Debt Advice Peer Assessment Scheme (DAPA)

The Money Advice Service (MAS) has a statutory responsibility for enhancing the quality of debt advice across the UK, in order to secure the best possible outcomes for clients receiving debt advice.


The Peer Review Scheme 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 their published Strategic Approach to Debt Commissioning, MAS introduced a new process for reviewing the quality of the debt advice it funds and the ethos and approach of the Scheme evolved. Working in partnership with Recognising Excellence, a fresh assessment model was designed and implemented.


The new assessment process, the Debt Advice Peer Assessment Process (DAPA), builds on the experience and learning of the previous Peer Review Scheme and has been completely redesigned to ensure it can effectively support MAS’ commissioning approach going forward.   The fresh approach of DAPA continues to consider a sample of closed client case filed that are each benchmarked against the Scheme’s criteria and utilises 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 MAS and assessment performance now forms one part of a series of metrics that inform the MAS Performance Management Framework. This now means that MAS have full insight into the assessment findings and how each organisation assessed has performed.


Additional emphasis has also been placed on the varying delivery models and channels of advice delivery across the sector, and therefore the DAPA assessment process now currently forms four separate strands:

  • England and Wales – Face to Face delivery
  • England and Wales – Webchat advice
  • England and Wales – Telephone Helpline delivery
  • Northern Ireland – Face to Face delivery


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 V11 April 2019

DAPA Scheme FAQ Questions and Clarifications 5th April 2019

MASA DAPA Scheme Key Messages

DAPA Scheme Criteria – Advice Only January 2019

DAPA Scheme Criteria – Casework January 2019

DAPA Scheme Webchat - England and Wales

DAPA Webchat Scheme - Pre Assessment Questionnaire and Guidance Jan 2019

DAPA Scheme Criteria – Webchat Jan 2019

DAPA Webchat Scheme FAQ and Clarifications Jan 2019

DAPA Scheme Criteria Telephone Helpline – Pending publication


DAPA General Support Documents

DAPA Representations Submission and Scheme Response Template Feb 19

DAPA Participant Urgent Action Response Template

DAPA Participant Action Plan Template (Non-Urgent Action)

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

The recruitment process for the Debt Advice Peer Assessment Scheme (DAPA) delivery team has closed.

If anyone is interested in participating within the Scheme, please contact