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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
  • 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 of 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’re using open standards and common platforms to avoid getting locked into contracts
  • the common platforms you’ve identified which your intended system could use
  • any user needs you’ve identified that are common to other services and how you’re going to meet them in a way that’s consistent with the rest of government

In the beta assessment

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

  • how you’re using open standards and common platforms to avoid getting locked in to contracts
  • what the service outputs to users and in what format
  • the common data you hold and your commitment to publishing it
  • how you’re using common government platforms
  • how you’re integrating with any legacy systems
  • any common user needs your service meets and what you’re reusing from across government to help meet that user need

In the live assessment

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

  • how you’re using open standards and common platforms to avoid getting locked into contracts
  • how you’re using common government platforms
  • how you’re integrating with any external systems
  • the common data you hold and your open data responsibility
  • any common user needs your service meets and what you’re reusing from across government to help meet that user need

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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