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Write an incident report

This page is for reference only. Use the incident report template on Google Drive when drafting the report.

Incident report checklist:

  • Ensure you make a copy of this document and edit the copy.
  • Read the guidance for what to do if you are comms lead.
  • Share this report with the GOV.UK Incident Google mailing list as soon as possible.
  • Make it clear that it’s a draft version.
  • Include as much information as possible and a draft root cause ahead of the review.  
  • Ensure this document is viewable to anyone with a GDS email account.

Incident report

Start Date YYYY-MM-DD
Start Time HH:MM (local time)
End Time HH:MM (local time)
Application / process
Priority Was it a P1, P2, or P3 incident? 
Incident lead 2nd line primary engineer or a senior developer
Comms lead 2nd line secondary engineer


[Provide a summary here]

User impact

[Detail of the specific front-end user impact]

Departmental impact

[Detail of the specific departmental/publisher impact]

Timeline All times in local time, unless otherwise stated.

Time Description
Total duration of incident (time from when problem started to incident marked as resolved)
Time to fix (time from when incident declared to marked as resolved)

Incident Review




Root cause

Use this section to summarise the root cause of the incident. A draft root cause should be included, and discussed and agreed upon during the incident review. This root cause should be written for a non-technical audience.   Please also include the root cause category:

  • Unexpected effect of code change
  • Infrastructure failure (disk space, logging etc)
  • Provider failure (hardware, network failure etc
  • Security


Use this section to assign actions to individuals (not teams). These are actions to be taken to fix the root cause of the issue or for preventative measures.

  • Standing actions

  • Does it need a blogpost? (P1 or P2; P3 if interesting).

  • Present a summary of the incident at GOV.UK technologists fortnightly to share learning. Recommendations

  • Recommendations

This page was last reviewed on 11 November 2019. It needs to be reviewed again on 11 February 2020 by the page owner @nila.patel .
This page was set to be reviewed before 11 February 2020 by the page owner @nila.patel. This might mean the content is out of date.