Community and contribution - Contribution criteria

Follow these criteria when proposing a new component or pattern.

The contents of the service manual must be of a high quality and meet user needs. To guarantee this, the service manual has a design working group to check that all components and patterns meet certain criteria.

Criteria for proposals for new components and patterns

To be successful, your proposal needs to show that the component or pattern you're suggesting will be useful and unique.

Component proposal criteria and descriptions
Criteria Description

You have evidence that the component or pattern would be useful for many NHS digital teams or services.

Evidence could be screenshots or links to versions in different services.


We do not already have something similar in the service manual.

If you're proposing that it replace an existing component or pattern, it should be better than the existing version.

The working group checks that proposals meet these criteria before they move them to the "to do" column in the community backlog.

Criteria for publishing a component or pattern

The working group checks that the implementation is usable, consistent and versatile.

Component publishing criteria and descriptions
Criteria Description

You have tested it in user research and shown that it works with a representative sample of users, including people with disabilities.

If there is not enough research yet to show that it's usable, it can still be published as "experimental". But it must be clearly based on relevant user research from other organisations and best practice, and meet the other criteria.


It uses existing styles and components in the service manual where relevant.

The guidance and any content in examples follow the content guide.

If there is code, it follows the NHS.UK frontend coding standards and is ready to merge into the NHS.UK frontend library.


The implementation is versatile enough to be used in a range of different services.

For example, a versatile date input component could be set up to ask for:

  • a year only
  • a month and year only
  • a precise date
  • any other combination

The component or pattern has been tested and works with a range of browsers, assistive technologies and devices.

Clinically safe

You have asked for feedback from an appropriate clinician and have addressed any clinical safety issues they raised.

The working group includes a clinician trained in clinical safety. We will ask them to approve the component or pattern from a clinical safety point of view.

The working group uses these criteria to decide if the component or pattern is ready to publish.

Updated: October 2019