How services are assessed

Services covered by the Digital Service Standard need to be independently assessed to make sure they meet the criteria.

Which services need to be assessed

All services within the scope of the Digital Service Standard must be assessed against the Standard. This makes sure that agencies build high-quality government services that meet user needs.

Agencies are encouraged to undertake their own assessments for any information or transactional services that falls within scope of the Digital Service Standard.

Assessment processes

There are 2 types of assessment:

Agencies can choose either type of assessment.

Assessment stages

Assessments become more comprehensive as services move through the service design and delivery process.


By the end of Alpha stage the service needs to pass criteria 1 to 3 and show progress against other criteria


During the Beta stage the service needs to pass all criteria before you release the product as a public beta.


At the end of the Beta stage, before you move to the Live stage, the service needs to meet all the criteria.

If your service doesn’t meet a criterion at any stage, you should consider the risk of progressing to the next stage of the service design and delivery process.

Publishing assessment reports

Agencies are encouraged to share their assessment reports with the DTA so they can be published on to:

  • contribute to a government-wide repository of better practice
  • provide a resource for other teams redesigning or building services
  • provide an easy way to share ideas within and across departments
  • help agency teams to promote their good work
  • provide an audit trail of progress to support the assessment process
  • demonstrate commitment to the Digital Service Standard and increasing transparency of government to the community

Assessment teams

It is recommended that assessors are independent of the service’s delivery team. They should be experts in their field and are usually working on their own projects. This ensures their knowledge and skills are up to date.

There are usually 3 assessors, including a lead assessor.

They represent the following areas:

  • service design/user research
  • technology
  • Agile delivery

Get in touch with us to find out how to set up an assessment team.

Get in touch

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