Operative Personnel Certification

Pursuant to the Washington Administrative Rules, "Operative Personnel" are the people who are employed with or contracted by a licensed certification authority to perform vital operations. These operations are described as:

"Managerial or policy-making responsibilities for [the] licensed certification authority; or Duties directly involving the issuance of certificates (including the identification of persons requesting a certificate from a certification authority), creation of private keys, or administration of a licensed certification authority's computing facilities." W.A.C. 434-180-120(1)(a, b).

In order to be certified an applicant must show familiarity with Electronic Authentication Act standards, as well as the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) security controls. An applicant should also understand the Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure.  Also, the applicant must show that they have not been convicted of a prohibited crime.

The Office of Secretary of State requires that an applicant for Operative Personnel Certification submit the following items:

  • A completed application, along with the required application fee ;
  • Satisfactory completion of the required operative personnel exam;
  • A background check report from the Washington State patrol; and
  • A background check report compiled by a private provider.
  • Click on one of the links above for more information regarding a specific requirement.

When completed, these materials should be sent to:

Electronic Authentication Program Manager
Corporations Division, Office of the Secretary of State
801 Capitol Way S.
P.O. Box 40234
Olympia, Washington 98504-0234

Once the materials have been reviewed, the applicant will be notified by mail whether or not they have been certified.

Reference Resources:

NIST
Internet X.509
Electronic Authentication Act
WA Rules on Electronic Authentication