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Open Specifications : CPSV-AP and the SDG services model for describing procedures

Table of contents




SDG Services Model

Access to CPSV-AP and SDG Services Model GitHub repositories


What is the CPSV-AP ?

The Core Public Service Vocabulary Application Profile (CPSV-AP) is a reusable and extensible data specification used for harmonising the way public services are described in a machine-readable format. CPSV-AP captures fundamental characteristics of a public service, such as the name, description, competent public organisation, output, etc. Public administrations and service providers can therefore use this approach to describe their services and guarantee a level of cross-domain and cross-border interoperability at European, national and local level.

The CPSV-AP includes the cardinality and data type of the properties, while specifying mandatory and optional elements to be used. According to the latest version, only 2 classes are mandatory: public service and public organisation, the rest being optional classes. Mandatory classes and properties indicate the minimum requirements to comply with CPSV-AP, while other elements are optional. A minimal implementation of the CPSV-AP at least provides information on the mandatory properties of the mandatory classes. Optional classes can still have mandatory properties for which information should be provided when the particular class is used in the description of public services and business events. 

UML diagram of CPSV-AP


What are the benefits of using CPSV-AP ? 

CPSV-AP benefits public administrations, businesses, and citizens. The model harmonises public services (information) stored in different local, regional, and national information sources, allowing the information to be searched and shared easily within and across public administrations all over Europe. This improves efficiency within public administrations and lowers the administrative burden for businesses and citizens who want to access public services (information).

By taking into account the maturity level of the solutions, the Catalogue of Services Action offers personalised support to the administration to best fulfil its needs (e.g. from developing a catalogue of public services from scratch to enhancing the interoperability of an existing solution). By offering these support services, the Action is intended to guarantee a certain level of uniformity of the solutions developed between the Member States, which results in a significant interoperability improvement (such as the CPSV-AP specification which is used to describe public services related to business and life events, to facilitate the set-up of catalogues of services oriented to businesses and citizens).


Who is using CPSV-AP ? 

Map of Europe displaying the reuse and piloting activities of CPSV-AP

CPSV-AP as part of the Core Vocabularies

The CPSV-AP has been seen as a first step for creating a model for describing public services related to business and life events, to facilitate the set-up of catalogues of services oriented to businesses and citizens. The CPSV-AP has been defined as an Application Profile of the ISA² Core Vocabularies maintained by the Semantic Interoperability Community Action (SEMIC).

Core Vocabulary is a simplified, reusable, and extensible data model that captures the fundamental characteristics of an entity in a context-neutral fashion. Core Vocabularies are the starting point for agreeing on new semantic interoperability assets and defining mappings between existing assets to guarantee a level of cross-domain and cross-border interoperability that can be attained by public administrations.

An Application Profile is a specification that re-uses terms from one or more base standards, adding more specificity by identifying mandatory, recommended, and optional elements to be used for a particular application, as well as recommendations for controlled vocabularies to be used.

All the versions of the Core Vocabularies can be downloaded from


For additional information on the specification

We invite you to visit the solution page dedicated to CPSV-AP to obtain additional information such as:

  • known reuses of the specification; 
  • the process and methodology handling the change requests; 
  • the different versions of CPSV-AP, and much more !




What is the SDG services model ?

The Single Digital Gateway Regulation follows similar objectives as the Catalogue of Services Action: improving the exchange of public services descriptions between administrations across borders and improving the searchability and accessibility of public service information for the citizens and businesses. To achieve this, the SDGR describes a list of procedures and information areas considered as particularly relevant in the crossborder exchange of public service information such as requesting a proof of residence (procedure) or travelling within the Union (information area).

To achieve these objectives, one key challenge for the Member States is to agree on common concepts for describing these procedures and information required. For example, what is meant by 'public organisation', 'competent authority', or 'life event'. Together with Member States and DG GROW, the Action has worked on a draft version of an SDG services model for describing the concepts relevant in the SDGR about public services. The latest version is published on GitHub.

How does the SDG Services Model differ from CPSV-AP ?

The SDG services model is reusing the best practices from years of experience maintaining and implementing the CPSV-AP model while only keeping the elements that are needed for implementing the regulation.

Although the development of the SDG services model is based on CPSV-AP, its scope is different. As mentioned above, CPSV-AP captures fundamental characteristics of a public service in a context neutral manner in order to maximise its re-use and avoid lockdown in one domain. On the contrary, the SDG services model has a much more practical focus, namely to comply with Single Digital Gateway Regulation. As a consequence, the information requirements coming from the regulation represent a specific context for developing the SDG Services Model and deciding what should be included or not. 

Why creating a SDG services model?

The main reasons for creating a SDG services model for defining the common characteristics of the procedures and information areas from the regulation are the following:

  • Digitalise and automate the exchange of metadata with the Repository of Links and, ultimately, the Single Digital Gateway portal;
  • Comply with the SDGR;
  • Reduce interoperability costs for the Member States by agreeing upfront on a common model (each Member State would have to align its information with one model instead of each Member State with all other Member States);
  • Structure your information in a way that could be reused for future applications (e.g. chatbot, profiling);
  • Implement a flexible data model that could be easily adapted and/or extended to evolving needs.


Access to CPSV-AP and SDG Services Model GitHub repositories

If you are looking for technical information about the specifications or you would like to suggest some changes, we invite you to click on the icons below to be redirected to the repositories of the specifications.