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Service Standard

13. Use and contribute to open standards, common components and patterns

Build on open standards and common components and patterns from inside and outside government.

If you develop your own patterns or components, share them publicly so others can use them.

Why it’s important

Using common components and patterns means you do not have to solve problems that have already been solved. By using a component or pattern that’s already been extensively tested, you can provide users with a good experience in a cost effective way. If you develop your own components or patterns, share them so that others can benefit from your work.

Open standards help services to work consistently - so you’ll spend less time trying to make systems “talk” to each other. And they help you to avoid getting locked into a particular supplier or technology - so when things change, you can change your approach.

What it means

Service teams should:

When services create data that’s potentially useful to others inside or outside government, they should publish them in an open, machine readable format, under an Open Government Licence (unless they have permission from the National Archives to use a different type of licence). This does not apply to data that contains personally identifiable information, information that’s sensitive (for example because it could affect national security), or where publishing the data would infringe the intellectual property rights of someone outside government.

Last update:

Removed reference and link to GOV.UK Registers as it is closing on on 16 March 2021.

  1. Updated this point of the Service Standard to: (1) clarify the position on open standards; and (2) provide a better explanation of the benefits of open standards.

  2. Guidance first published