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Once you know your service needs an assessment, you’ll need to book one with either the Government Digital Service (GDS) or your departmental assessment team.

You can check if you need a service assessment if you’re not sure.

Who to book your assessment with

You need to book an assessment with GDS if either of the following apply:

  • your service is likely to handle more than 100,000 transactions per year
  • civil servants in more than one organisation will use your service

If these conditions don’t apply, you need to book an internal assessment with your departmental assessment team. These are sometimes called ‘self-certification assessments’.

Book a GDS assessment

Before you book an assessment you should:

  • check your service against the Service Standard to see if you’re covering all the points
  • have a meeting with your digital engagement manager to check you’re ready for an assessment

After meeting with your digital engagement manager, email at least 6 weeks before you want to be assessed.

GDS will agree a time, date and location with you. Your assessment will usually take place at the White Chapel Building in London, where GDS is based.

Book an internal assessment

Contact your department’s digital leader and assessment leads. They’ll agree a time and place for the assessment with you.

If you’re in an agency, you may have to contact your parent department to arrange an assessment.

If you don’t pass your assessment

You’ll need to book a reassessment with whoever ran your last assessment.

You’ll get a report explaining the things you’ll need to improve to pass a reassessment.

What information you need to provide

Two weeks before any service assessment, the assessment team will ask you to provide a:

  • brief description of your service and its users
  • recent prototype or link to a development environment
  • high-level technical architecture diagram

You can bring user journey maps or anything that will help you demonstrate your work to the assessment.

Who should attend the assessment

You should bring the people you feel are most able to answer the questions you’re likely to be asked.

It’s recommended that at least the following team members attend:

  • service owner
  • technical architect or lead developer
  • user researcher
  • designer
  • performance analyst (for beta and live assessments)

The team running your assessment can recommend who you should bring.

Preparing for an assessment

You can find out what will happen at a service assessment. This will help you plan what you’ll say and how long you’ll need to spend on each section at your assessment.

You may find the following guides useful:

Published by:
Standards and assurance community
Last update:

Added steps teams should take before booking a GDS assessment.

  1. Guidance first published