Registration of births

Full Application: Not funded at this stage

North of Tyne would like to look at  the process of registering of births. There is a considerable amount of manual work and paper processes involved which puts an added burden on registrar staff. In Northumberland and Newcastle there were over 11,000 births.   Each one requiring a face to face meeting with a registrar.

We need to identify the issues.

Understand what options and channels would be the most efficient in letting people know about the service and offering a means for them to apply that meets the users needs.

To develop a to be service pattern which they can follow which leads to a successful completion first time around

User research report that gives us an understanding of people’s journey to register a birth.

We would like to work together with the other North of Tyne councils so that we can  collaborate to come up with a common solution that can be reused across other registrar services.


Deadline Event / activity Milestone
December 2018 Project kick off meeting arranged with North of Tyne Project started
January 2019 Establish the team.  Gather baseline data analysis, attend GDS training, start writing the business case

Plan user research

Information gathering completed
February 2019 User journey mapping

Current service process mapped

Risk/security/privacy  assessment

Plan User research

Journey mapping complete, risk assessment complete and user research planned
March 2019 User research on current process

Map to be service design based around user needs

Plan second round of user research

Carry out user research to test ‘to be’ service design

Iterate the ‘to be’ service design

Insight report of user needs

‘To be’ service design

User research round 2 completed

V2 ‘to be’ service design

End of  March 2019 Business case

Recommendation report

Show and tell

Discovery outputs produced and shared

The process is currently mainly telephone based, where people ring up to make an appointment to register the birth of their child.  The registrars then tell each family what to bring for the appointment. They can also go online to book an appointment but this doesn’t seem very popular with users.

The GRO control the process for registering a birth with all councils but there are still improvements that could be made to make the experience better for the users in North of Tyne. The current process is designed around the business needs and not the users needs.  There are potential cost savings by streamlining the service.

The GRO require all local authorities to deliver this service, this project would benefit them all through sharing our findings. We have no understanding if the public can find what they need on the website on how to register a birth, do they know what to do to change an appointment, if they fail to bring the relevant documents.  These all lead to an unsuccessful application which costs the council money to deliver the service. We don’t know how much it costs to deliver the service across varying registrars around the councils.

The back office process is manually intensive and needs workflow implementing and digitising. The GRO processes will have to remain although we could start the conversations with them about how things could be improved.  

We would be willing to share experiences and the discovery outcome with other authorities about what we’ve learned during the discovery project.  

We have additionally agreed to collaborate by sharing outputs with Bath and North East Somerset Council on their memorialisation MHCLG bid, in order to map the full end to end process.

Working with North Of Tyne Councils to come up with a common service pattern for registering a birth.  The demographics are from a city centre to a rural council, which could then be replicated across other councils with they are cities or rural.

We plan on having weekly ‘standups’ or hangouts/calls to discuss progress, what has gone well, what hasn’t, next fortnights sprints and what resources we need to deliver to the schedule.

We will agree agile sprints together, make sure they are achievable and can be resourced across the North Of Tyne  councils, sharing resources and expertise.

We will use the same templates and write up results as one project, which will be openly shared for all other local authorities to use.

We could possibly do joined up user research, to ensure we have enough people to do insight note taking, group by themes and perform the user research.

By April 2019 we will produce the following outputs:

Output Action
Project Management To run a project using Agile methodology.  It would be an excellent opportunity to learn with our partners how to manage agile projects.
Business case We will gather the information and data from our partner councils.  We will use an intelligence officer to analyse the data and provide information and intelligence to aid evidence based decision-making and service transformation. We will assign the relevant resources to ensure this project is delivered on time.
User research report We will publish all our user research insights with our partners.  We will use templates that were provided as part of the GDS verify local user research training.  A user research report which highlights the pain points in the user journey to influence the Alpha phase and system prototype for the project.  It will show what the users needs are at each stage of the journey.
A summary report & recommendations We will produce a report with recommendations on how to take this project forward to Alpha.
Redesigned service map We will create the ‘as is’ process map and ‘to be’ service design.  This could be used in Alpha to create the prototype of the system.
Engagement Engage with current solution providers and GRO to see if there are opportunities to work together to create a better experience for the user.


Our project will begin with customer journey mapping over the phone or by basing ourselves at a registry office for the day. The registrar service area will be able to identify recent applicants whom we can speak too.

We will look try and speak to users who have just accessed the service to find out:

Their customer journey

Understand their pain points,

likes and dislikes about the process

Gain insights

how and where they were accessing the service.  

To get a better view of how they would like to access the service and what their needs are.

We will then create the service ‘to be’ design and perform a second round of user research in discovery. We will endeavour to include varying demographics to ensure we understand how different people want to use the service and the information they need to have a successful application.

The second round of the user research we plan to get users to book an appointment online, navigate the website to the relevant page and complete the application.  Talking us through their thoughts and feelings while carrying out the task.

We will endeavour to include varying demographics to ensure we understand how different people want to use the service and the information they need to have a successful application. This however may be challenging as most people registering a birth will be in a certain age category, however we can cover various geographic areas from towns to villages to understand if that makes a difference to the application process.

  • Access to GDS user research labs and research expertise
  • Access to courses of Agile /delivery manager/ business analyst training for the whole team/partners locally at Longbenton.  So we all start from the same point.
  • Support in sending comms and outputs to wider audiences
  • Help with engaging with other county councils that may want to feed into our project.
  • Support to ensure the momentum of the project and that all collaborators are actively contributing to the project.
  • Support  and guidance when we need it.
  • Develop documentation templates so we have a consistent approach to the project.

North of Tyne has not applied for any funding previously for this project.