Debt Advice Peer Assessment Scheme (DAPA)

The Money and Pensions Service (MAPS) is a core funder for the provision of debt advice across the country with access to quality advice, central to its strategic function.


The Debt Advice Peer Assessment Scheme (DAPA), previously Peer Review, is one strand of this focus, providing a mechanism for specialist debt advisers to assess the quality of advice provided by their peers. Originally launched in 2015, the Scheme was drawn up with input from a range of organisations across the debt advice sector. In April 2018 and in line with The Money Advice Service published Strategic Approach to Debt Commissioning, Peer Review evolved to become the DAPA Scheme. 

DAPA built upon the experience and learning from Peer Review and was redesigned to ensure it could effectively support and influence commissioning arrangements.   The fresh approach of DAPA continues to consider a sample of client case files that are each benchmarked against the Scheme’s criteria and provides greater transparency of the assessment process and scoring approach. The Scheme continues to utilise the skillset and expertise of current, active specialist debt advisers, each of whom act as an Assessor

Participation in the Scheme is a mandatory element of the grant funding arrangement  with MAPS and assessment performance now forms one part of a series of metrics that inform the MAPS Performance Management Framework. This now means that MAPS have full insight into the assessment findings and how each organisation assessed has performed. 

In addition to the traditional face to face advice delivery model, recognition has also been made of the alternative channels of advice provision across the sector and the DAPA assessment process now currently comprises three separate strands:

  • Core Scheme  - Face to Face provision
  • Webchat advice
  • Telephone Helpline provision


In conjunction with MAS and the IMA, the Scheme has created a number of useful tools for Advisers which can be located via

Further information regarding the Scheme, assessment approach and Scheme criteria is available as follows:

DAPA Scheme Face to Face Advice - England and Wales 

DAPA Pre-Assessment Questionnaire and Guidance V12 August 2019

DAPA Scheme FAQ Questions and Clarifications August 2019

MASA DAPA Scheme Key Messages

DAPA Scheme Criteria – Advice Only June 2019

DAPA Scheme Criteria – Casework June 2019

DAPA Scheme Webchat - England and Wales

DAPA Webchat Scheme - Pre Assessment Questionnaire and Guidance March 2020

DAPA Scheme Criteria – Webchat September 2019

DAPA Webchat Scheme FAQ and Clarifications June 2019

DAPA Scheme Criteria Telephone Helpline – Pending publication


DAPA General Support Documents

DAPA Representations Submission and Scheme Response Template June 2019

DAPA Participant Urgent Action Response Template

DAPA Participant Action Plan Template (Non-Urgent Action)


DAPA Scheme Newsletter

DAPA Scheme Newsletter Edition 1 February 2020

DAPA Scheme Newsletter Edition 2 May 2020

To find out more about the Debt Advice Peer Assessment Scheme (DAPA) please contact Recognising Excellence via: or alternatively please call our Helpline on 01452 733 510