National Entitlement Card Smart Ticketing – Creating a multidisciplinary team

May 23, 2024 by No Comments | Category Digital Assurance Office, Digital Scotland, Technology Assurance Framework

Guest blog by Laura Johnstone, Continuous Improvement team, Digital Assurance Office.


Some Scottish island citizens are entitled to concessionary ferry travel.  The aim of the Ferries National Entitlement Card Smart Ticketing project was to transform the existing service by moving from a manual paper based service to a digital and smartcard service.  New digital services must comply with the Digital Scotland Service Standard (DSSS) and this compliance is assessed through a Digital Standard Assessment, under the Technology Assurance Framework.


For the service team this project was their first engagement with the Digital Scotland Service Standard and the assessment of compliance against it.  As the project progressed the Digital Standard assessments undertaken found a maturing of the delivery practices set out in the Standard.  The quality of user research and the multi-disciplinary nature of the team were called out as noteworthy by the assessment team. This case study explores how the team responded to assurance recommendations around creating a multi-disciplinary team.


  • The Discovery Digital Standard assessment identified that the service team did not have the right number of people with the right skills in place to deliver the service. The recommendations led to the service team being able to shape a team which is aligned to the requirements in the Standard.
  • The Digital Assurance Office (DAO) supported the service team to engage with another organisation delivering a similar sized service to get advice on the team structure they have in place and how it works. This helped the Service Owner to understand the rationale for different roles and build a business case to meet the needs of the service.
  • Full time resources identified for the service team were a user researcher, service designer and project management support. Recruitment policy at that time meant these roles were filled temporarily. This has enabled the team to test out the roles and team structure and develop a business case for a permanent structure moving forward.
  • Delivering a service in line with the DSSS and its assurance requirements needs project management resources to ensure governance expectations can be met.
  • Not all resourcing requirements needed to be filled with full time resource and the service team identified other ways to meet requirements e.g. subject matter experts in the Scottish Government who could review outputs from suppliers. The service team have also optimised the use of the business as usual resource in Transport Scotland e.g. GDPR and security certification.


  1. You need to build in time and resource for the assurance of the project. You need to ensure that suppliers and the service team understand what the DSSS is, what assurance looks like and how it will be serviced.
  2. You need to plan for time to act on the recommendations coming from assurance. The assessors are not there to trip you up, they are there to support you to maximise the likelihood of delivering a successful service.  Use the opportunity of assurance to get advice and support.
  3. Not all service providers understand what the DSSS is and what it means for delivery and the expectations of assurance. Ensure that it is built into tender specifications and that there is a clear understanding of what it is at the outset.
  4. You need to take time to understand the Minimum Evidence Framework which provides guidance on the typical evidence you will need to provide for an assessment. The DAO Engagement Manager will support you to understand what it means and clarify any questions or issues you have.
  5. Without the recommendations from the assurance it would have been difficult to evidence the resourcing requirements for the service, it provided a structured way to consider what was needed, allowing the team to get on the ‘front foot’. The structure of the team now in place provides the ability to deliver digital initiatives in line with best practice, enabling the service team to respond to new requests.
  6. Speak to other service delivery teams, understand their structures and how the professions in the team all work together to deliver the required outcomes.

Find out more

The Technology Assurance Framework (TAF) is designed to help prevent digital projects from failing for common reasons, improve delivery and ensure that the lessons learned from previous experience are reflected and embedded in future practice. The Digital Assurance Office are working with organisations to share information which might help others deliver digital projects.  If you want to get involved contact us at

For more information about this case study contact

Criteria 6 in the Digital Scotland Service Standard is ‘‘Have a multidisciplinary team’ visit the webpage for further guidance and support.

For expert guidance to help you deliver high quality digital services visit the Digital Scotland Service Manual.

The Scottish Digital Academy is the public sector centre of expertise for digital capability and can provide information, advice and guidance on developing digital, data and technology skills to support transformation.  There are specific courses available on working with the Standard.

The Programme and Project Management Centre for Expertise provide advice and support on programme and project management. The Scottish Government programme and project management principles are available and apply to any project of any size.

The Social Security Programme have a People case study focusing on the Service Manager which provides a reflection on the skills required to lead the development and implementation of Social Security benefits using an Agile delivery methodology. Contact the Our Story team to find out how to access this case study.

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