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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:
- a calculator which doesn’t store results, for example the marriage allowance calculator
- a smart answer or decision tree that asks questions to route users to content relevant to their situation - for example check if you need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return
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 email@example.com - 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:
- previous service assessment reports
- how departments prepare to have their assisted digital support assessed
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.
Updated the address for GDS assessments to The White Chapel Building.
Added link to 'How your assisted digital support will be assessed'.
Guidance first published