Creating a register
How you can work with Government Digital Service (GDS) to create a register.
Registers can help you keep your organisation’s data up to date.
There are 4 phases involved in creating a register.
You need to request a register first. If your request is accepted, you’ll get help from GDS to:
- define what data will be included in the register
- build the register
- publish the register
Requesting a register
During this phase, you’ll make a request for a register. If it’s approved, you’ll decide who’s responsible for looking after it.
Once you’ve completed all the steps in this phase, your request will be added to the backlog of GDS’s registers team. It’ll be prioritised among other requests and moved into the next phase when the team is ready to work on it.
1. Make your request
Contact the registers team at GDS to request a register.
You’ll need to:
- provide a short description of the data you have (this should be 140 characters or less)
- suggest a name for the register (this should be a singular noun, such as ‘country’)
- say which organisation owns the data
2. The register is accepted
GDS will look at your request to make sure your proposed register:
- meets a valid user need
- is being managed by the right organisation
You might be asked for some more information about your data, such as how often it’s updated or what format it’s in.
You’ll get a response from GDS within 10 days. If they don’t think your data is suitable for a register, they might suggest you publish it somewhere else instead, for example on GOV.UK.
3. Agree a custodian
Your organisation must appoint one person, known as the custodian, to keep the register up to date.
The custodian must contact GDS to confirm they:
- are happy to be involved in the project
- have permission from their senior information risk owner (SIRO) to take the role
The custodian’s name and organisation will be published alongside the register.
Defining the register
Based on the needs of your users, you’ll decide what data will be included in the register. You’ll also decide on the best way to collect feedback from your users.
At this stage, the register will be in ‘discovery’.
4. Agree dataset
Your organisation will take part in a workshop with GDS to decide what will be included in the register.
After the workshop, you’ll create a first draft of the register and send it to GDS for review.
This version of the register isn’t final. It can be revised based on any user feedback you receive later on.
5. Review how feedback is collected
Your organisation and GDS will decide the most effective way of collecting and responding to user feedback on the register.
6. Review how the register is updated
You’ll show GDS how the current dataset is updated. This will help them know what needs to be built to help the custodian keep the register up to date.
Building the register
GDS will help the custodian build the register, using your organisation’s first draft of the register as a starting point.
The custodian and GDS will agree how the register will be maintained after it’s been published. They’ll also start finding and removing other lists of information that duplicate or contradict what’s in the register.
At this stage, the register will be in ‘alpha’.
7. Meet operational standards
The custodian and GDS will agree how the register will be updated and hosted. GDS will start to develop a tool for the custodian to help them update the register.
8. Meet technical standards
The register must meet the technical standards set out in GDS’s specification.
If the register is being hosted by your organisation, the custodian will check these standards are being met.
9. Find duplicate lists
The custodian must find any lists published elsewhere (such as on data.gov.uk or GOV.UK) that duplicate or contradict the information in the register.
Publishing the register
The custodian will be able to revise the register before it’s published by GDS. The register will now be in ‘beta’ and service teams can use it to build digital services.
10. Review feedback so far
The custodian will be able to make changes to the register based on any feedback they’ve already received.
11. Remove duplicate lists
The custodian and GDS will remove any lists that duplicate or contradict the information in the register.
They’ll be unpublished and redirected to the register. The register will become the only source of this data available.
After the register has been published
The custodian will continue to update the register as and when the data within it changes. They’ll also make sure they continue to meet the operational and technical standards.