The new company with the 30 year track record.

We’ve been delivering Standards and Governance services to the UK’s financial services industry since 1989.

Criterion, operating as an independent not-for-profit organisation, was formed in 2017 as an industry body dedicated to providing Standards and Governance services. However, for almost 30 years, we have been publishing process and integration Standards.



New Draft MPS Standards published

In August 2023, we launched the industry's first Draft Model Portfolio Service (MPS) Standards.

Draft MPS Standards

New home for Criterion

In December 2022, we relocated to one of Scotland’s major financial districts in Edinburgh at 9-10 St. Andrew Square. 

This is a milestone for Criterion and reflects our continued role in supporting the financial services industry.  

Our new home

Three years of fundraising for Waverley Care

To mark World AIDS Day 2022, we presented our corporate charity partner, Waverley Care, with a cheque for an incredible £28,922.85 - the total amount we have raised in the last three years.

Three years of fundraising for Waverley Care

STAR launches accreditation scheme

STAR launched its first transfer accreditation marks in November 2022 - the largest piece of industry collaboration for decades.

STAR launches accreditation scheme

Criterion enters Equity Release market

In October 2021, we entered the Equity Release market, taking on the stewardship and governance of API Standards designs for Quotes / KFIs.

Criterion enters the Equity Release market

STAR reaches significant milestones

The STAR initiative has agreed Core Management Information (MI) and is also working towards Full MI reporting.  This more detailed MI will provide an indication of how an organisation is performing in the specific processes that it is responsible for in a transfer / re-registration journey. 

This is a key milestone for STAR, enabling the initiative to become the single, authoritative source of transfer data on how firms are performing. STAR accreditations of bronze, silver and gold will be awarded so that performance can be evidenced, rewarded and improvements encouraged across the industry.

STAR reaches significant milestones

Criterion reaches full independence

In September 2020, we became fully independent as the industry’s not-for-profit Standards and Governance services body.

Criterion reaches full independence

STAR is born

The introduction of STAR, a joint venture between TeX and Criterion to galvanise the industry to shape recognised, industry-wide standards and promote good practice in transfers.

Find out more about STAR

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)




Criterion launched

The Criterion Standards were established over 25 years ago and underpin the exchange of data between organisations in the financial services industry. This makes it easier for product providers, platforms, administrators, portals and advisers to work with each other. Criterion is owned by industry companies.

In response to industry demand, the Origo Board decided in order to eliminate the perception of a conflict of interest between the services provided by Origo and its provision of Standards to the industry, a separate company should be created.

Criterion was created on 12 June 2017 and became custodian of the Standards.

And so we began on our path to independence.


FCA formed

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was established on 1 April 2013, taking over responsibility for the regulation of businesses from the FSA.


Enhancing the Standards Library

Continued development and enhancement of our suite of standards to ensure we meet the evolving needs of the industry:

  • Auto Enrolment (2013)
  • Legal Framework (ANP & AE 2015)
  • Bulk Valuations (2018 CSV & XML)
  • Legal Framework (GDPR 2018)
  • Bulk Transaction History (2019)

Auto Enrolment standards


Retail Distribution Review (RDR)


Flexible Integration Toolkit released

We launched our Flexible Integration Toolkit (FIT) in 2011. A group of standards, increasing speed to market and reducing development costs.

The FIT Standards suite provide the means to adapt a Standard to suit specific business needs.


Continual development of our Standards

  • New Business Tracking (2008)
  • Contract Enquiry Wrap Platform Accounts (2010)
  • Remuneration Statement (2011 RDR)
  • Quotes & New Business (2011 RDR)
  • New Business Annuities (2012)

Pensions Simplification (A-Day)


Legal Framework launched

We published our first Legal Framework Standard in 2004.


FSA founded

The Financial Services Authority was formed on 28 October 1997 but it didn't begin regulating the conduct of businesses until the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 came into force on 1 December 2001. 


Developing our Standards Library

We published a variety of standards from 2000:

  • Remote Publishing (2000)
  • Real Time % Bulk Contract Enquiry (2000 xml)
  • Quotes & New Business v3.0 (2001)
  • Occupation Codes (2002)
  • Extranet Linking (2002)
  • Remote Publishing (2002)
  • HTTP Message Transmission Guidelines
  • Single & Multi Account (2002)
  • Commission XML (2002)
  • Process Architecture (2003)
Standards Library

Quotes & New Business and Declaration Approach

  • 1997 Declaration Approach – first use of alternative to wet signatures
  • 1998 New Business and Bulk Data Download first published
  • 1999 Quotes – our first XML standard

First standard published

First Standard, Commission EDI launched to market.


Origo established

Origo was established with only 3 employees