The Technology Code of Practice

The Technology Code of Practice is a set of criteria to help government design, build and buy technology.

The Technology Code of Practice (TCoP) is a cross-government agreed standard used for the Cabinet Office spend control process and the Local Digital Declaration.

You should use the TCoP for all of your technology projects or programmes. Consider each point, align your project or programme with the mandatory points, and follow as many of the remaining points as is practical. You’ll get the most benefit by aligning your organisation’s technology and business strategies to the Technology Code of Practice.

Each point contains guidance and links to case studies to help you migrate from legacy infrastructure and manage the full lifecycle of your technology.

Spend controls

Use the TCoP during the spend controls process

You must consider all points of the TCoP as part of the Cabinet Office spend control process. If your project or programme needs spend control approval you should contact the CDDO Assurance team at for guidance with the approvals process.

Where legacy technology limits your ability to adhere to the TCoP, you must explain this to the CDDO Assurance team.

1. Define user needs

Understand your users and their needs. Develop knowledge of your users and what that means for your technology project or programme.

Read more about TCoP point 1 - Define user needs.

2. Make things accessible and inclusive

Make sure your technology, infrastructure and systems are accessible and inclusive for all users.

Read more about TCoP point 2 - Make things accessible.

3. Be open and use open source

Publish your code and use open source software to improve transparency, flexibility and accountability.

Read more about TCoP point 3 - Be open and use open source.

4. Make use of open standards

Build technology that uses open standards to ensure your technology works and communicates with other technology, and can easily be upgraded and expanded.

Read more about TCoP point 4 - Make use of open standards.

5. Use cloud first

Consider using public cloud solutions first as stated in the Cloud First policy.

Read more about TCoP point 5 - Use cloud first.

6. Make things secure

Keep systems and data safe with the appropriate level of security.

Read more about TCoP point 6 - Make things secure.

7. Make privacy integral

Make sure users rights are protected by integrating privacy as an essential part of your system.

Read more about TCoP point 7 - Make privacy integral.

8. Share, reuse and collaborate

Avoid duplicating effort and unnecessary costs by collaborating across government and sharing and reusing technology, data, and services.

Read more about TCoP point 8 - Share, reuse and collaborate.

9. Integrate and adapt technology

Your technology should work with existing technologies, processes and infrastructure in your organisation, and adapt to future demands.

Read more about TCoP point 9 - Integrate and adapt technology.

10. Make better use of data

Use data more effectively by improving your technology, infrastructure and processes.

Read more about TCoP point 10 - Make better use of data.

11. Define your purchasing strategy

Your purchasing strategy must show you’ve considered commercial and technology aspects, and contractual limitations.

Read more about TCoP point 11 - Define your purchasing strategy.

12. Make your technology sustainable

Increase sustainability throughout the lifecycle of your technology.

Read more about TCoP point 12 - Make your technology sustainable.

13. Meet the Service Standard

If you’re building a service as part of your technology project or programme you will also need to meet the Service Standard


Who to contact for help

CDDO Assurance team

You can email for help with:

  • implementing the Technology Code of Practice
  • designing an appropriate strategy for breaking up large systems and services
  • evaluating the maturity of the technology market you want to buy from
  • identifying opportunities to use common government platforms and components

Crown Commercial Service

You can email for help with buying commodity services through procurement frameworks.

Published 14 July 2021
Last updated 21 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Remove Technology policy team

  2. Updated references from GDS to CDDO. Email changed.

  3. Addition of a new point 12 - 'Make your technology sustainable'. Moved 'Meet the Service Standard' to point 13.

  4. First published.