After the assessment, the panel will produce a report and submit it to the Office of the Chief Information Officer. The report will be checked and sent to the service team, giving feedback including whether they have met the standard or not met it.

There is a template you should use for the report.


It is the assessors’ responsibility to:

  • give the Lead Assessor written feedback for their areas of the assessment
  • check the final report and let the Lead Assessor know they are happy with it

Find out about what each assessor is responsible for.

It is the Lead Assessor’s responsibility to:

  • collect the feedback from the different assessors and produce the report
  • send the final report to the other assessors to check they’re happy with
  • send the report to the Digital First Team within 5 working days of the assessment

Assessment report

The assessment report is a written record of the discussions and recommendations that happened during the service assessment.

There is flexibility in how the report can be structured - the Lead Assessor decides the best structure to use.

Report style guide

You should follow the GOV.UK style guide for the report.

This includes:

  • using plain English - no jargon
  • spelling out acronyms
  • using short sentences

Tense when writing the report

When writing about the assessment, write in the past tense. For example ‘The panel was grateful for the service team attending the assessment and answering all the questions.’

When writing about the work the service team is doing to build the service, write in the present tense. For example ‘The assessment panel was impressed that the team is regularly carrying out research with its users.’

Singular or plural

The ‘assessment panel’ or ‘panel’ is singular - use ‘the panel was’, not ‘the panel were’.

The ‘service team’ is singular - use ‘the team is’, not ‘the team are’.

Met/not met outcomes

Met the standard

For services that have met the Digital First Service Standard the report should explain what has been done well by the service team. It should also explain if there is anything that the service team need to be careful of or improve for the next stage.

This should include examples of good practice so that other service teams working on similar projects can learn from them.

Not met the standard

For services that have not met the Digital First Service Standard the report should explain why the service hasn’t reached the standard in a practical way. It should help the service team learn how to resolve any issues.

Recommendations and requirements

Recommendations can be provided by the assessment panel for the points in the standard that have been met. The aim of recommendations is to give the service team further points to consider during the next stage of development.

Requirements should be provided by the assessment panel for the points that were not met. It will be mandatory for the service team to meet these requirements.

How to write recommendations and requirements

Split the recommendations and requirements up.

Use ‘should’ for non-mandatory items (recommendations) and ‘must’ for mandatory items (requirements).

Sensitive information - commercial and reputational

If there is sensitive information (commercial or reputational) discussed during an assessment, the panel must be careful when writing about it in the report.

For example, information relating to sales, prices (inc discounts), marketing activity or customers which might be commercially advantageous to a competitor.

Further information is provided by the Scottish Information Commissioner

Within the report, any commercial partner on the service should be referenced as either the “supplier” or “3rd party”.

If you’re a Lead Assessor and would like some support with this, contact the Digital First Team at


Assessment report structured by: