Policy paper

UK Digital Inclusion Charter

Updated 4 December 2014

UK Digital Inclusion Charter

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, one of the greatest British inventions. Today the internet is not just at the heart of the global economy but at the centre of our society too. Despite that, 11 million people in the UK lack basic digital skills and capabilities. The consequences are profound. Without access, skills, motivation and trust people will continue to be digitally excluded, with a real social and human impact; affecting job prospects, health, education and more.

The same challenge applies equally to UK businesses and charities. Organisations are missing out on more effective marketing, offering a more convenient service to a wider group of customers and being able save time and money.

There is a lot of great work going on at a local and national level across government, public, private and voluntary sectors to help people and organisations go online, but digital exclusion remains a big issue.

Maintaining momentum is not enough. To ensure that the web is for everyone, we need to bring together and scale up our efforts more than ever before. No single organisation can tackle this alone. We know, that given the range of barriers and diversity of needs, only strong partnership across all sectors will succeed.

We will work together in new ways, to create practical actions that can be delivered at scale. We will be transparent and open about what works and what doesn’t and be open to new ideas and possibilities. We will align our respective efforts to work together towards a common aim.

The government and signatories of the UK Digital Inclusion Charter will jointly lead a cross-sector partnership focused on delivering a set of actions that mean, by 2016 we will have reduced the number of people who are offline by 25%. We will continue to do this every 2 years. If we succeed, by 2020 everyone who can be digitally capable will be.

Together, we commit to:

  1. Use a common definition of basic online skills and capabilities
  2. Support cross-sector national partnership programmes
  3. Identify and support best practice initiatives to grow through cross-sector working, including:
    • piloting and scaling up initiatives which bring support to where people are in their daily lives
    • embedding digital inclusion into partners’ communications activity to encourage people, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) to take the first steps to going online
    • piloting practical ways to make internet access, kit and digital skills cheaper and more easily available
  4. Make things simpler for users who lack basic online skills and capabilities by using a shared language
  5. Establish digitalskills.com as the trusted source of information about good quality help available to get people online
  6. Support the development of a national volunteering network of digital champions to enhance existing networks
  7. Support an online skills and capabilities programme for SMEs and VCSEs
  8. Share best practice and use data to measure performance and improve what we do
  9. Build the online skills and capabilities of people in our own organisations
  10. Work together to support the aims of the digital inclusion strategy

HM Government

In partnership with:

  • AbilityNet
  • Accenture
  • Affinity Sutton
  • Age UK
  • Appello
  • Argos
  • Asda
  • Aspire Group
  • Barclays
  • BBC
  • BIG Lottery Fund
  • Broadband Stakeholder Group
  • BT
  • Carnegie UK Trust
  • Castle Vale Community Housing Association
  • CFH Docmail
  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
  • Channel 4
  • Citizens Online
  • clickingmad
  • Coalition of Small Charities
  • Community Fibre
  • CommunityUK
  • Computer Recyclers UK
  • Digital Citizens
  • Digital Unite
  • EE
  • E-Learning Foundation
  • EMC
  • Enterprise Nation
  • E.ON
  • Escher Group
  • Fluency
  • Fuse
  • Genesis Housing Association
  • Go ON UK
  • Good People
  • Google
  • Get Safe Online
  • Greater London Authority
  • The Hyde Group
  • Intel
  • Invisinet
  • L&Q
  • Lambeth Council
  • Lasa
  • Local Government Association
  • LocalGov Digital
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • The Manchester College
  • Media Trust
  • Microsoft
  • National Housing Federation
  • NCVO
  • Newcastle City Council
  • NHS England
  • NIACE
  • Nominet Trust
  • Oxford Internet Institute
  • Peabody
  • Places for People Homes
  • Post Office
  • Radian
  • Red Kite Housing
  • reusemypc
  • Remploy
  • Rochdale Borough Council
  • Sage
  • Salvation Army
  • Sentinel Housing Association
  • Shelter
  • Simplicity Computers
  • Small Charities Coalition
  • Society of Chief Librarians
  • Socitm
  • Sopra Steria
  • Sovereign Housing Association
  • Student@Home
  • TalkTalk
  • Tech Partnership
  • Technology Trust
  • Telefonica
  • Texthelp Ltd
  • The Rooted Forum
  • Three
  • Tinder Foundation
  • Together Housing Group
  • Transform Foundation
  • Unionlearn
  • Viagogo
  • Viridian Housing
  • Visbuzz
  • Vodafone
  • Willmott Dixon Partnerships Limited
  • Yecco

If you’re interested in signing up to the charter or getting further involved in digital inclusion, contact the digital inclusion team at digital-inclusion@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk.