Guidance on XBRL Taxonomies

This section provides guidance on creating and using XBRL taxonomies.  For a list of taxonomies recognised by XBRL International see the Taxonomies section. 

Quality Control Process for Taxonomy Development - June 28, 2013

Starting with a brief introduction of definition of Taxonomy and its distinction from other knowledge
classification and organization systems, this paper takes a closer look at the XBRL taxonomy development as a
modern subject of semantic knowledge classification system.

The paper highlights three key contributing factors which influence the Quality in an XBRL Taxonomy, including:

  • Project Governance Structure involving various stakeholders
  • Iterative Processes for Taxonomy Development, Test and Review; and
  • Skilled Resources in at least two critical areas of expertise, viz., domain experts and XBRL technology experts.

Architectural issues at the design stage, internal and external review cycles and quality control check-lists foriterative testing are included as examples of framework components. Finally, this paper provides a sample list and description of supportive documents that enable this taxonomy quality control process to become a best practice.

The paper uses the Japan EDINET and UKHMRC taxonomies as case studies.

FRTA 1.5 - Public Working Draft - May 16, 2011

Version 1.5 of the Financial Reporting Taxonomies Architecture (FRTA) document is an update to the FRTA 1.0 document originally issued on 25 April 2005 and updated on 20 March 2006. It seeks to remove any rules that have grown obsolete based on the various adoptions of XBRL in the Financial Reporting space, and the development and implementation of Dimensions 1.0 recommendation. It is important to note that, since the publication of FRTA 1.0, there has been a proliferation of projects around the world and a number of different architectures have arisen that have been deemed to be appropriate for the situations for which those taxonomies have been developed. As such it has become evident that no single architecture necessarily has universal applicability, for which reason it is unlikely that FRTA 1.5 will eventually be viewed as anything more than a FRTA 1.0 update. Future taxonomy guidance material development is likely to address the multitude of architectures and the decisions and rationales on which they are based. Feedback from reviewers on the content of FRTA 1.5 as well as the points mentioned here about future development is eagerly sought. Please send your commentary to

Guidelines on Financial Reporting Taxonomies - April 25, 2005

The Financial Reporting Taxonomies Architecture (FRTA) document guides the creation of  taxonomies under version 2.1 of the Specification.  It sets out a recommended design architecture and establishes rules and conventions which help make taxonomies more usable and efficient.  A Conformance Suite has also been published to verify that applications conform to FRTA requirements.  The FRTA has been approved as a Recommendation by the XBRL International Steering Committee.  A new edition of the FRTA with errata corrections was issued on 20 March 2006.

RTF - Normative version
HTML version
RTF version with redlined changes showing errata

FRTA Conformance Suite - April 25, 2005

The FRTA Conformance Suite provides tests to verify that software applications comply with the Financial Reporting Taxonomies Architecture document.  It has been approved as a formal XBRL Recommendation by the XBRL International Steering Committee.  The normative version of the suite is available as a downloadable zip file.  To enable testing using a fixed web location, the contents of the zip are also available at

Users should note that this is a non-normative location and the latest versions of tests are NOT guaranteed always to be available.  Users are encouraged to download the zip file for routine testing.  In the event of any conflict between the contents the downloadable zip and the files at the location above, users should treat the contents of the downloadable zip file as the correct version.

RTF - Normative summary document
HTML summary document
Full Test Suite zip


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