How registers help government services

Registers look to solve common data issues faced by government and public sector organisations.

Teams across government often need data to help build their service. However, service teams often find that:

  • sourcing data from across government is time-consuming
  • data can quickly become out of date and cannot be fully trusted
  • data needs to be cleaned before it can be used

Data in one place

The registers collection brings structured datasets of government information together in one place.

You can browse registers by their categories – for example, the regional and local government category includes registers on subjects such as local authorities in England.

You can also search for registers by the government organisation that owns them, like Cabinet Office and Ofqual.

All registers are open and can be accessed, copied and used freely by anyone - and everyone will see the same data. You can read our terms and conditions for more details.

Up-to-date data

All of the data in a register is up-to-date and ready to use. Each register can be accessed via a common API. If you integrate with the API for a register, you won’t have to periodically check if the data has changed.

You can download a copy of the latest data in a register in CSV and ODS formats and manually upload it into your service. If you use the API, however, any updates made to a register will be automatically reflected in your service.

Clean data

The need to clean data in a register is greatly reduced. A register, by its very nature, should contain complete, accurate and relevant data.

Custodians must adhere to strict guidelines when creating a register. This includes removing acronyms and duplicates entries, filling in any gaps, using the government’s open standard for dates, and flattening hierarchies.

The GOV.UK Registers team provides support to custodians when creating and updating a register to ensure that the data meets the appropriate standards.