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Apprenticeship Applications - Service Assessment

The exemplar’s vision is to create an easy to use digital service where apprenticeships can be advertised and applied for, with the transaction supported by clear information to inspire and advise users, so that they can self-serve, leading to minimal additional support being required.

Department / Agency:

Date of Assessment:

Assessment stage:

Result of Assessment:

Lead Assessor:
R. Reynolds

Service Manager:
G. Tucker

Digital Leader:
T. Knighton

Assessment Report

The Apprenticeship Applications service is seeking permission to be branded a Live Digital by Default service on the domain.

Outcome of service assessment

After completing the assessment, the panel can confirm the Apprenticeship Applications service has shown sufficient evidence of meeting the Digital by Default Service Standard and should go Live as a Digital by Default service on GOV.UK. The service can now remove any Beta branding.


The assessment panel were pleased that such strong progress has been made in the relatively short amount of time since the service's beta assessment. The team is clearly led by an empowered and committed service manager.

The panel were pleased to see a service built around user needs and tested with users, replacing a service that did not have the same focus on its users.

The panel were satisfied that plans are in place to continue to make improvements to the service, and that the service will continue to iterate in line with user needs during the service's Live phase.

The service's approach to assisted digital was exemplary, showing:

  • A clear understanding of specific user needs.
  • Developing relationships with related government agencies and charities.
  • Tailoring of the digital service to support less digitally able users.
  • Relevant assisted digital support in place throughout the user journey.

The approximately 150 hours of user research that has been conducted shows through in the way the service has been iterated and presented. This is exemplified in the maps and travel times, and attention to detail with features such as the support for frequent misspellings in search terms.


The panel were pleased to see a strong use of user research, and were confident that future development will continue to be based on user needs, even when this challenges long-held assumptions, habits, and practices of the organisation.

The panel were pleased with the high rate of user satisfaction and more importantly, with the significant improvements introduced through iteration of the Public Beta. A plan for understanding the cause of dissatisfaction amongst the remaining users will be valuable for improving the service as a whole.

Given that the overall success of the service is not defined by the proportion of users who complete their application, the service team will need to consider whether overall successful completion of an apprenticeship, total cost per apprenticeship filled, or a similar metric would be a useful additional key performance indicator for the service.

The panel welcomed the service's long-term roadmap, including:

  • The plan to migrate users from the old system to the new system.
  • A focus on improving user satisfaction with careers advisors.
  • Improving the overall journey of how users get to the digital service.
  • Defining metrics that ensure the success of the service as a whole (rather than the digital presentation of the service) is measured and improved.

    • Digital by Default Service Standard criteria

      Criteria Passed Criteria Passed
      1 Yes 2 Yes
      3 Yes 4 Yes
      5 Yes 6 Yes
      7 Yes 8 Yes
      9 Yes 10 Yes
      11 Yes 12 Yes
      13 Yes 14 Yes
      15 Yes 16 Yes
      17 Yes 18 Yes
      19 Yes 20 Yes
      21 Yes 22 Yes
      23 Yes 24 Yes
      25 Yes 26 Yes