UK Access Management Federation

Two step authentication: a person holds a mobile phone in front of a lap while putting in their login details.

A single solution trust framework used by institutions across the UK to safely and securely access online resources and services.

The UK Access Management Federation (UKAMF) provides a single solution to accessing online resources and services for education and research institutions. It's endorsed by Jisc as the gold standard for access management.

UKAMF uses a non-IP based framework, so your users can access resources anytime and anywhere, with extra security thanks to Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) encryption. As it's used across the sector, you don't have to manage multiple protocols with multiple partners. If you are concerned about GDPR and DPA, then your organisation can choose by default that no personally identifiable data is ever shared.

Investing in UKAMF provides an end to the multiple data sharing agreements, clunky user experiences, complex password management policies and clogged IT helpdesks that many institutions struggle with.

How does federated access work?

Federated access is where there are mutually agreed, trusted policies for sharing user information, resources and services. So when a user attempts to access a resource, it is their home institution that authenticates them to do so. It does this by vouching for the user’s identity, whose personal information and credentials remains by default with their host institution.

Using one username and password to access resources across different platforms, applications and locations is called single sign-on (SSO).

Find out why the UK federation was created and what it achieves in this animated video.

Case study: saving time and money by implementing the UKAMF

Read how North Warwickshire and Hinckley College is reaping considerable benefits after switching to Shibboleth.

Download the full case study (pdf).


As well as protecting personal data and offering enhanced security, UKAMF also exclusively provides access to:

  • 300 UKAMF service providers and thousands more across the world via the UKAMF’s participation in eduGAIN
  • Over 100 Jisc Licensing resources (subject to licence) through single sign-on access
  • Free Jisc e-books for further education (FE)
  • Student discounts and rewards through VerifID
  • A free dedicated UKAMF helpdesk so you have a team of knowledgeable experts on hand

Over 95% of UK higher education institutions and over 90% of further education institutions in the UK are using UKAMF.

Apply to join UKAMF

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Any of our member organisations as well as service providers offering services to the UK education sector, are eligible to participate in the UK federation. Organisations that are funded by by Office for Students (OfS) and United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) as well as UK further education institutions can join free of charge.

Institutions not funded by OfS, UKRI or UK FE funders may be liable for a £1000 per annum membership charge if they are looking to register an institution identity provider platform. Those registering a service provider platform maybe subject to a charge. Read further details of the membership charge policy.

Individual users do not need to separately join the service. Instead, if you are a member of a participating organisation and you have an institutional logon account, you can use the UK federation.

Service providers

Organisations seeking to make their resources and service available through the UK federation can either notify the UK federation that they have a third party who are registered with the UK federation to do that on their behalf, or join the UK federation themselves. For more information, visit the UK federation website.

Verification for commercial purposes

Service providers seeking to verify the affiliation of institutional members, such as students and staff, for commercial purposes - rather than the provision of academic resources, are not eligible to join the UK federation, but may interact with the service by joining VerifID.

For further details please contact

Service level description

Service description

A service that provides organisations with:

  • A federated access infrastructure for participating UK educational organisations and education based service providers. This includes a UK federation metadata registry service with nightly updates of entity registration and a central discovery service
  • A helpdesk providing technical, general federated access queries and membership and registration support available by phone via the service desk 0300 300 2212 or email via

Hours of service

The central discovery service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year.

The metadata registry service and helpdesk are available during the business day as defined in SLD definitions.


Organisations must ensure they understand and adhere to our security policy and UK federation rules of membership.


Organisations that are not UK national governments-funded may be charged for registering identity provider entities.

Request for service

Membership requests are to be submitted in writing as defined in our UK Access Management Federation signup form.

Entity registrations requests are to be made via email to:

Service delivery time

Membership requests will be processed within three business days of receipt of all necessary information.

Entity registrations will be processed within two business days of receipt of all necessary information for existing registrations and within five business days of receipt of all necessary information for new registrations.

Terms and conditions

Please ensure your organisation understands and adheres to our terms and conditions.


Information provided to Jisc will be used as described in our standard privacy notice, to provide the service the customer has requested, as well as to identify problems or ways to make the service better. Jisc will keep the information until we are told that the customer no longer wishes to be a member and/or participate.


See the federation rules of membership.

Service performance reporting requirements

Reporting definitions

  • Outages and availability for current month:
    - Number of failures
    - Overall down time in minutes
    - Percentage availability for month
    - Rolling 12 month percentage availability
  • Number of new members joined in current month
  • By exception, instances where the service delivery time was not met, giving the number of working days taken and the reason for the delay

Not quite ready to implement UKAMF?

There are different routes to access UKAMF. Complementing the free UK federation service desk, Jisc can provide extra help to prepare your IT infrastructure.

Our trust and identity consultancy service offers bespoke support for federated identity services such as Shibboleth (a non-proprietary, free software). We can support you with installation, updates and migrations, linking to other services, troubleshooting, and sustainability advice and planning.

ISO certification

Our UK Access Management Federation service is included within the scope of our ISO9001 and ISO27001 certificates.

Read more about International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards and view Jisc certificates.

ISO 9001-2015 UKAS logo

ISO/IEC 27001 logo