Governance (Schemes)



  1. About Icebreaker One (IB1)
  2. What is IB1’s approach to data governance?
  3. How are Schemes governed at IB1?
  4. IB1 collaboration principles 
  5. Roles and responsibilities in the Icebreaking process
    (Oversight, Steering, Advisory and Working Groups)
  6. IB1 roles and responsibilities
  7. Member roles and responsibilities
  8. Processes

About Icebreaker One (IB1)

Icebreaker One ( is an independent, non-profit organisation created to enable data sharing nationally and internationally. 

Its expertise is in implementing data governance and sharing across commercial markets. It runs services (Icebreaking and Trust Frameworks) that convene and connect private and public sectors, to design and deliver operational solutions (Schemes) that enable trusted data sharing. Its primary aim is to accelerate the transition to net zero. 

IB1 operates horizontally across markets to unlock trusted data access and data flow at scale. This includes, but is not limited to, energy (Open Energy), water (Stream), finance (Perseus, SERI) and related areas (Transport, Agriculture, Built World). Its collaborative approach supports the development and adoption of standards and drives market-wide outcomes. 

IB1 underpins market implementations without handling the data directly. Instead, it helps market participants dismantle barriers and facilitate data flow, fostering market innovation and competition, while addressing risks and security, and aligning with national strategies, policies and regulations.

What is IB1’s approach to data governance?

IB1’s approach to data governance is designed to support the long-term, cohesive and sustainable development and delivery of data-sharing programmes. We do this by establishing processes to oversee the design, control and direction of Trust Frameworks and associated Schemes to enable robust sharing of data – aligned with industry, societal and environmental needs – at market-wide scales. The goal of our approach to data governance is to establish principles, structures, roles and responsibilities, agreed upon by market participants, that enable accurate and timely data sharing at a market-wide scale.

It is designed to be responsive to an evolving socio-technical environment and accordingly takes an iterative, collaborative approach to development. Practically, this means that we work to co-design and embed ‘fit for purpose’ practices early, then set up robust processes enabling governance to evolve as the landscape matures. 

IB1’s approach builds on two core bodies of existing work outlined briefly below: 

  1. Data governance: this growing body of work discusses how data is managed at all points of the life cycle and/or supply chain (e.g. generation, processing, sharing). It also debates the aims, policies, rules, incentives, cultures, institutions and decision-making processes to facilitate this. Data governance can be applied from the micro level (e.g. governance of personal data within a closed ecosystem) through to the macro level (e.g. managing international data flows). Data governance remains a contested concept; ideas of what ‘good’ looks like can vary depending on which actors are defining it and the purpose(s) for which it is used.
  1. Good governance: this body of work discusses best practices for managing the operation of organisations, consortiums, or projects. It focuses on establishing principles, processes, roles, responsibilities, visions and strategies that support the achievement of goals in a manner that is both accountable and legitimate. Similarly to data governance, there is no single universally adopted definition or structure defining good governance. This leaves a degree of flexibility to define ‘good’ in relation to the specific socio-technical context and goals of the organisation/consortium/project being governed. However, adoption of the term by a range of influential national and international organisations elevates a common understanding of the term to represent an approach to governance foregrounding principles such as transparency, accountability, engagement, and responsiveness, among others.

IB1 draws from this work by adopting established best practices and principles where applicable. We also go above and beyond to adapt and co-create new approaches that align with our specific context: developing and delivering data-sharing programmes. Our approach has been collaboratively built through the extensive practical experience of our leadership, staff and board, combined with robust, ongoing input and review from cutting-edge academic and domain experts. 

Based on the above, IB1 has identified specific enabling principles, structures, roles, responsibilities, and resources that facilitate good data governance in the context of establishing and delivering data-sharing programmes:

  • Principles are the necessary pre-conditions to facilitate good data governance and effective working relationships. They constitute: transparency and openness, inclusion, compliance, goal definition, meaningful stakeholder engagement, and collaboration. We work with these principles in all partnerships and in the design and delivery of all data-sharing programmes.
  • Structures enable good data governance by establishing clarity around how systems work and who or what is involved. IB1’s approach to data governance is built around two core structures: Trust Frameworks and Schemes
  • Roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined to establish the relationships, reporting and accountability chains, and decision-making processes underpinning good data governance. The roles and responsibilities of IB1 are set out below. The roles and responsibilities of the groups governing Trust Frameworks and Schemes are outlined below.
  • Resources are required to enable good data governance and requirements for and provision of such resources must be transparent. Resources that can be provided by IB1 are detailed below. Resources that are required of organisations participating in the governance of Trust Frameworks or Schemes are dependent on their scope.

The following subsections outline our approach to these respective areas in more detail. Any questions or suggestions regarding the IB1 approach to data governance are welcomed and can be directed to

How are Schemes governed at IB1?

Outcome: a clear set of rules, agreed upon by market participants that enable accurate and timely data sharing at a market-wide scale.


  • Scheme: Comprehensive programme with specific rules related to Shared Data implementation [learn more]
  • Trust Framework: Comprehensive programme with specific rules related to data sharing implementations [learn more]

The work of defining, establishing and evolving how Schemes are governed is undertaken using a process IB1 runs called Icebreaking. Icebreaking is a continuous, iterative process, set up to adapt to the evolving needs of complex market systems. Icebreaking is valuable because it provides a tested framework for establishing and agreeing governance that is both fit for purpose now and capable of evolving as the landscape matures over time. This is an essential part of the broader IB1 approach to good data governance as it enables the collaborative, timely and legitimate establishment of rules in a manner that demonstrably meets user needs.

Icebreaking has five (5) pillars of activity, addressed by Advisory Groups:

  1. User needs & impact: what are the commercial priorities, ecosystem and business case(s)
  2. Technical: APIs, data schema, ontologies, etc.
  3. Licensing & Legal: supporting data licenses, modes of redress, liability frameworks
  4. Engagement & Comms: common language, approaches and engagement with stakeholders
  5. Policy: corporate as well as regulatory interventions

IB1 facilitates Icebreaking by operating the following groups:

NamePurposeDecision making roleMandatory?
Steering Group (SG)Strategic oversight of the Scheme as a whole and high-level integration with the overarching Trust Framework.Strategic decision-making with focus on overarching goals, resource allocation, and high-level project direction.Yes
Delivery Oversight Committee (DOC)Formal independent monitoring and reporting on Scheme delivery.Independent monitoring and reporting to the SG (if required). In more mature Schemes, this may be a Special Purpose Vehicle that has independent Directors.No
Advisory Groups (AGs)Expert guidance and input structured by the five Icebreaking pillars.Operational decision-making handling specific operational challenges, shaping technical developments, and co-producing processes, systems and rules (e.g. dispute management).Yes
Working Groups (WGs)Targeted, practical work on focused tasks, either within or across Icebreaking pillars.Task-oriented decision-making focusing on completing specific assignments (e.g. data management procedures, specific aspects of regulatory compliance, engagement with identified stakeholder groups). Yes

Aligning with good governance principles, the structure of and relationships between the groups outlined above is designed to ensure that:

  • No individual or entity can take disproportionate or unaccountable control over Scheme governance. 
  • End user needs are clearly identified and met – and these needs are prioritised above individual or organisational standpoints. 
  • Processes and outcomes are clearly allocated and tracked, with groups being held accountable for progress.
  • Processes and outcomes are robustly reviewed, with clear accountability chains between decision-making layers. 

The following sections of this document provide detailed descriptions of the rules and principles, roles and responsibilities, resources, and processes required to establish Scheme governance. 

IB1 collaboration principles 

Terms of Reference (ToR)

Members of Steering, Advisory and Working Groups must sign a formal Agreement to Terms of Reference.  These outline the structure of the groups, roles and responsibilities, time commitments, rules, values and guiding principles. 

Do one thing well

Icebreaking focuses on outcomes & connecting expertise. Activities must focus on, and prioritise, the delivery of impact and outcomes that can scale. A core benefit of Trust Frameworks is to reduce transactional costs and friction in the data-sharing economy. To do so,  the five areas of activity must be addressed coherently while balancing complexity. To achieve this we strongly encourage taking a ‘do one thing well’ approach. Getting the rails well-built will enable further use cases to travel faster.

Go far together

Cohesive solutions reduce cost and friction in markets. To arrive at these is challenging and requires many, often competing initiatives to agree. We encourage a strong focus on pre-competitive areas that unlock common value to enable teams to go far together.


Outputs from the groups shall, as appropriate, be published openly once approved. This includes formal minutes, updates, briefings and reports. Where relevant, voted decisions and/or endorsements are included. These will be published on the website(s) and disseminated using social media as relevant to the outputs. Outputs will be published under an open licence (CC-BY) by default. Group participants must consent to be listed publicly as participants. 

Antitrust guidelines for collaboration between competitors

The ToR mandates adherence to standard antitrust guidelines aligned with competition law. 


Data spans the public and private sectors, involving virtually every system and every citizen. It forms part of our national infrastructure and we must ensure multiple voices are represented. IB1 will help map out the data value chain and stakeholder ecosystem and make recommendations as to which actors should be represented in development.

Openness and contribution as an expert critical friend

Group participants agree to

A) embrace open collaboration:

  1. share views and plans, and knowledge as widely as possible
  2. solicit and listen to views from end users and stakeholders
  3. make relevant outputs available under an open licence (e.g. CC-BY, MIT) as described at 

B) contribute their views as an expert:

  1. As an individual contributor. The Chatham House rule is applied to allow participants to speak as individuals, to express views that may not be those of their organisations, and encourage free and open discussion: “When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.”. This also applies to public summaries.
  2. As a collegiate team, use their expertise to synthesise the views of others in constructive and forward-thinking proposals
  3. To use their good judgement, respect privacy and confidentiality.

 C) encourage critical thinking and focus on outcomes:

  1. support each other in discussion, in decisions, and in delivery
  1. constructively hold each other to account on commitments
  2. ensure all voices are heard and considered carefully

Voting rights are one seat per organisation. Observers do not hold voting rights.


Quorum is defined by default as having a minimum of two-thirds of the voting Members present.  Voting powers may be varied by such consensus in the Group, including by proxy if necessary.

Roles and responsibilities in the Icebreaking process

Role of co-chairs in all groups
  • Ensure orderly running of the meetings (including minutes, voting, as required)
  • Act to drive the programme forward (including holding workstream leads accountable and provide transparency for defined work packages)
  • Bring everyone together
Steering Group (SG)

Purpose: Oversight and formal adoption of recommendations, holding the AGs accountable for their defined tasks and deliverables

Convened by/reports to: One of: regulator or related national or supranational body, industry coalition, public-private partnership.

Frequency of meetings: quarterly

Authority and responsibilities

  • Signs off direction, outcomes, resourcing and planning as recommended by AGs
  • Approves and appoints AG Co-Chairs, reviews and endorses their plans
  • Can appoint a Delivery Oversight Committee
  • Produces formal minutes for public dissemination and private minutes as may be required for internal purposes
  • Maintains a risk register for the programme
  • Holds the AGs to account on the defined AG scope


  • Chairs: The SG must have two chairs, one representative of the sector and one independent of the sector. This is to ensure that no one party is driving forward the agenda and to ensure that the topics represent the interests of all members. IB1 will recommend an independent co-chair. 
  • National schemes: non-commercial actors (trade bodies, government, regulators)
  • Industry-led schemes: commercial actors (non-exclusive), others by invitation
  • Observers: may be invited as appropriate (e.g. regulators). Observer attendance is aligned with IB1 collaboration principles to enable non-core, but relevant actors to be informed, learn and aid communication with relevant audiences. They are under no obligation to comment and their participation is not seen as an endorsement. Observers may be invited to provide updates on their own strategic positions if appropriate.
  • Number: There is no limit on the number of members but the membership should endeavour to have representatives from all key stakeholders. Typically a membership of 12-18 would indicate a good cross-sector representation while not being too big to allow constructive discussions. Only one representative per organisation is permitted.

Member commitments

  • Must have formal endorsement from their host organisation with appropriate authority
  • Attend meetings
  • Prepare for these meetings ahead of time
  • Help in the dissemination of the work to the relevant communities
  • Input into and sign-off documents
Delivery Oversight Committee (DOC)  [optional]

Purpose: Independent monitoring and reporting.  A pragmatic focussed group that can work with delivery partners on details not appropriate for SG, but for which SG has requested independent review.

Appointed by, reports to: Steering Group

Frequency of meetings: quarterly (minimum)

Advisory Groups (AGs)

Purpose: Accountable for the definition of direction, scope, oversight and adoption of recommendations delivered by the WGs. 

AGs address the five pillars of data governance: User needs; Tech; Legal & licensing; Communication and Engagement; Policy. 

Appointed by, reports to: Steering Group
Frequency of meetings: quarterly

Authority and responsibilities: 

  • Signs off the direction, outcomes, resourcing and planning as recommended by WGs. Depending on scale AG and WG may be the same team. Where appropriate AGs can be merged. 
  • Creates high-level tasks for WG to deliver, reviews and endorses their plans
  • Produces minutes for dissemination 
  • Ensures outputs are produced that address definitions, cohesion, roadmaps, risks, gaps and opportunities, recommended approaches and resolutions. 
  • Maintains a risk register for their AG
  • Holds members and workstream leads accountable and provides transparency for defined work packages


  • Chairs: The AG must have two chairs, one representative of the sector and one independent of the sector. IB1 will recommend an independent co-chair. 
  • A wide range of subject matter experts who can address the work required and ensure it is representative of all stakeholders
  • Can include a blend of commercial and non-commercial actors
  • External actors who can provide valuable cross-sector insights
  • Multiple members from the same organisation may join an AG to enable additional expert advisors to contribute to discussions (nb: only one can be assigned voting rights).

Member commitments

  • Must have formal endorsement from their host organisation with appropriate authority
  • Attend meetings
  • Prepare for these meetings ahead of time
  • Help in the dissemination of the work to the relevant communities
  • Input into and sign-off documents
Working Groups (WGs)

Purpose: Deliver specific work outputs

Appointed by, reports to: Advisory Group (1-5 as necessary)
Frequency of meetings: as required

Authority and responsibilities: 

  • Delivers high-level tasks outlined by AGs 
  • Produces outputs for dissemination. Ensures outputs address definitions, cohesion, roadmaps, risks, gaps and opportunities, recommended approaches and resolutions.
  • Informs the AG of risks relevant to risk registers


  • A small, focussed group of subject matter experts that can address the work required.
  • Can include a blend of commercial and non-commercial actors.
  • Can invite non-programme members to participate if appropriate (e.g. domain experts)
  • WGs should typically comprise 3-5 experts working on a particular output, for an AG.

Member commitments

  • Must have formal endorsement from their host organisation with appropriate authority
  • Attend meetings
  • Prepare for these meetings ahead of time
  • Help in the dissemination of the work to the relevant communities
  • Input into and sign-off documents

Resources, roles and responsibilities

IB1 resources and operates the Icebreaking process, including 

  • Co-chair of Steering Group 
  • Co-chair of each Advisory Group 
  • Operating the Steering, Advisory and Working Group processes (as Secretariat)
  • Runs implementation teams and operations with Members
  • Resources delivery (research, reports, content creation, implementation, comms)
  • Manages contracts, budgets and financial processes
  • Provides overall programme management, monitoring and reporting

IB1 roles and responsibilities

IB1 Secretariat & Administrative support

IB1 coordinates and supports the Steering, Advisory and Working Groups, to ensure the programme is making effective and timely decisions at all levels, and is aligned with strategic objectives and operational needs. IB1 provides administrative support, including meeting arrangements, dissemination of agenda, pre-read material, minute-taking and distribution. Formal public and internal minutes are maintained at SG and AG levels.

IB1 researchers

Research support is provided to conduct desk and primary research, prepare materials for publication, and prepare materials for the AG meetings.

IB1 domain experts (project dependent)

Domain and subject matter experts contribute to the AG by providing feedback and expertise during meetings.

Member roles and responsibilities

Participants will include a wide range of subject matter experts to meet the diverse needs of the project, and to ensure it is representative of stakeholders. 

Members of AGs will act as representatives of their industry and not of their company or body: expertise must be contributed as impartially as possible. Work and outputs shall align with existing work and best practices with practical, demonstrable examples to address the mission, and to underpin the business case.

AG member responsibilities include:

  • Engage with and prepare for the meetings with provided pre-reading
  • Attend the AG meetings 
  • Provide feedback before, during and after the meeting to shape outputs
  • Attending potential additional interviews/meetings with researchers
  • Optionally respond to consultations

WG members work on a particular output as designated by the AG and report back at the following meeting.


Membership selection, tenure and maintenance 

SG, AG and WG selection must be open, voluntary, and open to iteration.

The SG must be composed of the decision-makers of an organisation, and have the capacity to steer the programme. SG membership should appropriately reflect particular programme needs (e.g. consumer advocate groups, organisations of different sizes – small, medium and enterprise, regulators, academia).  If a gap in group membership is identified (skills/expertise/representation), the secretariat will attempt to connect with an organisation or individual which can fill the gap once connected with the relevant organisation/individual. 

AG members volunteer for the groups by contacting the secretariat, either via email or through a form. A clearly defined AG scope details the required skills and expertise, and members are asked to self-select the most appropriate colleague to join the group. 

WGs are convened between the AGs to address a specific topic, challenge, or risk identified and prioritised by the AGs. Once the groups are proposed at an AG, members will volunteer or nominate colleagues from their organisations for a group they are able to participate in. Outside of AG meetings, groups can also be formed asynchronously with the support of the secretariat (e.g. using a survey form or survey) which allows members from all AGs to sign up to participate in any WG, and/or nominate domain experts who should be approached to participate in the WG. WGs meet between AG meetings, and tenure is for only the amount of meetings required to address the topic (i.e. smaller topics may only have 1 meeting, whereas other topics require more). Once formed, the WG should appoint a leader who will schedule the meetings and ensure outputs are documented and presented to the next AG. The leadership of the WG can be rotated among group members.

Membership tenure is for a minimum of one year, or as long as the Group determines practical, or as the participant deems themselves relevant to the SG or AG scope. The co-chairs and secretariat must routinely review participant trackers, and request members to ensure they are the correct individuals within their organisation to advise (including replacements should individuals change roles in their host organisation). The co-chairs must also assess, address and document that groups have the required skills to fulfil the tasks. 

For each meeting, participant attendance is recorded in a tracker sheet (using IB1 template). The secretariat reviews the tracker sheet and calculates the percentage of each participant. If a participant has low attendance, the secretariat reaches out to the participant and ensures they want to continue to be in the group, or if any alternative colleague should be nominated.

Course corrective measures

Each agreed stage/milestone reviews, adopts, and endorses the work, with the reporting group providing feedback if the work is deemed incomplete. For example, if an AG determines a WG did not answer a query with enough stakeholder input or missed key aspects in analysis, the AG would send such feedback to the WG and hold the group accountable for delivering what is needed.  

AGs must manage risks and mitigations relevant to their scope, and report to SGs where appropriate along with any course change recommendations.

SG and AG scope definitions detail the expertise required and members are asked to select the most appropriate colleague(s) to join the group. If there is deemed to be a gap in skills and expertise (by group members, co-chairs, regulators etc), the secretariat must raise this concern within the group and call for members within the group to satisfy that skill/expertise or search for new members to join and fulfil those needs, or resource these via IB1. 

Group decision-making

AGs decide which recommendations they wish to take forward. Members are kept up to date with programme progress and advise and review new developments or updates. If an AG is blocked, in disagreement, or unable to advise on a topic, it may be brought to the Secretariat and/or the SG. 

SGs must have the capacity and ability to steer the programme and vote on and/or endorse key decisions. The SG is an opportunity to hear about the high-level progress achieved in the AGs and to provide strategic oversight. SG voting criteria are decided by the SG to ensure the process is clear and mutually agreed. Items are raised to the SG for consideration if:

  • It is a critical or material decision for the programme that requires SG approval 
  • It requires SG member approval (i.e. impacts organisations’ time/money/reputation) 
  • Impacts financial decisions
  • A risk is raised to high status and requires SG advice on mitigation

In-meeting voting can be done verbally, using online tools (e.g. using ranked voting for prioritising use cases) or using the hand-raising function in video conference tools. Between meetings, voting and/or approval can be via email approval or online tools. 

Votes are concluded once voting members have cast their vote, or not raised any objections within a given timeframe. Majorities are defined by the group, dependent on the decision being made (50% or ⅔ may be appropriate. Unanimous is not a requirement). Abstentions must be noted.

Action and agenda-setting

Actions, decisions and opportunities for further work are identified and noted at the end of each meeting. The secretariat produces a follow-up email which includes: key actions, topics which were discussed, and notes key points raised by the group membership. Key actions are also noted in an action tracker document (IB1 operational document) so the secretariat can follow up on key actions, and update the group on the status of those actions at the next meeting. If the actions are cross-AG (i.e. AG2 asking a question of AG1), these actions are raised with the co-chairs of the other relevant AG. 

AG agenda setting: Topics are brought to the AG when the programme leads, co-chairs and Secretariat have an understanding of the ongoing work, and decide which topics need further discussion or advice. This is done through a 30-45 min agenda-setting session where topics are discussed, and an agenda is drafted to be shared with members before the event. 

SG agenda setting: Topics are selected by the programme leads and SG co-chairs to ensure relevant items are tabled and voted on as appropriate. This is done through a 30-45 min agenda-setting session where topics are discussed, and an agenda is drafted to be shared with members before the event. 


2024-02-23Iteration to clarify language and concepts. No material changes to processes.
2024-02-01First public release