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The GDS Way and its content is intended for internal use by the GDS and CO CDIO communities.


Guidelines for repositories containing code

Each repository should include a licence file. This should be called LICENCE or “License” is the US English spelling. will still show licence details for the British English spelling.

You should specify the licence and link to it in the repository’s README. It’s typical to include this information at the very end of a README under a ‘Licence’ heading.


At GDS we use the MIT License.

Make sure the licence content is included in full, including the title “The MIT License”, so that readers are quickly able to see what licence is being used.

The Copyright is Crown Copyright; you can put “Government Digital Service” in brackets.

For example, Copyright (c) 2021 Crown Copyright (Government Digital Service).

The year should be the year the code was first published. Where the code is continually updated with significant changes, you can show the year as a period from first to most recent update, for example 2015-2019.

For more information on copyright notices, see the UK Copyright Service fact sheet.


There is a good example of a licence in the pay-adminusers repo.

Guidelines for repositories that are open documentation

Some repositories will produce websites serving documentation. The GDS Way is an example of this. In addition to the MIT license for the code in the repository, you should include the Open Government Licence (OGL) for the documentation.


The GDS Way repo is a good example of licensing open documentation.

This page was last reviewed on 1 April 2021. It needs to be reviewed again on 1 October 2021 by the page owner #gds-way .
This page was set to be reviewed before 1 October 2021 by the page owner #gds-way. This might mean the content is out of date.