The Project at a Glance

The Challenge

Reenvisage a certification journey that enables service centres to adopt revised service standards.

What We Did

Discovery workshops, roadmap development, user-centred design.
Agile application development.
Collaboration with subject matter experts.

Our Solution

An online assessment program to digitise operations, using bespoke and CMS frameworks.

The Results

A redesigned programme with improved and streamlined processes for centres and assessors. Replacing manual admin streamlines users through their certification journey.

About headspace

headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation with over 145 centres across Australia, providing early intervention mental health services for 12-25 year olds.

Ackama was engaged by headspace to re-design and upgrade the headspace Model Integrity Framework (hMIF) – a website and portal that centres use to meet certification standards. The process reviews and specifies the headspace service model – which in turn, defines how all services should be delivered.

headspace recognised that they could improve the process as well as making it easier and quicker for their local centres. The existing methods with Word and Excel equated to a huge amount of manual input. The hMIF application would add assessment and report writing functionality.

Ackama has a longstanding relationship with headspace spanning their critical services and data platforms. headspace selected us as the digital partner who would engage with their expert team, translate their evidence base into requirements, and build a cohesive digital program.


“The depth of knowledge that the Ackama team has about our needs was important – they know our systems and people. They are great at explaining the technology, technical concepts and complex technical information in a way that the less-technical members of our business could understand. It was key in this project as the team were not all technology-minded but we needed them to contribute to the design work.”

– Rebecca Walters, Project Manager/Business Analyst

Screenshot of the hMIF application showing a submission in progress

Discovery work allows the teams to create a better customer experience together

Ackama worked with the headspace team over four weeks running discovery workshops to ensure that we understood the problem to be solved, define the features needed and develop a plan to deliver what was required. Ackama developed a roadmap outlining and defining all the stages and processes of the project and the deliverables.

Ackama challenged some of the project concepts while clarifying the overall process, ensuring that headspace had clarity on what they needed. The focus of this phase was on understanding the best solution for headspace and for their users – both within the project team and with their service centre users.

The agile approach succeeds through regular review

Ackama proposed developing the new platform using both Wagtail CMS and bespoke open source frameworks. The hMIF framework was content-heavy so the design team sought to reduce complexity for service centre users.
Good consultation with a range of stakeholders and regular testing with users of the application helped the project stay on track. headspace and the Ackama team jointly revisited project decisions in workshops to confirm that content was suitable, friendly to users and look for ways to help them succeed.

Realising the benefits

Following a 12-month implementation, the hMIF service is working far better than anticipated. Two cohorts of assessment centres have submitted evidence through the application successfully. The new framework has performed well in terms of permitting a large number of people to participate in the process at the same time. Paperwork and the associated administrative burden has been removed from the certification process so time and energy is more focussed on good assessment, good evidence and improving standards.

Input from the headspace team has reduced as they no longer have to set users up – the centres can self-serve, asking for help directly from within the application rather than by email. Additionally, they can use documents in a different and better way to show evidence previously provided and demonstrate accountability.

Many centres have been assessed and received their evaluation reports with ongoing participation and improvements available. headspace uses analysis from the reports to drive meaningful discussions about processes and the hMIF model. Ackama are thrilled at the success of the hMIF launch and continue to work closely to deliver identified improvements to the framework.