Conventions document broadly accepted interpretations of the standards but do not impose compliance obligations. Conventions are a supplement to the Consumer Data Standards (CDS). CDR participants are free to ignore individual conventions. The Data Standards Board (DSB) strongly recommends following conventions wherever possible to maximise interoperability.
A convention may suggest an agreed interpretation of some area not covered in detail by the CDS, allowing better communication and interaction within the CDS community. Adoption and widespread adherence to a convention depends on the mutual interest and agreement of the CDS community.
As conventions are suggestions rather than requirements they may be proposed and adopted more rapidly and responsively than changes to the standards themselves.
Conventions are proposed by the DSB or other members of the CDS community. Once a convention is proposed, community consultation is invited. If there is sufficient support within the community, the convention may then be approved by the DSB. It is then entered in the conventions register and recommended. When a convention no longer applies, or is no longer supported, it can be retired.
Community members can request a convention by raising an issue in the GitHub standards-maintenance repository. After considering the request the DSB adds a convention article to this support portal. The community offers consultation by making comments on the support portal convention article.
Conventions when first created have status PROPOSED. A PROPOSED convention is open for consultation. The DSB broadcasts an invitation to discuss the convention. CDR participants can add comments to the support portal convention article, or use other means of communication, quoting the convention ID.
When the DSB determines there is sufficient support for a convention, it is approved and has RECOMMENDED status. Consultation continues. If there is sufficient support for a change to a RECOMMENDED convention, a new version of the convention is proposed.
When a convention is no longer applicable, or no longer receives community support, it enters RETIRED status.
Proposing a new version of a convention
When there is support for a change to a convention, a new version of the convention is proposed. The new version has its own support portal convention article, with PROPOSED status. The existing RECOMMENDED version links to the new PROPOSED version. The new version follows the same lifecycle as all conventions. When the new version is approved and recommended, the old version is RETIRED.
Conventions are documented in the CDS support portal. Each convention has an associated article, describing the convention and providing access to associated standards documentation, support articles and other related information. A convention has a unique id, a lifecycle status, and other associated metadata.