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New South Wales: Transforming Digital Identification

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The NSW Government is trialling a groundbreaking digital identification initiative by introducing the first verifiable credential to the state’s new Digital Wallet. In collaboration with St John Ambulance, this pilot programme allows first responders, employees, and members to access a Digital First Aid Certificate through the Service NSW app.

This Digital First Aid Certificate serves as a verifiable credential, enabling users to easily access and share their certification with employers and other organisations. This development is a significant step towards the broader implementation of the NSW Digital ID and Wallet, which aims to revolutionise digital transactions by offering a more convenient and secure way of sharing information.

The rollout of the NSW Digital ID and Wallet is supported by an AU$ 21.4 million investment allocated in the 2024-25 NSW Budget. During the trial, participants who complete a first aid or CPR course with St John Ambulance NSW will have their qualifications digitally transmitted to their Digital Wallet within the Service NSW mobile app.

This initiative marks the first instance of an Australian government trailing a verifiable credential. It follows the successful digital renewal option for the Working with Children Check (WWCC) introduced late last year. Over 21,200 people have renewed their WWCC digitally, saving approximately an hour per renewal by avoiding in-person processing.

Verifiable credentials are digital representations of physical credentials, allowing users to share only the necessary information for a transaction. This method enhances the security of personal information. For instance, a nurse with a digital-first aid qualification can securely share this specific credential with an employer while withholding other personal details typically found on a physical document.

Feedback from the trial will be utilised to refine the user experience and design of the Digital Wallet for future verifiable credential rollouts.

The Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government highlighted the significance of this development in a world that is increasingly digital. He emphasised that the NSW Government is committed to safeguarding personal information and making everyday transactions more convenient and secure through the new Digital ID and Wallet.

The Minister described the Digital ID and Wallet as transformative, providing a secure and accessible repository for important identification documents, ultimately saving users time. He underscored that the Digital First Aid Certificate is a crucial milestone supported by the Minns Labor Government’s AU$21.4 million investment for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Minister also pointed out that digital storage of identification and qualification documents ensures their safety in the event of disasters that might destroy physical copies. Additionally, reducing the oversharing of identity documents and credentials mitigates the risks associated with data breaches, as organisations will hold less personal information.

The CEO of St John Ambulance NSW expressed enthusiasm for the partnership with the NSW Government. He noted that St John Ambulance has been at the forefront of first aid training innovation for over 140 years and is excited to improve how people receive and manage their first aid certifications through digital means.

It was highlighted that a digital first aid certificate enhances the experience for both students and employers and supports the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector’s progress in the digital domain. He expressed pride in St John Ambulance being the first non-government organization to participate in this initiative.

The NSW Government’s trial of the Digital First Aid Certificate as a verifiable credential in the new Digital Wallet represents a significant advancement in digital identification. By simplifying the processes for storing and sharing digital identification documents, this initiative aims to benefit individuals across the state, including medical professionals, while enhancing security and convenience.


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