GDS Academy courses

The GDS Academy trains public sector workers in agile ways of working and digital service design.

Winding down of GDS Academy services

As of September 2022, the GDS Academy is being closed down. This means that we won’t be advertising new courses, and will stop delivering courses after 25 November 2022.

If you have an academy course scheduled, contact with any questions about how this affects you.

Civil servants can access learning and development through Civil Service Learning.

About GDS Academy courses

Courses are delivered live - not pre-recorded.

There’s a range of standard courses you can book a place on as an individual - or we can provide training for groups of people within an organisation.

Digital and agile bitesize basics (online course)

An introduction to the Service Standard and how it supports the design and delivery of user-centred digital services.

10 modules, covering:

  • the Service Standard and how services are assessed against it

  • what to expect from each of the agile delivery phases used to deliver digital services - discovery alpha, beta and live

  • how multi-disciplinary teams work together to deliver digital services, including the different specialist roles on a digital team

  • understanding users and their needs - user-centred approaches to design and user research

  • introduction to agile principles and ways of working, including the Scrum framework

  • measuring performance - how digital teams define success metrics and collect data to measure performance

  • digital accessibility - making services that work for everyone, including disabled people - and what the law says about making public services accessible

  • identity in government - approaches to proving and verifying someone’s identity using digital, including GPG 45 (the government’s good practice guide on proving and verifying someone’s identity)

Course takes two full days and one half day. Cost is £860 (plus VAT) per person.

Understanding users and their needs (online course)

Introduction to user-centred approaches to design and user research. Single, stand-alone module, covering:

  • the case for user-centred approaches

  • how bias and assumptions affect design designs, and how to limit their influence

  • different user research methods, and how to apply them for different purposes

  • role of a user researcher in an agile team

Course takes 90 minutes. Cost is £85 (plus VAT) per person.

Do not book this course if you’ve already been on our ‘Digital and agile bitesize basics’ course: it covers the same material.

Introduction to Kanban (online course)

Introduction to Kanban, one of the most widely-used approaches to agile. Covers:

  • Kanban principles and practices

  • defining key signs of inefficiency

  • identifying blockers to maintaining a sustainable development pace

  • approaches to implementing Kanban

Course takes 2 hours. Cost is £85 (plus VAT) per person.

Course dates

Course Online or in-person? Start dates
Digital and agile: bitesize basics Online 1 November (no places available)
Understanding users and their needs Online 25 October, 18 November (no places available for both dates)
Introduction to Kanban Online 26 October (no places available)

Taking part in one of our online courses

We usually deliver online courses using Zoom. You can join using a work or personal device, and you will not need to download any software.

All course content is unclassified.

Book a place on one of our courses

You’ll need a purchase order before you can book a course.

To book a place, email with:

  • name

  • organisation

  • email address

  • the course date you would like to attend, from those available

  • copy of the purchase order (attached to the email as a PDF)

  • postal address for your finance department to quote on the invoice

  • an email contact for the invoice to be sent to, once raised


You’ll usually be charged in full if you cancel within 10 working days of the course start date. There’s usually no charge if you cancel more than 10 days working ahead of the course start date. Exceptions apply. Contact us as soon as possible if you need to cancel.

How we use your personal information

Read the GDS Academy privacy notice to find out how we use your personal information.

Published 27 June 2022
Last updated 18 October 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect fact that GDS Academy services are being wound down

  2. Course dates removed after 25 November due to Academy closing

  3. Old course dates removed

  4. New available dates added for Digital and Bitesize Basics course, Understanding users and their needs course and Introduction to Kanban course

  5. Updated course dates. Date of 'Digital and agile bitesize basics' course changed from not 23 August to 16 August. Date of 'Understanding users and their needs' course changed from 9 August to 23 August.

  6. Date of 'Understanding users and their needs' course changed from 9 August to 23 August

  7. First published.