The Information Standards Board for Health and Social Care (ISB) closed on 31 March 2014.

Responsibility for the recommendation for approval of information standards has transferred to the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI).

Information standards continued to be published here until 31 December 2014, after which they are published on the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) website.

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Developing Standards

Information on this page applied to the development of information standards under the ISB methodology. Governance now lies with the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI).


Developing an information standard normally takes between 9 and 12 months. Implementation can take 1 – 3 years. The assurance and approval by the ISB is conducted alongside this. Due to the investment required it is only suitable where the scope of the change will occur nationally and where there is a clear consensus on how to achieve the change.

Developing an information standard involves:

  • Identifying the business need and agreeing it with those impacted by the information standard. This is normally underpinned by a business case.
  • Developing a precise definition of what is required in order that there is no ambiguity or confusion. This includes considering information governance, how it is to be implemented, burden and clinical safety.
  • Testing the information standard to ensure that it works as expected.
  • Implementing the information standard into health and social care and then maintaining it until it is no longer required.
  • Managing the retirement of the information standard.

Approval of the information standard unfortunately does not remove the need to manage its implementation.


Under ISB, standards were normally produced using the ISB development methodology (ISDM). This specified which products had to be assessed through an appraisal process to demonstrate that the standard met the quality criteria.

Developing a successful information standard has to be a collaborative activity.  The development methodology helped to connect all the parties so that development and approval became a seamless integrated operation. Each prospective information standard was allocated a standards manager to facilitate the entire operation and they used a structured method specially developed as a framework for health and social care.

The ISDM was superseded by the SCCI Development Framework.