Digital Service Standards for Wales — what’s next?

28.10.20

Back in September we shared with you our first draft of the Digital Service Standards for Wales. We wanted to hear what you thought of them. What worked, what was missing and what was needed to make them the backbone of all public sector service delivery in Wales.

We’re really grateful to everyone who got in touch via email and social media and for those of you who joined one of our two webinars on the standards and asked your questions and gave feedback. You can watch the recording of the webinar we did as part of Digital Leaders week via the link.

Feedback

We’ve had a look at everything you’ve told us and at the moment there are three main themes:

Welsh language — there’s been some debate as to whether Welsh language requirements should be called out separately or whether they actually just fall under ‘user need’. This standard is about really understanding the needs of people using public services in Wales, but the majority of people felt that it was right to have a standard that specifically focuses on ensuring the Welsh language is embedded into the way services are designed and delivered.

Wellbeing of future generations — we had a fair number of comments around this standard, all of them supporting the opportunity to base public services design and delivery around the 7 goals of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

Measuring and ensuring standards are met — most of the feedback we received was in favour of the standards and felt that the draft was about right, but people wanted to know more about how we would ensure the standards we being used and met.

Next steps

Given the overwhelming support for a set of standards that all public services in Wales can work towards, and no significant challenge to the draft itself, we will now move to a Beta. This will allow us test the standards, see what works and what doesn’t before we release them ‘live’. Even then we’ll be continuously reviewing and updating where necessary from what we learn.

Testing the standards

Our next step is to test the standards in three areas:

1. It was brilliant that a number of organisations came forward to offer to try the standards out and we’re now looking at how we work with them to test implementation. We’ll provide updates on that as it progresses.

2. We’ve also worked closely with Welsh Government’s Local Government Digital Fund to agree that any local authorities awarded money under this fund to deliver new services will be required to use the new digital service standards. This means that we can start testing the standards with local authorities designing new services.

3. We’re now going to start working towards these standards with our expert squad project looking at accessing adult social care with Torfaen Borough Council, Blaenau Gwent Borough Council and Neath Port Talbot Council. Any further squad projects launched from the Centre will also work towards the standards.

As we test the implementation, we’ll get a better understanding of the support organisations may need to meet the standards and make them operative so we’re grateful to everyone involved in these initial stages.

Keeping you updated

We’ll continue to provide updates and share the learning from this Beta stage before we launch the standards into live. If your organisation would like to know more about the service standards or get involved in our Beta then please get in touch.