new guidance and working hand in hand with regulators, so that our technology continues to meet the industry standards as they evolve.

We have long-standing relationships and/or support regulatory bodies including DBS, Law Society of Scotland, ICAS, Onfido and the REC.

3. Does the chosen IDSP offer the full range of pre-employment checks?

Some IDSPs will specialise in one type of check or are certified to provide only part of the required pre-employment process. Some providers may only offer right to work checks but not DBS.

To streamline your internal processes, it is optimal for you to find a provider that is accredited for all Trust Framework schemes that apply to you – in the case of recruiters, that means right to work and DBS.

By choosing a provider that is certified for all the required checks, you will gain the advantage of a simpler and more efficient onboarding process. You will not have to work with multiple providers in tandem – instead only implementing a single solution, once. 

The Amiqus way:  Amiqus is accredited for both right to work and DBS checks. Through our system, you can run the full pre-employment process for your candidates. Amiqus software connects directly to DBS and as a Registered Body enables you to manage this process without the delays caused by relying on third parties. This results in a faster average turnaround time compared to most other providers, and a much better candidate experience.

4. In addition to right to work and DBS checks, does the IDSP streamline your end-to-end candidate onboarding process?

It is important to look at what else your chosen IDSP offers, aside from just the basic pre-employment checks. You need to determine what their unique positioning is.

Ask your IDSP what their specific process looks like from a client’s perspective. When you conduct your checks through them what is the process like? Does it seem complex or simple?

Are there other things you need to do alongside conducting checks, such as sending your candidates customised forms or information like share codes? Do you need to store candidate data and wish to do so securely? Some providers may offer additional functionality as part of their service, saving you valuable time and effort and offering you peace of mind that personal data is handled securely.

The Amiqus way:  Amiqus puts everything you need for a successful onboarding workflow into one place, for your convenience. Our software eliminates the need to work with multiple providers by offering the full suite of pre-employment checks in one place. Amiqus users benefit from additional functionality including secure document transfer, sending custom forms, gathering employment history and immigration status verification. 

 5. Is the IDSP cost-effective and does it provide contract-free and flexible usability?

Different IDSPs will use different pricing and can even offer packages, prepaid bundles or credits that expire after a certain period of time. It is important for your organisation to go through some cost calculations based on how many checks you think you may need to conduct each month.

Different providers may position their prices in different ways. Some may split up the cost for specific checks into smaller chunks, making their initial price seem cheaper. Make sure you look into what exactly you are getting for that price and don’t compare the prices at face value. 

An important thing to consider when choosing an IDSP is whether they offer everything you need for the price they advertise, or will there be additional fees for additional features? 

Finally, if you are working for a large organisation and you need to process a high volume of checks, it is crucial to consider whether your IDSP is able to offer a scalable solution. Look out for proof points and customer success stories that indicate that the IDSP under consideration has experience working with organisations at scale.

The Amiqus way: At Amiqus, we are transparent about our prices. We are proven to deliver solutions at scale, and have done so previously, with clients such as  the NHS and the Scottish government. Our credits can be purchased on a need-by basis or as monthly top ups, and they never expire – in fact, we only charge you for each successfully completed check. Our contract works on a rolling basis which means you can trial Amiqus without any long term commitment

6. Does the IDSP allow you to gather share codes and carry out right to work checks on non-UK nationals?

The UK right to work checks for candidates who do not possess a British or Irish passport can be conducted by verifying their documents manually in-person, or by checking their immigration status via the Home Office online service. Your chosen IDSP should make the process of proving their right to work easier for all candidates, regardless of their nationality.

The Amiqus way: If you need to conduct a Home Office online right to work check, which involves the candidate submitting a share code to the employer, you can use Amiqus to collect the right to work share code securely and check it against the Home Office online service.

7. Does the IDSP integrate with your existing software? 

If you have a case management software in place, you would want an IDSP that seamlessly links with your software, to maintain data consistency and avoid duplication of work. Essentially, the new system should be able to talk to your existing system.

The Amiqus way: The Amiqus API allows you to integrate our software into your current system, with minimal developer time needed. This means you can create new Amiqus requests and send them to clients through your own case management software. Technical support is also provided to your IT team to set up, integrate and use the Amiqus API effectively.

8. Does the IDSP still do certain things manually? 

When choosing an IDSP you want to ensure that their whole process is fully digitised and secure. Some providers offer hybrid solutions which might introduce human error risk and none of the supposed flexibility. This also lengthens the checking time and consequently, the onboarding time for your candidate. Look out for providers that claim to offer a combination of digital checks and human experts.

The Amiqus way: At Amiqus, we prioritise your security and onboarding time so you can offer a secure and speedy onboarding experience to your candidates. Our process is fully digitalised, removing the potential of human error risk and enabling you to conduct checks in minutes, through our digital platform.

9. Does the IDSP offer both App and non-app routes for your candidates?

It is beneficial to work with an IDSP that allows you to cater to all your candidates, be inclusive and deliver a great customer experience. You will meet a variety of candidates – some may have accessibility needs or may not be as technologically capable. To enable them to access the checks in any way they are comfortable with, and through any device they have available, your IDSP should offer both app and web-based platforms to accommodate this variety of usage.  

The Amiqus way: Amiqus offers full flexibility when it comes to checking identity documentation for right to work and other types of verifying. Checks can be completed through the Amiqus app which allows photographing and scanning a biometric passport, and also through a non app web-enabled route. If the candidate cannot use the app for any reason, we offer a fall back route which removes unnecessary admin on your side and offers ease of use to your candidate.

10. Does the IDSP offer regular training and ongoing technical support?

What happens if you need support with conducting a check or your client has a technical issue? You don’t want any snags that could lengthen the onboarding time or cause a headache for your candidate.

This is why it is vital that your IDSP has a fully-trained technical support team. They should offer training for your organisation, prompt support to your candidates and a query-answering solution.

Finally, consider whether they have the capacity within their team to fully support all their clients, including yourself? 

The Amiqus way: At Amiqus, we have a dedicated team to help you with support queries, as well as our comprehensive support centre with self-help and training materials. We also offer real-time human support (as opposed to an automated service) to your clients. This ensures that any issues they may face in the process are managed as part of the Amiqus services, allowing you to focus on other priorities.