Standards Lab: an open data standard toolkit

This handbook provides an overview of the creation, maintenance and adoption of a policy-related open data standard.

It has been developed by Open Data Services Co-operative to document our approach as part of the Open Data Institute Open Standards for Data project as part of a program of work with Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

It is written as both a standalone guide, and also as template to create individual standard handbooks.


This guide is split into three sections.

  • Development and maintenance covers the initiation, development, maintenance and revision of a standard;
  • Adoption covers approaches to supporting adoption of an open data standard through engagement with data publishers, intermediaries and users;
  • Learning covers monitoring standard uptake and impact, and maintaining ongoing alignment with the overall policy goals of a standard.

How can we help?

If you have a project that might involve open data standards, our Standards Lab service can help. Get in touch to find out more about:

  • Introductory workshops - exploring the basics of building, maintaining and implementing an open data standard. Ideal to bring together policy and technology teams, and develop shared understanding and strategy.
  • Mentoring and advice - whatever stage your standards project is at, we can provide expert input on how to make it sustainable, and high impact.
  • Full service standard development and support - working with you to go from concept, to a full standard - and to support implementation and ongoing development.

Find out more about us