Life after Service Desk Certification

When we noticed that Pauline Brown, University of St Andrews had published a post on Linked In all about the journey that she and the team have been through with Service Desk Certification (SDC), we were keen to share the story. Pauline kindly agreed for us to re-post her article, so here it is – in Pauline’s words, the story of the University of St Andrews and their SDC journey (plus a few pics of the team in action).


Life after Service Desk Certification 

“In 2012, the University of St Andrews IT Services team signed up for Service Desk Certification (SDC) for a 3 year period. Our final audit was in December 2014 where we achieved 4 star certification – the first University in the world to do so… and we’re so proud of that. The SDC was extremely worthwhile and did exactly what we needed it to do – I can’t recommend it highly enough. I often get asked why we didn’t continue… occasionally with an inference that things will surely slip. So I thought I’d share where we are now – and how we’re performing better that we ever have. Continual Service Improvement is at the heart of what we do… and the SDC process really helped us embed this in our culture.


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been collating stats and producing reports and graphs for senior colleagues in the University, so they can review our performance in 2015, compared to previous years. I’m pleasantly surprised with the 2015 results… as the 2014 results were very good and hard to beat.

  • Our customer satisfaction score has improved, with 96.2% of respondents happy with the service we provided in 2015 (95.6% in 2014).
  • Our call volumes haven’t changed, with the IT Service Desk receiving 58,766 in 2015 (4897 per month);
  • IT Service Desk Staff Satisfaction is the highest it’s been since we started capturing this data in 2013;
  • Our average time to resolve incidents was 2.25 days on average (2.5 days in 2014);
  • Our average time to resolve service requests was 3.17 days on average (4 days in 2014);
  • The number of complaints we received has gone down to 21 for the year (compared to 34 in the previous year);
  • Calls escalated to second line have gone down – with only 34% being escalated in 2015 (our target is 30% in 2016);
  • and breached calls are very low, compared to the hundreds we reported each week in previous years.


We haven’t implemented dramatic changes, but we’re always reviewing what we do and working out how to do it better. Here’s some examples of what I believe has contributed to improved performance metrics:

  • A more proactive approach to call management with our second line teams. For example, one of our IT Service Desk Analysts sends a weekly ‘pre-breach’ report to Team Leaders;
  • A collaborative approach to problem management: when something goes wrong, we now all get together to make sure we minimise reoccurrence;
  • IT Service Desk colleagues now work with second line teams on projects, e.g. Sharepoint, email migration, web filtering, PC Clinic, etc.
  • An empowered IT Service Desk team: many of the responsibilities of the previous IT Service Desk Manager and/or Supervisor have been passed to the IT Service Desk Analysts. They now take ownership – and will produce reports, do daily customer satisfaction checks, handle & manage major incidents, manage our social media feed, liaise with managers, identify solutions to problems etc. (and they are great at it!);
  • IT Service Desk team fully consulted during Service Transition;
  • A robust Review & Development Appraisal for each  IT Service Desk Analyst, including allocating projects that they are individually responsible for delivering;
  • Tackling performance management issues immediately;
  • A fully structured programme for our IT Service Desk Apprentices to learn and develop;
  • Regular nights out!


I don’t think we’d be in this position if we hadn’t gone through SDC – but I don’t believe we needed to continue with this process in order to continue to deliver the best service to our customers. I’m really proud of my team – and grateful to all my colleagues in IT Services who have embraced call management. So much so, that we’ve adopted Change and Contract Management in Unidesk and plan to utilise the CMDB and Problem Management modules this year. The University’s senior management are impressed with our call management handling and are keen for others in the University to consider using the system. And so, for our next challenge…”


SDI-logo-masterTo find out more about starting your own Service Desk Certification journey, call us on 01689 889100 or use our SDC contact form

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