Digital Service Standard

The Digital Service Standard ensures digital teams build government services that are simpler, clearer and faster for all users.

All services within the scope of the Digital Service Standard must work to meet the Standard. The Standard is now live and services will be assessed if design or redesign commences after 6 May 2016. You can check the changes between the Live and Beta Standard.

The Criteria

Government agencies will be expected to:

  1. Understand user needs

    Understand user needs. Research to develop a deep knowledge of the users and their context for the service.

  2. Have a multi-disciplinary team

    Establish a sustainable multi-disciplinary team to design, build, operate and iterate the service, led by an experienced product manager with decision-making responsibility.

  3. Agile and user-centered process

    Design and build the service using the service design and delivery process, taking an agile and user-centred approach.

  4. Understand tools and systems

    Understand the tools and systems required to build, host, operate and measure the service and how to adopt, adapt or procure them.

  5. Make it secure

    Identify the data and information the service will use or create. Put appropriate legal, privacy and security measures in place.

  6. Consistent and responsive design

    Build the service with responsive design methods using common design patterns and the style guide.

  7. Use open standards and common platforms

    Build using open standards and common government platforms where appropriate.

  8. Make source code open

    Make all new source code open by default.

  9. Make it accessible

    Ensure the service is accessible to all users regardless of their ability and environment.

  10. Test the service

    Test the service from end to end, in an environment that replicates the live version.

  11. Measure performance

    Measure performance against KPIs set out in the guides. Report on public dashboard.

  12. Don’t forget the non-digital experience

    Ensure that people who use the digital service can also use the other available channels if needed, without repetition or confusion.

  13. Encourage everyone to use the digital service

    Encourage users to choose the digital service and consolidate or phase out existing alternative channels where appropriate.

Contact the Digital Service Standard team:


Digital Service Standard poster (PDF 83 KB)

Digital Service Standard kanban poster (PDF 195 KB)

The Digital Service Standard has been adapted from the UK Government’s Digital by Default Service Standard under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

Last updated: 29 September 2016