Did we recommend a Staging Review in the Collaboration Cycle Request ticket? If so, follow the below guidelines to get started.


Governance Team


Request this touchpoint before you begin launch, allowing enough time to implement feedback. This will vary depending on the size of your product.

Staging Reviews require a 4 day lead time


Synchronous 30-minute meeting


To get feedback on your completed build before rolling out to users. To identify any launch-blocking issues that must be addressed prior to launch.

Moderator script

Welcome to the Staging Review for _______ team for ______ initiative.

The purpose of the Staging Review is for the Platform Collaboration Cycle team to review your product to ensure your product meets design, IA, content, QA, and accessibility VA.gov platform standards. This is your last opportunity to ensure your product is accessible, compliant and consistent with VA.gov standards before releasing to Veterans and/or VA.gov users. For QA, you will receive 1 ticket with all QA feedback. QA issues are classified on a Must, Should, Consider scale. We recommend that issues classified as “Must” be resolved/addressed before launch.

Feedback for Accessibility, IA, Design and Content will be in alignment with the VA.gov Experience Standards. Feedback for these practice areas will be issue based, meaning you’ll receive 1 ticket for each issue found. If the issue concerns multiple practice areas, all applicable practice areas will provide feedback on the ticket. If the issue is critical, it will have the launch-blocking label and must be addressed prior to launch. Any remaining, non-launch-blocking, accessibility issues will need to be documented in a 508 Office Audit Request. Do not make responses or comments on the issue ticket, instead please update the Staging Review section of the Collaboration Cycle Request ticket or discuss in the appropriate Slack channel. Please do not close out any of these issue tickets until the feedback has been resolved as OCTO plans to use these tickets to assess the overall “experience health” of VA.gov.


Collaboration Cycle moved to a new process beginning May 26th, 2022.

For those who started the Collaboration Cycle process after May 26th, 2022


VFS participants (required):

  • Product manager

  • OCTO-DE Product lead

  • Anyone else from your team who significantly contributed to the artifacts

The participants above will not be invited to the meeting by Platform. You are responsible for ensuring everyone required to be in attendance is invited. We encourage you to invite other members of your team as well, including:

  • Content, IA, accessibility, and QA specialists

  • Other VA stakeholders

Platform participants:

  • Design

  • Accessibility

  • Content

  • IA

  • QA

  • Product

  • OCTO-DE practice area leads


Provide links or documents for the following:

Product artifacts

  • Staging URL and staging test user information

    • Double-check that you've provided staging access information appropriate for testing the tool or feature. Don't put staging credentials in your va.gov-team ticket; store test user information, passwords, and tasks in a .md file in the va.gov-team-sensitive repository

    • Please also refer to: Staging Environment Guidance for specific details and comprehensive guidance

Content artifacts

  • GitHub ticket for any relevant static content page and entry point updates for tool or feature (if applicable)

IA artifacts

  • Please include a link to any Sitewide Content & IA feedback you received, including an IA review document or intake form.

QA artifacts

Learn more about QA artifacts

Accessibility artifacts

Note: All artifacts listed above must be provided at least 4 days before scheduled meeting/review. Please also ensure Collaboration Cycle reviewers have appropriate access to secured applications


Platform reviewers will document their feedback in GitHub tickets linked to the Collaboration Cycle Request ticket. Please review Anatomy of a Staging Review Issue ticket for guidance on how to read/interpret an issue ticket including GitHub labels, Category/Issue/Unique IDs and heading definitions.

Accessibility, design, content, and IA issues will be documented in issue-focused tickets, based on the VA.gov experience standards. Critical issues will have the launch-blocking label and must be addressed prior to launch.

Any Accessibility issues that are not addressed prior to launch must be communicated to the VA 508 Office via Audit Request. This is the responsibility of the VFS team.

QA feedback will be documented in 1 ticket using the must, should, consider format.