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DWP Change of Address - Service Assessment

The service allows citizens (pensioners) to report a Change of Circumstance (Address) to DWP. The citizen is protected by a security platform (developed by the service team), that uses GOV.UK Verify to assure identity.

Department / Agency:

Date of Assessment:

Assessment stage:

Result of Assessment:

Lead Assessor:
N. Chowdhury

Service Manager:
S. Kerr

Digital Leader:
K. Cunnington

Assessment Report

The DWP Change of Address service has been reviewed against the 26 points of the Service Standard at the end of the Alpha development.

Outcome of service assessment

After consideration the assessment panel have concluded the DWP Change of Address service is on track to meet the Digital by Default Service Standard at this early stage of development.


The service team have worked hard to understand the needs of their users, and to design a service that meets those needs. They have good evidence of changes and improvements they’ve made to their service based on user research. They have clear plans to continue engaging with users through the beta phase.

The service team demonstrated strong awareness of the need for assisted digital support for around 400,000 pensioners as non-digital channels are phased out. It is refreshing to see assisted digital user needs being considered so equally alongside those of users who can use the digital service independently. The service team has engaged with numerous assisted digital users, and plans to more strategically and proactively contact many more during the beta phase.



This service is focussed on change of address for users of the pensions service, however the current name “Report a change of address” implies that this is a generic change of address across government and is likely to cause confusion.

Also, in the future, GOV.UK Verify may support address history and change of address. As the service uses GOV.UK Verify, they should work closely with the team to understand how future development may impact DWP’s Change of Address service.

User research

  • The service looks very simple, but it was not clear how users would find the service and know it was the right service for them. At their next assessment, the team must provide evidence that appropriate users can find and recognise the service.
  • The service demonstrated can only be used after a user has moved into their new address. The team must do more research around this constraint to ensure the service meets user needs,
  • For security reasons, the service sends users a confirmation letter. The team needs to include the letter in its research.

Assisted Digital

  • The service team must carry out further research with assisted digital users at the lowest end of the digital inclusion scale to gather their feedback on both the digital service and their assisted digital support needs.
  • The team must user test assisted digital support in every sprint, as per plans for the digital service.
  • The team must find and talk to third parties who would provide assisted digital support for this service, and ensure it is sustainable and meets user needs.
  • The team must ensure the assisted digital support meets the needs of users during the GOV.UK Verify portion of the digital service.
  • The team must ensure support is in place for all users from the full user base who will need it as the service winds down non-digital equivalent services.

Digital Take-Up

  • The team must contact the GDS Digital Take-Up team to ensure they have an appropriate plan in place.
  • The service team must do more to understand how it will persuade users of non-digital alternatives to switch to the digital service.
  • The service team must gain a fuller understanding of the barriers users face to transitioning to the digital service, and what it can do to remove these barriers for and/or with them.


  • The team need to form a closer relationship with their SIRO, and to better understand threats at a process level. In particular, the systemic implications of building a service to change the circumstances associated with a National Insurance number and other systems which may have dependencies on the same information, including GOV.UK Verify.
  • The team demonstrate a mature approach to continuous integration and testing, as well as infrastructure as code. The team should ensure they continue to reduce the risk of lock-in to their current infrastructure provider.
  • The team have yet to make all new source code open and reusable, and publish it under appropriate licences. This needs to happen or the team need to provide a suitable explanation as to why this can’t be done for specific subsets of the source code.

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 No 16 Yes
17 Yes 18 Yes
19 Yes 20 Yes
21 Yes 22 Yes
23 Yes 24 Yes
25 Yes 26 Yes