The University of Portsmouth Achieve 3 Star Customer Led Certification

Posted on Friday 3 May 2024.

The University of Portsmouth 

The University of Portsmouth is a public university on the south coast of England, established in 1870. They currently have 4 campuses with over 29,000 students enrolled across undergraduate and postgraduate programs. There are 3500 staff, and it is one of 5 universities in the South East of England to have been awarded the highest rating of Gold in the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework. Their mission is to ‘create, share and apply knowledge to make a difference to individuals and society’. 

The Service Desk Team 

Our IT Service Desk is 6 analysts plus a team leader, providing IT Support to the University of Portsmouth staff and students via email, telephone and live chat. 

Starting Service Desk Certification (SDC) with Service Desk Institute (SDI) 

We already felt we had a good service desk service but wanted to stretch ourselves to deliver an excellent one.

“In the current climate taking some of the pain out of IT issues seemed like a good contribution to staff wellbeing, and the SDC programme is a great way to achieve this.”

The team have always been well motivated and positive but this was a good way to show them how good they are – an excuse to be proud of the work they do! We’ve got a programme of changes we want to make, including a much-improved Self Service portal, Customer Facing Knowledge Base, and elements of management information capture. 

*The Service Desk Team at The University of Portsmouth, proudly displaying their SDC trophy

What is Service Desk Certification?

SDI’s Service Desk Certification (SDC) programme is the only industry, standard based accreditation programme designed specifically to certify service desk quality.  The Global Best Practice Standard for Service Desk provides a set of clear and measurable benchmarks for IT service operations; some of which may not be found within other frameworks and standards such as ITIL or ISO/IEC 20000.

To achieve Certification, the maturity level of your service and support operation is audited against the Best Practice Standard. SDI’s experienced auditors will assess your compliance with the Standard and verify the level your service is operating at to award a reactive, proactive, customer-led or business-led status.

Benefits noticed since starting the SDC programme

While we already had a good set of metrics in place, the SDC programme has enabled us to better focus on those that matter. For example:

“Response times via email would have averaged around 1-3 days before SDC, but our customers should now get a response from the team in an hour or less on average, when contacting us via our ‘Contact Service Desk’ form.”


The main challenge was sourcing and presenting evidence for the Initial Assessment, while this was a little time consuming it’s forced us to consolidate much of the processes and reporting into a much more useful central point. This is now more visible and adding more value to the department as a result. 

Proud Achievement

Gaining 3 stars on the first SDC audit was a great achievement, the team worked so hard to deliver that result. The wider Service Desk team deliver amazing service, every single day, through outage, pandemic and busy Mondays. The care, compassion and skills they show every day are exemplary.

We would definitely recommend SDI’s SDC programme, it’s really allowed us to focus on where we can improve, but also highlight areas where we’re already excelling!


A brighter Future 

In 2 years’ time, I’d hope to have solidified our 3 star status and have made appreciable gains in the areas we want to focus on. 

With special thanks to David Bowes, Service Delivery Manager at The University of Portsmouth

Want to know if Your Service is ready for Service Desk Certification?

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