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Repository: govuk-rfcs

GOV.UK staff use this repository as a forum to discuss and make technical decisions



GOV.UK staff use this repository as a forum to discuss and make technical decisions. The outcomes of these discussions can be either an Action Plan, or a new Standard that GOV.UK should follow. This repository is open as a reference for other teams within GDS and wider government.


  1. Create a new branch on this repo and copy to and edit.
  2. Include any images etc in a separate directory named rfc-000 and link to them.
  3. Make a Pull Request (PR) for your branch.
  4. Rename your file and directory with the number of the PR and push as a new commits.
  5. Post a link to your PR in #govuk-developers on Slack and to the govuk-tech-members Google Group. @mention teams in the PR description if you want particular attention from them.
  6. GOV.UK members discuss your proposal using both inline comments against your RFC document and the general PR comments section. Non-technical staff will need to create a free Github account in order to comment.
  7. As changes are requested and agreed in comments, make the changes in your RFC and push them as new commits.
  8. Stay active in the discussion and encourage and remind other relevant people to participate. If you’re unsure who should be involved in a discussion, ask your Tech Lead or a Lead Developer. If you start an RFC it’s up to you to push it through the process and engage people.
  9. Once consensus is reached and approvals given using the Github review system, the PR can be merged.
  10. When an RFC is accepted, ensure the GOV.UK Technical community is made aware of it via Slack and the Google Group.
  11. An RFC can be rejected. This can happen if a consensus isn’t reached, or people agree rejecting it is the right thing to do. In this case the PR should be closed with a suitable comment.

Managing Standards

Standards RFCs shouldn’t be substantially altered after they are accepted, although it’s fine to correct typos and other mistakes via a new PR. In order to change a Standard, the original RFC must be superseded by a new one. The process for this is:

  1. Create a new RFC PR as above, noting in the summary which RFC it is superseding.
  2. In the same branch, mark the old RFC as superseded and link to the new RFC and move (using git mv) it into the archived directory.
  3. When the new RFC is accepted and the PR is merged, the old RFC will no longer be active.

Managing Action Plans

For RFCs where the outcome is an agreed Action Plan, you may want to update the RFC with meaningful status updates in new PRs. Once the plan is either complete or no longer relevant, it should be moved to the archived directory in a new PR.

Historical RFCs

Some RFCs in this repository were migrated from Confluence. They’ve been automatically converted to Markdown, so some formatting might be incorrect. Please fix any issues as you find them in new PRs.