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  1. Service manual
  2. Digital Service Standard
  3. 11. Make a plan for being offline

You must make a plan for your service going offline, to meet point 11 of the Digital Service Standard.

You’ll have to explain how you’ve done this at your service assessments.

How point 11 improves your service

Users may expect that an online service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You need to have a plan for what to do if your service goes offline so that you know how users will be affected and how to get it back online.

How you’ll be assessed

Your assessment and the questions the assessors ask you will vary depending on your service and what it does.

Alpha assessment

To pass the alpha assessment you need to be able to explain how users would be affected if your service was unavailable for any length of time.

Beta assessment

To pass you usually need to explain:

  • how users of the beta service would be affected if the service was unavailable for any length of time
  • how you’re selecting technology and platforms that meet your availability requirements
  • your data recovery strategy and how you’ve tested it
  • the most likely causes for the service going offline and how you plan to stop them from happening
  • your strategy for dealing with outages, including who’s responsible and the decisions they can make

Live assessment

To pass you usually need to explain:

  • how users would be affected if your service was unavailable for any length of time and how that’s changed since beta
  • how you’re making sure the technology and platforms you’ve selected still meet your availability requirements
  • your data recovery strategy and how often you’re testing it
  • the most likely ways the service could go offline and how you plan to stop them
  • your strategy for dealing with outages, including who’s responsible and the decisions they can make

Explain your service’s evolution

At each phase you should explain how your service has evolved since its last assessment.

Read about keeping your service online to help you pass point 11.

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