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  1. Service manual
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  3. Digital foundation day training

This 1-day workshop is an introduction to digital and the Service Standard for people and teams building government services.

Who should take part

The day is suitable for people who are working with digital services. It’s not recommended for newly appointed service owners, who should book the service owner induction programme instead.

How to book

As a civil servant, you can book a place on the Digital Foundation Day through Civil Service Learning (CSL).

CSL also offers group bookings for up to 30 people. For further details, please email or telephone 020 3367 8316.

If you are from the wider public sector and are interested in a group booking please contact

Pre-learning requirements

As preparation for the day, you should:

What you’ll learn

The foundation day includes the following modules:

Why are we here?

Together we’re leading the digital transformation of government, by making services so good people prefer to use them. This introductory session explores:

  • why we need to change the way government does digital
  • what’s happened so far, including the launch of GOV.UK and the transformation programme to make 25 major services digital
  • what this means for agencies and departments in general, and for your role in particular

Putting users first

User-centred design starts with user needs. In this session the group will:

  • meet some users of government digital services
  • explore different techniques for finding out what users need
  • write some user stories
  • decide what requirements count as user needs

Thinking agile

Agile marks a fundamental shift from traditional methods of delivery in government. This session will introduce agile thinking and show how it leads to better outcomes. You’ll cover:

  • agile as a mindset, much wider than a set of tools and techniques
  • the principles in the Agile Manifesto and how they apply to software projects and beyond
  • the agile disciplines that keep teams focused on outcomes and maximise the chances of success

Meeting the Service Standard

The Service Standard is the benchmark your services must reach to go live on GOV.UK. You will:

  • learn about the standard, how it was created and the tools that are available to help departments meet it
  • consider how services are assessed against the standard
  • find out which parts of the standard are most challenging for your own services and department
  • identify development needs to help you and your department meet the standard

Further learning

Civil servants who have completed the foundation day can ask to join one or more of these further learning sessions with GDS digital specialists:

  • supporting people to use your digital service
  • design and agile
  • always be testing
  • data-driven services
  • being agile
  • governance, procurement and spend control
  • GOV.UK Verify and other platforms

These modules are run by the GDS Academy as part of the service owner induction programme. For more information, email

Read the following guides to find out about more agile training courses and other ways to learn:

Published by:
Agile delivery community
Last update:

Guidance first published