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Chevening Scholarships Application - Self Certification

Self Certifications are run internally by each department, organised through their responsible Digital Leader. The Digital Leader will certify the service meets the Digital by Default service standard criteria. The Self Certification process is currently in Alpha, and will continue to be iterated on. Services with over 100,000 transactions a year will continue to be assessed by GDS.

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK.

The new application service replaces an old and complicated legacy system.

Department / Agency:

Date of Submission:

Assessment Stage:

Lead Assessor:
A. Bye / A. Ainsworth

Service Manager:
P. Buckley

 Digital Leader:
A. Bye

Assessors Summary:

User Needs
The service team have testing the new application with a range of former scholars, both at Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and at a Chevening 30th Anniversary event. The application was also tested by staff in the embassy in China (who citizens make up the largest number of Chevening applications). ACU also drew on feedback from previous application rounds. Feedback from testing was very positive, generally users found it a much easier journey. The service team have committed to review as application, fixing smaller problems immediately and any more fundamental issues between scholarship application rounds (to ensure fairness for candidates).

The Team
Service manager and product owner same role with an outsourced to GCloud supplier for the development who are used to integrating into other websites. Development team co-located with ACU during development. Oversight by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Digital Transformation Unit (DTU). Development team were not present at user testing, instead having results relayed to them. Not completely Agile but the commodity project was excellent value for money. Logic text and design are quite agile within the application.

Security and Privacy
FCO has full security testing completed with SIRO sign off. Supplier has professional ICO-2700-1 accreditation and almost ICO-2700-2. Supplier is annually Pen tested through CHECK, weekly test for Alert Site. Extra PEN test day will take place on log in system. Three cookies stored, session cookie, cookie for identification through FaceBook, LinkedIn or WCN and a management information cookie. Supplier draws on open source and shares some code in public. New system will cost about £1.21 per transaction though there are other costs such as processing at the ACU and interviewing the shortlisted candidates. Disaster recovery plan with an SLA 99.99% uptime with multiple uptime, historically supplier they have done better with good history of load testing.

Assisted Digital and Channel Shift
Service only provided digitally. Telephone helpline available through the supplier on 24-hour basis. Can also contact ACU through an online form in contact section of website.

The system via the supplier will provide range of statistics, including on how users are progressing through transaction. DTU putting in place PIWIK.

Testing with the Minister
The Minister is booked in to use transaction after recess.

Results Against the Digital by Default 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