The Welsh Information Standards Board (WISB) is the successor board to the Welsh Information Governance & Standards Board. As such it is the custodian of the Information Standards Assurance Process.
In principle, the Information Standards Assurance Process aims to review information development projects at certain key stages. These reviews take the form of appraisals of completed submission documentation by WISB members at monthly meetings.
WISB can provide most assistance if Sponsors and Developers engage with it early in the life of development projects. Sponsors and Developers are encouraged to attend WISB meetings as this improves communication and may reduce development project timescales. As a project starts, the focus will be on clarifying the business benefit it is aiming to achieve. Being clear about this will provide a solid foundation for the identification and development of the information requirement and testing how feasible it might be to implement it. Once feasibility has been tested, plans for all Wales implementation can be put in place. When WISB approval has been obtained, the policy or operational context for the development is usually communicated to the Service by a Ministerial or Official letter. This is accompanied by a Data Standards Change Notice which is the information mandate to all NHS bodies.
The key stages are:
The focus at this stage is the business requirement driving the submission.
By this stage initial impact assessments should have been conducted, the proposed standard will be identified and all Wales testing or impact assessment plans should be described.
By this stage the results of all testing or impact assessment should be available and taken into consideration within the proposed all Wales implementation plan.
Once the information standard has been implemented, this submission will cover lessons learned, how the standard meets ongoing business requirements and recommendations for future action.
If a Sponsor or Developer only becomes aware of the requirement to engage with WISB when a project is already underway, there is no need to start at the Requirement Notification stage. The submission stage chosen should best reflect the stage reached in the project. The submissions are designed to build on each other and so relevant project details included in the Requirement Notification will also be included in the Development and Final proposals.
Early engagement with WISB helps minimise project risk as appraisal may:
help clarify project scope,
highlight any areas which would benefit from greater attention,
enable relevant connections with other developments to be identified,
correct any mis-understandings in project plans.
However, it is also acceptable to come to WISB only at Final Proposal stage.
Draft submissions can also be considered if submitters feel they would benefit from WISB input before submitting final versions.
If you would like to understand more about the role of WISB in general or you would like to talk about a particular project, please contact the Data Standards Team: Data.Standards@wales.nhs.uk