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GDS to transform Digital Service Standard



Plans for new guidance and a rebrand new emphasis on end-to-end services

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has revealed plans to update the Digital Service Standard and rebrand it as the Government Service Standard.

It will be the first major change in the standard, since an update in 2015.

GDS explained in a blogpost that the change in name reflects an emphasis on the end-to-end nature of services beyond the transactional digital elements.

The new version will be aimed at helping service teams to bring operational colleagues, such as case workers and call centre staff, into decision-making.

“We want the new version of the standard to make it clear when it’s appropriate to make use of registers, common platforms, components and patterns,” the blog says.

“And we want to put more emphasis on setting up your service so it’s as easy as possible to reconfigure, to meet changing user needs and adapt to new technologies.”

GDS added that it will prioritise guidance and patterns to support service teams, and ensure the guidance is structured to support decision-making.

Talks underway

It said it is already talking with people outside the organisation, including the cross-government service assessors network, and is planning a series of workshops through October to get feedback on the plans.

The Digital Service Standard was launched in 2014 as a yardstick for government organisations in building and running digital services. All public facing transactional services have to meet its terms, and it has been used for hundreds of assessments.

The 2015 update involved reducing its 26 points to the existing 18, but GDS said that things have moved on since then. Late last year GDS updated the approach to assessments against the standard.

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