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  1. Service manual
  2. Service assessments
  3. Check if you need a service assessment

Services are assessed to make sure they meet the Digital Service Standard and to protect the quality of GOV.UK. They also help you get feedback from a panel of experts and solve problems with your service as you build it.

You must get your service assessed if it’s the responsibility of a central government department and either of the following apply:

  • getting assessed is a condition of your Cabinet Office spend approval
  • it’s a transactional service that’s new or being rebuilt - your spend approval will say whether what you’re doing counts as a rebuild

These rules apply even if your service is internal and will only be used by civil servants.

When services get assessed

If your service needs to be assessed, you must arrange assessments at each of the following stages:

  • at the end of alpha
  • at the end of private beta, before you launch a public beta
  • at the end of beta, before your service moves into live

If your service doesn’t pass an assessment, you’ll need to get it reassessed before you start the next phase.

What counts as a transactional service

A transactional service is any service which allows users to either:

  • exchange information, money, permission, goods or services
  • submit personal information which results in a change to a government record

Your service is probably transactional unless it’s:

Who will run your assessments

GDS will run your assessments 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, your department’s assessment team will run your assessment.

You can check when and how to book an assessment.

Get a voluntary assessment

Even if your service doesn’t need an assessment, you can arrange one to check you’re building it in a way that meets the Digital Service Standard.

If you want to arrange a voluntary assessment, contact:

  • GDS by emailing dbd-assessments@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk - if you expect your service to have more than 100,000 transactions per year
  • your digital leader - if your service is likely to have fewer than 100,000 transactions per year

Examples and case studies

The following blog posts contain more information about service assessments:

You may also find the following guides useful:

Published by:
Standards and assurance community
Last update:

Clarified guidance around when a service needs to be assessed.

  1. Updated the address for GDS assessments to The White Chapel Building.

  2. Added link to 'How your assisted digital support will be assessed'.

  3. Guidance first published