See below for some common Frequently Asked Questions about VANguard and our services.

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What is VANguard?

VANguard is a whole of government program delivered by the Department of Industry and Science. VANguard, together with AUSkey, is the Australian government’s preferred authentication solution for secure business to government (B2G) and government to government (G2G) transactions.

What is authentication?

Authentication is the process of determining whether someone or something is, in fact, who they declare themselves to be.

What is authorisation?

Authorisation is the process of giving someone permission to do or have access to something. In a multi-user computer system, an administrator defines which users are allowed access to the system and the privileges of use (such as access to file directories, hours of access, amount of allocated storage space, etc).

Does VANguard do authorisation?

No - VANguard does not do authorisation. Authorisation should be managed by the agency or business once VANguard has authenticated the system or business user. VANguard can only identify the validity and suitability of a credential for an agency.

What is a digital certificate?

Digital certificates are also known as credentials. They are an electronic proof of identity, equivalent to paper-based credentials. For example, a paper-based credential could be a passport or a driver's licence. VANguard can support a variety of digital certificates.

What digital credentials does VANguard support?

VANguard currently supports the following digital credentials:

VANguard may integrate with other credentials upon negotiation with the requesting agency.

What is Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)?

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a system that binds Public Keys to an individual's or system's identity. This is done by means of a Certificate Authority (CA). For each CA, the user must have a unique identity for the binding to be established correctly.

PKI is the security system that whole of government uses to secure its online systems. PKI enables transmissions to be encrypted so that information can be sent safely.

Does VANguard work with the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)?

VANguard's secure online authentication services embrace authentication best practice as outlined in the relevant AGIMO documents - The Gatekeeper Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Framework and the National Secure Online Authentication Framework. VANguard, as a member of the Authentication Working Group chaired by AGIMO, contributes to the ongoing enhancement of government policy and best practice in respect to authentication.

How do you integrate with VANguard's services?

To initiate intent to proceed with VANguard's services, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) must be signed. Once signed, a Project Plan is established and agreed upon between both parties. During the integration process and prior to the agency going ‘live’, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) must be signed. Once the SLA is confirmed, the agency will be operational to its clientele.

How long does the integration process take?

VANguard can process an agency or business within 15 working days, subject to the agency’s readiness to integrate. VANguard will configure the agency for our environment and issue the various artefacts to complete the integration process.

Is VANguard accredited?

Yes - VANguard has been certified by the Infosec Registered Assessor Program (IRAP). IRAP is an initiative of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to register suitably qualified information security assessors to conduct work to Commonwealth best practice standards. VANguard is also an accredited Validation Authority for Gatekeeper PKI credentials and framework.

What support services does VANguard provide?

VANguard provides core support from Monday - Friday from 8am – 6pm (excluding Australian National Public HolidaysExternal link). Non-core support is provided from Monday - Friday from 6pm – 8am, and all day Saturday and Sunday.

VANguard can be contacted via phone on (02) 6213 7007 or 1800 000 384, or via email on

You can also get in touch with VANguard via our Contact Us page.