Service owner course

Six-day GDS Academy course on the role of a service owner in a digital role, for new service owners.

Please note that we are currently reviewing our curriculum and method of course delivery. We hope to be able to provide further information in April 2021.

Course summary

This GDS Academy course is for people who have recently become or about to become service owners.

Course aims and objectives

The aim of this course is to give service owners the basic knowledge, a network of colleagues, and the confidence to take the lead in transforming digital services.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • identify user needs from a range of research sources
  • explain the user-centred design and development of a digital service
  • demonstrate a practical understanding of agile working
  • evaluate what your team needs to do to build a quality service and pass a Digital Service Standard assessment


  • Why are we here
  • Design principles
  • User research
  • Thinking agile
  • Being agile
  • Meeting the service standard
  • Technology for digital services
  • Supporting people to use your digital service
  • Design and agile
  • Data-driven services
  • Governance
  • Procurement and spend control
  • Government as a platform
  • Building the team
  • Experience share
  • Digital leadership


This course is for service owners who are new to the role and will be working on the development of a digital service.


The course takes 6 working days. It usually runs from 9am to 5:30pm.


This course costs £1,128 (not including VAT) for each person.

You must have a purchase order before requesting a place on the course.

Training locations

The GDS Academy has offices in Leeds and London. We run training courses from both locations.

We also run courses in pop-up locations. You will see these in the:

Ask a trainer to come to you

If you cannot travel to Leeds or London, you can ask a GDS Academy trainer to come to you. For example, they can travel to your office. You will need to pay for the trainer’s travel, accommodation and VAT.

If you want a trainer to come to you, email GDS Academy:

Course dates

GDS Academy is updating the modules for this training course. We will add new dates at the end of 2020.

New course dates

GDS Academy publishes new course dates approximately 4 times a year.

You can see these in the:

Book a place

You need a purchase order number before you can book a course.

Email GDS Academy

Email, with your:

  • name
  • organisation
  • mobile phone number
  • course name, the number of courses, and the number of places
  • course location
  • course date
  • purchase order number

Tell us how many trainees there will be

You can book for one person or a group of people.

If you want to book for a group, you can choose:

  • an open group (people from other organisations can join the training)
  • a closed group (this is only for you and people you invite)

If you are booking for a closed group, you must include:

  • where you want to host the course (location)
  • when you would like to host the course (date)

Contact GDS Academy

Email GDS Academy:

Published 16 September 2016
Last updated 28 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added information about the new requirement to have a purchase order number at the time of requesting a place on the course

  2. We have added the course cost, and the need to have a training agreement with the GDS Academy and permission from your line manager to attend.

  3. First published.