An open model for improving digital design, data and technology in local councils.

The Local Government Digital Quality Model is an openly-licensed framework for councils to assess how they are doing in terms of their digital approach.

It provides advice and guidance on where they should be aiming to get to next, and ideas on the things to do to get there.

It is practical and pragmatic and designed specifically for local authorities.

The model

The model is based up on a four stage process:

Councils are encouraged to take the time to really understand their current context and situation, as well as the detail of the model itself.

The process can be completed as a self-assessment, a peer-assessment for by bringing in someone independent.

The council identifies which level it is at within each dimension, and provides evidence for these choices in the assessment pack. The levels are then entered into the calculator to produce the overall level for the council.

The council can also then decide which level it would like to aim for within each dimension. An action plan can then be put together, using a comprehensive list of ideas and guides to implementing them.

Accessing the model

The model is made up of 4 main documents:

  • The model handbook, which describes all the dimensions in detail, provides relevant scoring guides and points for consideration when performing an assessment
  • An assessment pack, where the council documents which level it feel it meets and the evidence for that decision
  • The calculator, a simple spreadsheet for calculating the coverall level for the council and for identifying the target levels for the future
  • Action plan template and action library, with which councils can plan how they will reach their target levels, using the library of things to do to help complete it.

Any council or organisation that wishes to use the model can get access for free by joining the community. Complete the joining form to receive your invite!

The levels

The levels are used to describe a council’s overall position, as well as the level of each individual dimension in the assessment.

1. Passive

Little ownership, planning or control, few benefits realised.

2. Developing

Good practice is emerging, but adoption is patchy.

3. Impactful

Things are working well in some areas, but is applied inconsistently.

4. Mainstreamed

There is consistent good practice, achieving good outcomes.

5. Transformative

The council is able to use digital to radically change itself.

The dimensions

The dimensions are the different areas that councils can measure their progress in. They are split into two categories: foundations and practices. Every council will want to focus on different dimensions, depending on what they wish to achieve.


  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Culture
  • Capacity
  • Decision-making


  • Technology
  • Data
  • Experience
  • Design
  • Delivery


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 4.0 International licence

You are free to:

Share – copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially.

The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Under the following terms:

Attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

NoDerivatives – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.

No additional restrictions – You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Why this license?

The license has been chosen to open up the model to the greatest possible use, whilst maintaining consistency in its application.

The ‘no derivatives’ condition aims to limit the number of versions in circulation. There’s more benefit to everyone if we are using the same model.

So rather than making changes individually, if you have ideas on improving the model, please get in touch, and they can be rolled into the next release.