IFTS verification process

Once the chief executive of the organisation has made his or her statement of commitment, we carry out a verification to satisfy ourselves that the administrative processes to support the commitment are in place and being followed. We follow a standard methodology with set criteria for assessing the organisation.


The process starts with briefings where we aim to find out more about the public body and it can find out more about IFTS. Supporting documentation for the commitment is requested and reviewed.


We then visit the public sector body and carry out activities on site to satisfy ourselves that the organisation can meet its commitment. Activities include:

  • interviews with staff
  • a review of licensing files

Off site activities

We also carry out:

  • a review of the public sector body’s website
  • a review of standard licence terms and conditions


Our findings are then presented in a report to the chief executive. At this stage we decide whether to accredit an applicant to the scheme. This report describes areas of the business where compliance is adequate or high, and also recommended improvements.

If the commitment cannot be verified because of significant shortfalls in the organisation’s processes or policies, the organisation will be advised to work through the recommendations and to reapply for accreditation.

If the body is a Crown body, The National Archives will consider whether the body should be allowed to continue to license Crown copyright information. It may decide that HMSO Licensing should facilitate that licensing instead, or may decide it is in the interests of customers to agree a plan with the chief executive to improve the Crown body’s administrative arrangements.


Re-verification of IFTS members take place every few years to ensure that standards continue to be met. If it is no longer possible to accredit the IFTS member, then their accreditation will be withdrawn and the body will be advised to work through the recommendations and reapply for accreditation.

Review of the verification process

Review of the first four verifications (PDF, 0.12Mb)