Standards of Age Verification

Age verification can be carried out in a wide variety of ways, each offering a different level of confidence (or “assurance” as it is technically termed).

Standards allow for these levels of assurance to be discussed, designed, delivered and required by regulators or laws, all using a common understanding and language so there is less confusion about what is intended.

BSI PAS 1296:2018

  • The current de-facto global standard for age verification
  • Defines “levels of assurance” based on a  “vectors of trust”
  • Can be conveniently referred to in regulations to guarantee that age verification is delivered to the required standard

ISO  – Coming soon…

The AVPA is working with BSI, with the support of the UK Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to sponsor a new international standard through the ISO process.

A working draft will be ready by the end of 2021

A three part international standard

  • Age Assurance Systems –Part 1: Framework, Levels of Assurance and Privacy Protection
  • Age Assurance Systems –Part 2: Conformity Assessment
  • Age Assurance Systems –Part 3: Interoperability 



Is the age determined by the verification process exact, or is it an estimation?  If it is an estimate, how wide is the margin for error?


Does the proof of age belong to the person who is claiming it?


How recently was the age verified?  You may think – “but people don’t get any younger” – but outdated checks may have been conducted when technology was less accurate.


Different sources of evidence offer varying levels of reliability – a passport may be close to 100% reliable (if it has been authenticated) while a students union card may offer less confidence.