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Picture courtesy of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Picture courtesy of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Starting Gate

Introducing Starting Gate

Launching a major government policy project or programme has long-term consequences - for citizens, taxpayers, commercial suppliers, Ministers. Experience shows that good planning, early on, enhances the prospects of achieving the intended benefits.

What is Starting Gate?
OGC's Starting Gate is a short independent peer review which applies at the early stages of the policy-to-delivery life-cycle. It offers departments the opportunity to gain independent assurance on how well practical delivery issues are being addressed in preparing for implementation.

Starting Gate is separate to the OGC Gateway review process for projects and programmes, but is highly relevant to it: most Starting Gate review topics are likely to be delivered through major programmes which will be subject to Gateway reviews.

Given its applicability at the early stages, Starting Gate reviews do not have RAG rating of recommendations, and there is no automatic requirement for a delivery confidence assessment (although this may be requested by the departmental client).

Key characteristics
Starting Gate is adapted from the OGC Gateway review model for the policy environment. Its key characteristics are:

  • fast - no more than 4 days
  • light-touch and non-attributable - interview-based
  • flexibility over scope - to reflect the stage of policy development 
  • flexibility over timing; a review can be set up very quickly by OGC - the main constraint is department's time to arrange interviews
  • tailored - "areas of enquiry" focus on the issues most pertinent at the earlier stages 
  • value-added - OGC's specialist pool of senior Starting Gate reviewers have skills and experience relevant to the policy delivery environment.

OGC's role
OGC will work with Departments to identify major new initiatives which could benefit from a Starting Gate review, and will resource the reviewers (the cost is not currently recovered from departments).

For further information on Starting Gate, please contact the OGC Helpdesk on 0845 000 4999 or email