The Government of Canada’s Common Look and Feel (CLF) standard is defined by the Chief Information Officer Branch (CIOB) of the Treasury Board Secretariat and evaluated through the “Effectiveness of Information Technology Management” element of the Management Accountability Framework (a balanced score-card approach to measuring management practices across all federal departments and agencies).
This standard governs branding, usability & accessibility standards for government departments on the internet.
In 2000, the CLF standard was implemented and government departments had almost two years to make their sites compliant.
In 2007, the CLF standard was revised and a 2.0 version was released. Organizations were given two years to comply.
In 2011, the Part 2: Standard on the Accessibility, Interoperability and Usability of Web Sites has been replaced by the new Standard on Web Accessibility.
What is the future of CLF?
With various concerns having been raised over problems created by the CLF requirements, future versions of the standard may see significant changes.
The CLF 2.0 standard is being updated to:
- take into account the most recent version of internationally accepted Web content accessibility guidelines;
- increase flexibility of Website layout and design;
- enable institutions to incorporate the use of innovative and emerging technologies to their online information and services.
The Common Look and Feel Guidelines consist of 4 parts:
- Part 1 – Standard on Web Addresses
- Part 2 – Standard on the Accessibility
- Part 3 – Standards on Common Web Page Formats
- Part 4 – Standard on Email
Standard on Web Addresses
This part outlines how to ensure Government of Canada domain names are manages and used correctly, as well as setting guidelines on website folder and document naming conventions.
Browse official guidelines: Standard on Web Addresses
Standard on Web Accessibility
The New Standard on Web Accessibility replaces PART 2 – Standard on the Accessibility, Interoperability and Usability of Web Sites from the original CLF 2.0 Guidelines.
The objective of this standard is to ensure a high level of Web accessibility is applied uniformly across Government of Canada Web sites.
Browse official guidelines: Standard on Web Accessibility
Standards on Common Web Page Formats
This section sets to establish consistency in how Government of Canada web sites work. It’s important to maintain familiarity with users, as unanticipated navigation mechanisms and layout can cause frustration and reduce the readability of Government communications. Here you’ll find guidance on navigation mechanisms, header and footer layouts as well as where key information must be positioned.
Browse official guidelines: Standards on Common Web Page Formats
Standard on Email
The last part of the CLF 2.0 guidelines sets standards for email. It provides guidance on address nomanclatuer, the use of generic email addresses, as well as how signature blocks within emails should be formatted.
Browse official guidelines: Standard on Email
The following resources can also be found on the Common Look and Feel for the Internet 2.0 site from Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
- Web Experience Toolkit (WET) on IRCan
- WET v2.2 released – 53 features included (16 new and 37 updated)
- Download WET features (Terms and Conditions of Use)
- Working examples
- WET documentation
- WET Fact Sheet
Government of Canada
- Government of Canada Metadata Implementation Guidelines for Web Resource Discovery, 5th edition, December 2006
- TBITS 39: Treasury Board Information Management Standard, Part 1: Government On-Line Metadata Standard
- Federal Identity Program Policy
- Federal Identity Program Policy, Appendix A – Official Languages
- Federal Identity Program (FIP) Links
- Directive on the Use of Official Languages on Web Sites
- Directive on the Use of Official Languages in Electronic Communications
W3C – Technologies
- XHTML 1.0: The Extensible HyperText Markup Language – A Reformulation of HTML 4 in XML 1.0
- HTML Compatibility Guidelines (XHTML 1.0: The Extensible HyperText Markup Language)
- Cascading Style Sheets, level 1
- Cascading Style Sheets, level 2
- Cascading Style Sheets, level 2 – Full property table
- Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) 1.0 Specification
- Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL 2.0) Specification
W3C – WAI
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
- Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
- Techniques for WCAG 2.0
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Documents
- Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
- Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
- User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
- User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
- Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) 1.0 Schema
- Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) Version 1.0
- Web Accessibility for Older Users: A Literature Review