How to publish on GOV.UK

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Government Digital Service
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People and roles

How to create people and roles and special instructions for creating ministers.

People and roles

People and their roles are covered by 2 separate sections of Whitehall publisher. You need the person first, then you can assign a role to them by editing the role.

In publisher you can:

  • create new people
  • create new roles
  • reassign roles to people

Add a person to GOV.UK

Check with the Government Digital Service (GDS) before creating a new minister.

  1. Select ‘People’ in the ‘More’ tab to see a list of every person featured on GOV.UK.

  2. Click ‘Create person’ to create a new person.

  3. Add a title, forename, surname, any ‘post-nominal’ letters such as ‘MBE’, and a biography.

  4. Upload an image. It must be 960 x 640 px and minimum 75 dpi. Photos on a white background need a light tint overlay.

Create a role

Check with GDS before creating a ministerial role. You don’t need to check with GDS before adding a new managerial role or department role.

  1. Select ‘Roles’ in the ‘More’ tab to see a list of every role featured on GOV.UK.

  2. Click ‘Create role’ to create a new role.

  3. Add a ‘Role title’ and ‘Role type’ and complete as many of the other fields as possible.

  4. Write a description of the role’s responsibilities. This will appear alongside the person with this role so don’t repeat content.

  5. Save the role.

Assign a role to a person

  1. Select ‘Roles’ in the ‘More’ tab to see a list of every role featured on GOV.UK.

  2. Find the role from the list and open it for editing.

  3. Click ‘New appointment’ to assign the role to a new person.

  4. Enter a start date. The old role-holder will automatically be removed from the role on this date.

You must only assign a role to a person on or after the day they take up the role. The person will appear on your organisation page once you’ve assigned them to a role.

You can have photos of up to 9 people on your organisation page. Your managing editor can make a request to have more using the GOV.UK support form.

New roles and role changes

If the name of a role changes, you must create a new role rather than edit the existing one.

You can remove the old role by untagging it from your organisation.

You can edit the existing role if the responsibilities of the role change but the name stays the same.

Interim roles

If a role is being temporarily filled (eg to cover someone on maternity or paternity leave) you must create a new role for an interim position.

This should have the same name as the original role but with ‘interim’ at the beginning, eg interim chief executive officer.

Don’t change anything about the original role or assign it to anyone until it’s been permanently filled. When it has, you can also remove the person from the interim role.

Create a new minister

There is a special workflow for making changes to the list of government ministers on GOV.UK. This page is used by the media and public as a primary source of information, so it’s important that these details are always accurate.

The Number 10 (Prime Minister’s Office) digital communications team is responsible for the accuracy of ministerial information on GOV.UK.

When changes of ministerial responsibility are announced, the Number 10 team contacts GDS and the digital teams in affected departments to:

  • confirm details of the changes
  • agree responsibilities for publishing updated information

Changes are usually made by the digital team in the department that a post-holder is coming in to. No changes should be made without Number 10 team’s approval. (Use GDS’s emergency contact details if you need to be put in touch with the right person.)

To make a change you should:

  • create a new role if the title or responsibilities of a new appointment differ from that of previous role-holders
  • create a callout box if the responsibilities of a new role are not yet clear (eg noting that the responsibilities of the role are subject to review)
  • edit the description of all ‘closed’ roles (eg roles into which no one has been directly appointed) to signpost where responsibility for the areas in question has been allocated

Delete a role or a person

Never delete either a role or a person from GOV.UK.

The Ministers page and the lists of ministers on department pages automatically list only the current role appointments.