Skip to main content

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-service, leading to minimal additional support being required.

Department / Agency:

Date of Assessment:

Assessment Stage:
Alpha review

Result of Assessment:

Lead Assessor:
R. Reynolds

Service Manager:
V. Chiesa

Digital Leader:
T. Knighton

Assessment report

The Apprenticeships service has been reviewed against the 26 points of the Service Standard at the end of its alpha development.

Outcome of service assessment

After consideration GDS has concluded that the Apprenticeships service is on track to meet the Digital by Default Service Standard at this early stage of its development.


  • Good evidence of iterating based on user research, including weekly testing sessions and development and validation of personas.
  • The service is challenging of the wider organisation by bringing in agile practices against a backdrop of uncertainty.
  • Strong continuous delivery and the ability to deploy very quickly (for example the  demonstration to stakeholders of fast speed of turnaround at a show and tell).
  • Design clarity, and sensible re-use of interaction patterns established in other services.


  • The user journey for employers will need to be thoroughly tested, including with employers who are not already experienced with Apprenticeships, to ensure employers are able to use it unaided. You should include explanatory text where necessary.
  • Continuous delivery using cloud is going well. It will be important to ensure that good practice is continued through the beta, while exploring any options and avoiding vendor lock-in.
  • Ensure that a content designer is embedded with the team during the beta, as planned.
  • Agree a plan for more thorough accessibility testing for the beta.
  • Some design refinements will be needed, including beta branding (the GDS design pattern library should be useful here). Before launching a public beta, your integration with GOV.UK (start and done pages) will need to be considered and agreed with the GOV.UK team.
  • Your planned conversations with the performance platform team will prove useful, especially for clarifying how completion can be measured. You will also need to decide how and where user satisfaction will be captured for a public beta.

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 N/A
19 Yes 20 Yes
21 Yes 22 Yes
23 Yes 24 Yes
25 N/A 26 N/A
Details of criteria that are not applicable to this service
18 - assessment panel considered it non-essential to add an analytics package at this stage
25 - will need to be explored in the Beta
26 - there is a plan to showcase the service before a Beta launch