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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/registers/registers
1. What registers are
Registers are lists of information. Each register is the most reliable list of its kind. For example, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO’s) country register is the most accurate and up-to-date list of countries available.
Each register is looked after by one person, known as the ‘custodian’. The custodian is from the organisation responsible for the information in the register. They make sure the register is kept up to date.
2. The benefits of registers
If you work on a service team, using a register will mean you’re only ever working with one reliable and current source of data.
Other sources (such as a statistical report) might not be properly looked after. They can be out of date or unpublished at any time.
This can affect your service and stop it working the way it should for your users.
Using a register instead will mean you can concentrate on building your service rather than checking if the data you’re using is still accurate.
Registers can also help you if you collect, manage or store data for your organisation.
You only publish data in one place if you use a register, which means you won’t need to update multiple lists and datasets whenever something changes.
3. Using a register
You can use an application programming interface (API) to automatically pull data from a register into your service. Doing this will mean you’ll always have access to the most recent version of the data in the register.
The data is available in a number of different formats. You can:
- use it as JSON if you’re a developer
- download it as a CSV file if you work with spreadsheets
- download it as an RDF file if you need to link it to another register
4. Creating a register
You’ll need to work with Government Digital Service (GDS) if you want to create a register.
We’re currently working with several government departments and agencies to develop their registers, including FCO, Department for Education and Department for Communities and Local Government.