Guidance

Who selects open standards

The process of selecting cross-government open standards is transparent and open to everyone.

User groups

Users are involved in each phase of the selection and implementation of open standards for government IT.

Find out how you can get involved in selecting open standards.

Main users include people from:

  • businesses
  • academic institutions
  • charities and not-for-profit groups
  • UK and international government bodies

Some users just want to use government services easily, but many have a professional interest in building on open standards that make different types of software and data compatible with each other.

Government technology officials

A group of government technology officials decides which challenges are selected and makes sure each has an ‘owner’ who can lead the work through to completion.

Government technology officials are:

  • drawn from standards panels and may include technology leaders
  • the people in government responsible for making sure digital technologies and systems meet the needs of the service users and department employees
  • responsible for publishing adopted standards profiles. The profiles summarise the process each open standard has been through to be successfully adopted by the government, and provide high-level information about using the open standard

Challenge owner

Challenge owners will:

  • lead the work to develop proposals and standards profiles in response to challenges
  • work closely with a standards panel
  • be suggested by government technology officials and appointed by the Chair of the Open Standards Board
  • usually come from government bodies but they may also be from not-for-profit organisations that have an interest in the field in question

Standards panels

Panels work with challenge owners to evaluate proposals and advise the Open Standards Board on how they meet the needs described in a challenge.

Panels are formed of expert users from the government or not-for-profit organisations, as well as experts who volunteer through the Open Standards team and are selected for their skills and expertise.

Open Standards Board

The Open Standards Board will choose a small set of core standards that will be applied consistently across the UK government to make services better for users and keep government IT costs sustainable.

The board includes expert users drawn from government and not-for-profit organisations as well as volunteers from academia and industry. They consider open standards recommendations from standards panels, making decisions on whether they:

  • meet user needs and government outcomes
  • give equal opportunity to open source and proprietary software
  • are implementable, mature and supported by the market
  • have been adequately researched and that the impact of adoption is understood
  • support open data and are aligned with the Open Standards Principles and the Government’s IT/digital strategies
Published 15 April 2013