Scottish Government launches Digital First Service Standard

The Scottish Government has launched its Digital First Service Standard for online services to be provided by the mygov.scot platform.

The new standard https://resources.mygov.scot/standards/digital-first/index.html is based on the Government Digital Service’s Digital by Default standards, but includes three extra principles covering open data, green ICT and data hosting.

It will also adopt a system of regular ‘check ins’ to monitor process, rather than the GDS’ three-stage assessment process.

In a blog post, Scottish Government digital directorate communications and engagement manager, Scott McLear, said: “By applying the Digital First Service Standard, we’re aiming to create services which are so good, people choose digital first. We want to create services which are fast, efficient and built around users.

“A Digital First assessment process will help us to track how that goal is being met.”


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Scottish officials recently visited GDS to watch a Digital by Default service assessment in process.

But McLear said that his team has taken lessons from the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Office, which focuses more on regular ‘check-ins’

He said: “This helps to ensure there are no ‘deal-breakers’ when a service reaches assessment, as recommendations are made ‘in-flight’ when the team is able to respond and action change.

“The new approach focuses on collaboration between teams and assessors, working together to create a better service, which, after all, is what assessments are all about.”

The Scottish Government will now design and test its new process over coming months and is looking for volunteers to help.

Colin Marrs

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