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Developing Standards

The core business of the ISB is to embed standards within the education, skills and children’s services (ESCS) sectors in England.

Stakeholders can contribute to the identification, review and approval of standards by participating in a Special Interest Group or working group. The initial stages are not at all technical and focus on business operations – what you do in your organisation and how you do it.

The standards adoption life cycle begins with Board approval of the sponsor’s statement of a need for standards to be developed. The standards development management process consists of the following stages:

  • establish standards to meet a business need
  • release standards
  • manage reported issues
  • manage change requests

After a period of use the status of the released standard is revised from 'recommended' to 'adopted', or to 'deprecate' if no longer approved for use. If at any point in the process the standard is rejected, it is included in the ISB standards library with the status of 'rejected'. Reasons for rejection are included to avoid repetition of work.

Scope definition involves consulting stakeholders on the business scope for the standards based on initial analysis of what processes and data are involved in relation to a business need. Get involved by commenting on the proposal, such as highlighting any additional information or changes that should be considered.

Requirement analysis entails confirming with stakeholders analysis of the business models and data requirements, and identifying which business standards will need to be created/ amended/ deprecated/ adopted. Any areas included in the initial scope to be deferred will be identified.

This stage builds on the scoping definition, adding more detail to the process models and data requirements following detailed business analysis.

Define standards comprises seeking stakeholder feedback prior to ISB approval of the business data standards, technical data standards and controlled lists.

It is vital that the data standards produced are not narrowly focused on the immediate need but are in fact suitable for wider use of the same (types of) data across the whole of the ESCS sectors.

ISB does not produce or approve system (or organisation) specific standards. ISB only approves standards that enable data to be moved from one ESCS context to another, thus supporting re-use, learner transition and longitudinal tracking.

Approved standards, and other documents, are published on three pre-determined release dates in April, August and December in the ISB standards library.