Course summary

This course has been designed for anyone involved in the transformation of public services, digital and non-digital.

It will also benefit those interested in learning about new ways of:

  • thinking about solving problems
  • policy making
  • organisation design

Whilst the course is not intended to turn you into a designer or user researcher, it will give you an insight into what user-centred design is - and how service design approaches can be applied to your work. It will also be helpful for anyone who has been charged with procuring service design or recruiting service design professionals.

Course aims and objectives

Service design thinking, methods and tools are important if we are to design public services that put users and their needs at the heart of our work.

This programme introduces the key principles of service design, and empowers you to start building a culture of user-focused thinking into your team, project or organisation.

Key topics covered include:

  • what is a service?
  • what is service design?
  • what is user research?
  • why we need to understanding the behaviours, contexts and needs of our service users
  • how you can involve service users and citizens in the design process
  • how you can ensure services are inclusive and accessible
  • the principles and ambitions behind the Scottish Approach to Designing Public Services The programme includes a service design challenge - a rapid simulation of an end-to-end service design project.

This learning will take place across 3 days, and includes:

  • a selection of case studies and practical examples that illustrate the value of service design and how the methods and tools work in practice
  • a service design challenge where attendees will work through the design phases to explore the problem and design a solution, in collaboration with service users and service providers
  • an exploration of how to involve citizens in the design of public services
  • an introduction to the Scottish Approach to Designing Public Services - the key principles of collaboration and inclusivity that underpin this, and how these are applied in practice

Service Design Champions brings together people involved in the design and delivery of public services and policy to learn strategic design approaches, and become champions of service design within their organisation.

Course length

The course runs over 3 consecutive days; each day starts at 10:00am and finishes at 4:30pm.

Attendees must be able to attend all 3 days of the programme, as it involves participation in a ‘challenge’ from start to end.

Course attendees

This course is open to all public servants at any grade involved in the development of a service as part of a multi-disciplinary team, or those who are in an enabling role.

For example:

  • you are about to start working with a service designer for the first time
  • you have just started hearing the words ‘service design’ in your workplace
  • you are not a service designer but think you might be doing some service design work
  • you think you would like to become a service designer but you’d like to know more first


The course costs £390 (not including VAT) for each person. The Office of the Chief Designer will invoice your organisation for the cost of each place taken on the course.

Please note: Confirmed bookings will be invoiced 1 month prior to the start of the first course.

Course bookings will need to be paid in full prior to the start of your course, in order for you to attend.


If you withdraw from the course, and the Scottish Digital Academy are unable to fill the requested space, the course booking will be invoiced as a filled place.


To book a place on this course:

  • you must have permission from the person or department that approves your organisation’s training budget

To request a place on this course, email with:

  • your name
  • your directorate/organisation
  • the course name
  • the date and location you would like to attend

We will email you further details and confirm your booking, once we process your request.

Training locations and dates

Venues will be confirmed once each Scottish Digital Academy course dates are released.

Please note dates are subject to change, based on venue availability.

Location Date Places available
Glasgow 21st - 23rd January 2019 18 places available
Edinburgh (TBC) 18th - 20th February 2019 18 places available
Dundee 25th - 27th February 2019 18 places available
Glasgow 18th - 20th March 2019 18 places available
Tweedbank 25th - 27th March 2019 18 places available


Katie Lyne, Communication and Events Manger for the Office of the Chief Designer at