Passport to good
Appointment booking with HM Passport Office made easier with Equiniti Toplevel’s online solution
UK passport customers can now book their application appointment online thanks to a new system delivered and implemented by Equiniti Toplevel (Toplevel) to Her Majesty’s Passport Office.
The online booking service means passport applicants who need a face-to-face appointment to get their passport more urgently are able to view, select, and pay for an appointment at one of seven locations throughout the UK.
Prior to the introduction of the online service, passport application appointments were only available to book
during the operating hours of HM Passport Office’s
telephone advice service. Calls to this service cost money
to both the organisation and its customers, so there
were clear benefits to offering an alternative method
for customers to book their appointment.
Confirmation of a booking needed to be supplied to
the customer via email, with reminders sent just before
the appointment to reduce the number of missed appointments. HM Passport Office staff also needed
to be able to allocate appointment slots and view
management information so that appointment
availability could be monitored.
Appointment fees, previously paid on attendance at the appointment, would also need to be collected online and which required integration with an e-payment provider.
Also the system would be required to integrate with
HM Passport Office’s queue management system.
Toplevel was selected to deliver the digital appointment service using the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Our ability to alter or introduce new digital service elements through the rapid reconfiguration offered by the secure Outreach platform meant that Toplevel’s proposal was
able to meet HM Passport Office’s stringent requirements.
The initial design was a prototype of a ten page web wizard to handle passport application appointments. Toplevel were able to rapidly iterate the user interface for these wizards using Outreach Open Design Studio, in response to findings from user testing.
During some stages of the project, Toplevel co-located a team in London. This saw close collaboration between Toplevel staff, HM Passport Office staff and Home Office Digital staff, enabling key issues to be flagged and resolved quickly.
The project saw an initial soft go-live in July 2015, when the new service was used to take mediated bookings, before the public-facing digital booking system went live in February 2016.
It was anticipated that 41% of appointments would choose to use the online system at launch, increasing to 70% by the end of the year.
By paying for the appointment at the time of booking,
there has also been a drop in people not attending their appointments, meaning HM Passport Office can offer slots more quickly for its customers who need their passport urgently.
The online appointment service not only meets the current requirements, but also supports future change through an iterative digital interface that can be adapted and changed by HM Passport Office staff in to the future.
Excellent take-up. Online bookings exceeded projected uptake of 70% by year end, with 71% using the service within a month of launch reducing calls to the contact centre
No-shows/missed appointments down 78% since go-live
Customers benefit from 24 hour access with visibility of appointments nationwide, and the ability to self-select according to preferred location/date/time