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  1. Service manual
  2. Digital Service Standard
  3. 9. Use open standards and common platforms

You must use open standards and common platforms to meet point 9 of the Digital Service Standard.

You’ll have to explain how you’ve done this at your service assessments.

How point 9 improves your service

Using open standards and common government platforms means you:

  • save time and money by reusing things that are already available, such as GOV.UK Verify for identity assurance
  • can move between different technologies when you need to and don’t get locked into contracts which are difficult to end
  • can quickly and easily change your service when you need to
  • can give your users a more consistent experience when using government services online - this builds trust

How you’ll be assessed

Your assessment and the questions the assessors ask you will vary depending on your service and what it does.

In the alpha assessment

To pass your alpha assessment, you usually need to explain how you:

  • use open standards and common platforms to avoid getting locked into contracts
  • use common platforms for your system, such as GOV.UK Verify as an option for identity assurance
  • identify the common user needs your service meets and what you reuse from across government to help meet those user needs

In the beta assessment

To pass your beta assessment, you usually need to explain how you:

  • use open standards and common platforms to avoid getting locked into contracts
  • manage what the service outputs to users is and in what format
  • manage common data you hold and your commitment to publishing it
  • use common government platforms, such as GOV.UK Verify as an option for identity assurance
  • integrate with any legacy systems
  • identify the common user needs your service meets and what you reuse from across government to help meet those user needs

In the live assessment

To pass your live assessment, you usually need to explain how you:

  • use open standards and common platforms to avoid getting locked into contracts
  • use common government platforms, such as GOV.UK Verify as an option for identity assurance
  • integrate with any external systems
  • manage the common data you hold and meet your open data responsibility
  • identify the common user needs your service meets and what you reuse from across government to help meet those user needs

Explain your service’s evolution

At each phase, you should explain how your service has evolved since its last assessment.

Read the Working with open standards guide to help you pass point 9.

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Guidance first published