Public Sector Profile of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Version 1.2 and Next Steps

The Public Sector Profile of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Working Group Close-Out Report

Public Sector Profile of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Version 1.2

Objective of the PSP PCTF Working Group (PSP PCTF WG)

The primary objective of the PSP PCTF WG had been the development of the Public Sector Profile of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PSP PCTF). This has been achieved by contributing and reviewing content, attaining the consensus of the public sector jurisdictions, and monitoring related developments that might impact the development of the PSP PCTF.

  • Consultation and engagement with multi-jurisdictional and international fora.


At its dissolution, the PSP PCTF WG had 111 confirmed members on its distribution list consisting of representatives from all jurisdictions and various municipalities across Canada, as well as international participants from the Digital Nations. The working group normally met on a weekly call that averaged 20 to 30 participants.


PSP PCTF Deliverables

  • July 2019: The Public Sector Profile of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Version 1.0 — Consolidated Overview document;
  • June 2020: The Public Sector Profile of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework Version 1.1 — Consolidated Overview document; and
  • For each of these versions of the PSP PCTF, a companion PSP PCTF Assessment Worksheet consisting of approximately 400 conformance criteria.

PSP PCTF Assessments

The PSP PCTF was used in the following assessments conducted by the federal government to accept trusted digital identities from the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia:

Joint Council Briefings

The PSP PCTF is the result of a long-term and deep collective experience of the public sector. Efforts on the PSP PCTF began in late 2014 and have been reported regularly to the Joint Councils by the Identity Management Sub-Committee (IMSC) Working Group and its successor, the PSP PCTF Working Group. The following is the list of updates that are on record and are available for reference in the joint-councils-update folder (GitHub link):

  • October 2017 — Joint Councils Update;
  • February 2018 — Joint Councils Update;
  • September 2018 — Joint Councils Update; Whitehorse Declaration and MADI Update;
  • February 2019 — Joint Councils Update; and
  • February 2020 — Joint Councils Update.

Related Deliverables

In addition to the PSP PCTF itself, the following related deliverables should be noted:

  • IMSC Public Policy Paper — recommendations for a Pan-Canadian policy position on the question of roles and responsibilities of the public and private sector in digital identity (GitHub link); and
  • Many historical deliverables that are too numerous to list in this report. A Public Historical Archive of deliverables and briefings, many of which pre-date the efforts of the PSP PCTF are being compiled in a folder on a best-effort basis (GitHub link).


It also should be noted that content from the PSP PCTF Version 1.1 was incorporated into the National Standard of Canada, CAN/CIOSC 103–1, Digital Trust and Identity — Part 1: Fundamentals, developed by the CIO Strategy Council, and approved by the Standards Council of Canada (Website link).

PSP PCTF WG Work Plan 2020–2021

At the time of its dissolution, the work plan of the PSP PCTF WG was as follows:

  • A revised Normative Core (containing new concepts that were developed as a result of the credentials and relationships analysis work);
  • A revised Credential Model (based on the working group discussion document); and
  • An incorporated Relationship Model (based on work led by ISED).

PSP PCTF Thematic Issues

During the development of the PSP PCTF, the working group has identified several high-level thematic issues that must be addressed in order to advance the digital ecosystem.

Recommendations for Next Steps

  1. Continue the development of the PSP PCTF based on the thematic issues identified above. These thematic issues may be addressed as part of a working group, or through task groups, or practice groups.
  2. Continue the application of the PSP PCTF through the Assessment Process with the Provinces and Territories, with a view to incorporating learnings back into subsequent versions of the PSP PCTF, and, evolving the assessment process toward a standards-based process that has a formal certification scheme with accredited bodies and independent assessors.
  3. Support the changes in digital identity governance to ensure that the PSP PCTF is developed and used in the public interest and is aligned with other industry and international efforts.
  4. Establish as required, working groups, task groups, or practice groups for:
  5. Ongoing development and maintenance of the PSP PCTF and related assessment processes and certification schemes;
  6. Carrying out specific time-bound tasks or address issues. (e.g., addressing the thematic themes through discussion papers, analysis of other trust frameworks, etc.);
  7. Testing practical applications of the PSP PCTF standards and conformance criteria through assessments and use cases; and
  8. Sharing knowledge and lessons learned in relation to the application of the PSP PCTF and the assessment process.
  9. Facilitate broader engagement using the PSP PCTF, including:
  10. Engaging standards development organizations, domestic and international, to support the standards development and certification scheme development;
  11. Engaging international organizations having an interest in applying or adapting the PSP PCTF for their purposes;
  12. Collaborating with industry associations wishing to advance the aims of their membership, or their specific sector; and
  13. Encouraging dialogue with other governments, either bilaterally facilitated through the federal government, or multilaterally through established bodies (e.g., UNCITRAL, the Digital Nations).


At the time of its dissolution, the PSP PCTF WG was an important vehicle for ensuring public sector communication and discussion across Canada in order to cultivate a shared understanding of how identity and digital identity could be best developed for the country.



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Tim Bouma

Based in Ottawa. Does identity stuff. My tweets are my opinion but they can be yours too!