Digital health credentials The citizen at the centre A pragmatic approach

Safely reopening Canada’s economy with a digital health credential that empowers the individual

Digital identity credentials can offer huge advantages for Canadian citizens and the public-sector institutions that serve them

Provincial COVID-19 immunization programs gave rise to differing vaccination receipts from several sources such as labs, pharmacies, and doctors’ offices.

Each had its own look and—in the absence of a reliable way to verify a receipt had been issued by a trusted authority—created challenges for use across Canada’s provinces and territories and internationally.

The federal government faced an urgent need to ensure access to vital public services and international travel for Canada’s more than 38 million citizens, regardless of their home region.

Deloitte was engaged to advise on and implement a proof of vaccination system that aligned on a pan-Canadian standard, critical elements for Canadian use, and an open-source code framework.

Success meant respecting all the diverse stakeholders’ unique outlooks and requirements.

The key to our delivery success was a pragmatic approach to core choices and keeping the Canadian citizen at the centre of how a digital health credential would be adopted and used.

A pragmatic approach to speed. With such a tight delivery time frame, we got tactical—pinpointing the use cases that mattered, choosing speed over perfection, and embracing innovation and iteration.

A pragmatic approach to technology. Trusted digital identity requires a trust framework, which involves more than just technology. That meant figuring out the business, policies, governance, and operating model first. With that trust framework in place, we prioritized technology solutions that were open and interoperable.

A pragmatic approach to relationship management and stakeholder engagement. We identified the support needs of all the provinces and territories, public departments, and agencies, and built strong relationships to support progress.

Creating a unified experience for verifying and sharing essential health credentials across Canada’s 13 provinces and territories paves the way for other social programs to reap the benefits of digital ID systems.

Working closely with stakeholders, Deloitte’s multidisciplinary team was able to:

  • create a thoughtful engagement plan that built trust and won the support of Canada's regions for a standardized health credential
  • develop end-to-end architecture and data standards for credential issuance
  • manage and deliver a complex and vital public-sector project within a challenging time frame

Today, many organizations are undergoing online and digital transformations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of these transformations, many stakeholders need to implement digital solutions that certify, communicate, and authenticate identities and other data while increasing privacy and putting power in the hands of the individual.

Canada can capitalize on the lessons learned and the trust built from this digital credential.

Key Contacts

Sime Pavlovic

Government & Public Sector Trusted Digital Identity Leader

Giselle D'Paiva

Government & Public Sector Trusted Digital Identity Leader

Suzanne Robert

Partner, Trusted Digital Identity Solution Design Leader