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Civil Service Jobshare - Internal Service Assessment

The Civil Service Jobshare Finder will provide a service for civil servants who are interested in a job-share to create a profile, search for potential job share partners and contact them.

Civil Service Resourcing - HMRC/Cabinet Office

Date of Assessment:

Assessment stage:
Beta (Internal service, trial period)

Result of Assessment:
May proceed (see below)

Lead Assessor:
S. Bennett

Service Manager:
D. Sullivan

Digital Leader:
M. Dearnley/P.Maltby

Assessment Report

After consideration, the assessment panel has concluded that the Civil Service Resourcing Jobshare Finder service would not pass a service standard assessment. However, because the assessment process for non-public facing services is currently in a trial period, as agreed by Digital Leaders, the service may proceed, since overall (subject to the caveats below) it :

  • is safe and secure
  • can be iterated and improved
  • meets a user need.

Before moving into beta there are five actions the service team must take, and report back on. These are listed under ‘next steps’.


 User Needs
The team were very clear on the importance of setting this service up to support the Civil Service’s commitment to more flexible working. However, while the team identified some potential user needs and user stories from early workshops with stakeholders such as job sharing network leads, and has collected some user feedback via a feedback-form within the service, the volume of user engagement needs to be increased, and extended to a wider range of people beyond those already more engaged and knowledgeable about job sharing. No research plan is yet in place for the next phase of development.

 The assessment panel felt that the service would benefit from a review by an experienced content designer as a matter of urgency, as they felt that guidance and flow through the service was weak, especially in terms of providing advice or pointers to the next steps once a job share partner had been found. This should be undertaken and the revised version tested with end users before the service proceeds into beta.

 There has been no usability testing for accessibility. In addition, non-subject area experts have not been engaged for user research. This needs to be undertaken at an early stage in beta. This should form part of a broader research plan for the beta phase.

 Safety and Security
The service has been developed with appropriate levels of security, and user research covered attitudes to disclosure or anonymity of potential job-sharers’ personal details.

 The source code needs to be published in a public repository before the service proceeds further, in line with Government’s commitment to openness and sharing; and penetration testing needs to be completed successfully.

 Iteration and Improvement
The service needs to do more to develop its use of analytics to inform future development and iteration. Although they use Google Analytics, the service team have not engaged an analytics expert to work with them to identify performance issues and patterns which should inform future work priorities.

 Similarly, the service team need to identify expertise in other areas (especially user research and content design) which can be deployed on a regular basis to identify and respond to user needs to ensure that the service continues to iterate and improve.

The assessment panel believes that the service should be reviewed by an experienced content editor and the revised version tested with a range of users before the service proceeds to beta.

 A user researcher should be embedded within the team, and a clear plan put in place for user research in the next phase.

 The research carried out during development to date appears to have been ad-hoc, and remote. The assessment panel recommends that future user research should be conducted in-person, and should be primarily task-based. The panel believes that it is more important that users can complete the tasks they need to, than focussing on gathering opinions on wording and layout.

 User-generated tasks should be used to understand what users expect to do with the service. This will more accurately reflect the experience of users who are less familiar with job sharing. The assessment panel also suggest that other names for the service are tested with users to make it more clear that the service is about finding a job share partner. This should be undertaken alongside further work to ascertain whether the user need extends beyond this, to cover guidance on the process of applying for a job (although recognising that this currently is outside scope).

 A mix of recruitment methods should be used to test with a wide range of people – too heavy a reliance on existing networks in the user panel will bias results to people who are familiar with job sharing, and those more likely to understand what they can do with the beta service.

 Usability testing for accessibility needs to be undertaken as soon as possible once the service is in beta.
 While the assessment panel believes that the service in general is following GOV.UK patterns, there are a few places where it is not, for example cancel buttons and filter dropdowns. The panel recommends that the service be reviewed by a designer for consistency with GOV.UK style and patterns.

 Penetration testing and cookie page updates need to be undertaken before proceeding to beta.

 The service team needs to identify expert analytics resources that can be engaged to advise the team on usage patterns and potential areas to concentrate on to improve user experience.

 Next Steps
The service team should follow the recommendations made in this report and see the Government Service Design Manual for further guidance.

 In order to launch as a beta, the service must do the following:

  • have an experienced content editor review the service pages and test the revised version with a range of users
  • embed user research and analytics resource within the team
  • have a clear plan for beta phase user research in place
  • publish source code in a public repository
  • complete penetration testing and cookie page updates

 Action taken on these must be confirmed with the GDS Assessment Team in writing before the service will be given authority to proceed to beta launch.

This service has been developed in tight timescales by a small team, who have limited resources. Their commitment to launching a service which helps those starting to look at job share possibilities was very clear.

 However, to improve the service, the assessment panel believes that the team needs to look more deeply into user needs to understand how to link the process of identifying a job share partner more seamlessly into the overall user journey. The service team also need to identify specialist expertise (in user research, analytics and content design) which can be deployed regularly as the service develops and iterates, and finalise a number of technical testing and steps.

Criteria Passed Criteria Passed
1 Yes 2 No
3 Yes 4 Yes
5 Yes 6 Yes
7 N/A 8 Yes
9 No 10 N/A
11 N/A 12 N/A
13 Yes 14 Yes
15 No 16 Yes
17 No 18 No
19 Yes 20 No
21 N/A 22 N/A
23 N/A 24 N/A
25 Yes 26 N/A
Details of criteria that are not applicable to this service
Points 7, 10, 21, 22, 23 and 24 are not applicable to internal services.

Points 11, 12 and 26 not applicable to this assessment the service was being assessed against three core criteria (safe and secure, user needs and iteration and improvement).