What is a Working Draft? What is a Recommendation?

XBRL International publishes documents that define business reporting technologies in use by regulators and regulated companies, governments, businesses of all sizes and within large and medium sized enterprises. The development of these specifications follow a process designed to promote consensus, fairness, public accountability and quality. During this process, the document will be published at various draft statuses for public review and comment. The end of the process is publication as a Recommendation, a stable specification which is considered suitable for broad adoption and implementation.

What is the process that a Specification goes through before becoming a Recommendation?

New specifications are initially discussed as “Working Group Working Drafts” and “Internal Working Drafts” within the consortium and then released as “Public Working Drafts” for initial public review.

After a careful process of review, they may be released as “Candidate Recommendations” and a “Call for Implementations” issued. This is an indication that the specification now meets all identified requirements, and is ready for implementation in software.

The process of implementing the specification will often yield minor issues in the specification requiring updates to the specification which are released as further Candidate Recommendations.

Once sufficient implementation and deployment experience has been gathered and it is believed that no additional development of a specification is necessary, the specification may be re-issued as a Proposed Recommendation, with an associated final Call for Review. If no further issues are identified, the specification will be re-issued without further changes as an XBRL Recommendation.

Recommendations are stable, and will only be updated with errata corrections for defects uncovered in the drafting.

It should be noted that where the Public Working Drafts (PWD) are sufficiently developed and tested , that the consortium may forgo issuing Candidate Recommendations (CR) and Proposed Recommendations (PR) and instead release work product as Recommended (REC).

What are Working Group Notes?

XBRL International’s technical Working Groups, from time to time, publish Working Group Notes intended to explain or amplify aspects of XBRL technologies.

These are not specifications, but may document best practice or offer additional explanation of details of a specification.