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Roq ensures new cancer support technology and functionality hub works exactly as it should

Cancer Central is a young non-profit social enterprise with a big mission.

The Client

Cancer Central is a young non-profit social enterprise with a big mission. They are the first award-winning HealthTech cancer platform using AI to guide people affected by cancer to find the support and information they need. The initiative began with a fundraiser to support Cancer Central founder, Avril Chester, with the launch of the first iteration web page.

Roq has provided testing advice and resources to Career Central since 2018, from consultation to supporting the development of the Career Central website.

The Challenge

When Cancer Central decided that a series of improvements were required in order to provide a better end-user experience and therefore was upgrading to the next generation of their website. Roq’s mission was to validate that the new technology and functionality included in the new platform was fit for purpose and worked exactly as was designed to.


The ‘Ask Ave’ ChatBot and search function is a very important and central feature of the new website, so it’s important that this functionality works as expected. Testing a chatbot/search function has to take into account external factors such as language inconsistencies, jargon and medical terminology, and the varied user experiences based on the device and browser type that they use to access the platform.

Another critical aspect of this project was the testing of the reconnected NHS APIs which are fundamental to the effectiveness of Cancer Central’s platform. The particular challenges of the testing included:

  • regular updates to the API, which often impacted the connections in place,

  • complex protocols and regulations (especially when working with APIs of large public body organisations); and

  • test data management. In order to test the APIs effectively, the Roq team often required large amounts of data, t, and managing this data can be a significant challenge, taking into account the sensitivity of the data involved.

Roq continued their test support and consultation of the new generation website, attending weekly planning and resource meetings and developing a bespoke manual regression test pack.

Given that everyone involved in Cancer Central volunteers in their spare time, the Roq team has had to be very flexible in their client engagement.  Roq’s flexible, risk-based approach partnered with professional advice and ideas proven valuable and made for key consistent improvements to the Cancer Central platform. Roq also helped the client adopt a more CI/CD approach, which helped them with their flexible work patterns, taking code drops most days and resolving problems in weekly planning meetings.


Some of the key benefits of Roq’s engagement include:

  • Enabling the testing process to run both smoothly and securely across a complex and highly sensitive environment

  • Enabling the service to be available throughout the upgrade for those in need of the critical information - even more relevant given the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time.

  • Despite the Covid-19 restrictions and the client’s resource availability, RoQ delivered the testing of the upgraded platform to schedule.

  • Delivering a comprehensive regression test pack to enable new features and functions to be added more quickly in the future; and

  • Introducing new ways of working through a CI/CD approach, to facilitate more effective and efficient future deliveries.

Above all else, there is a true partnership approach.  The Roq test team now have a trusted and longstanding engagement with Cancer Central, from  just being a ‘test function’, they’re now a true partner and are trusted to make key decisions and improvement suggestions for Cancer Central. This is supported by the following testimonials:

Client Testimonial

Working with Roq gives us huge comfort! Knowing we had the team trying to break the site as we delivered components, meant we had a fresh pair of expert eyes on the case. Roq always spots something we miss and always gives great feedback on how we can continually improve the experience. They always provide ideas with how we can continuously improve the experience of the site and are a complete joy to work with, which makes project meetings a real hoot. Everyone I have met at Roq is thoughtful, thorough, dedicated and a complete joy to work with. The dedication and support for Cancer Central is incredible. I am personally so thankful and grateful for all Roq has done and is doing.

Founder of Cancer Central, Avril Chester

Key to me is the team’s ability to openly question. Sometimes even I get bogged down in the detail and lose sight of what we are trying to achieve, and their ability to question and validate the ‘why?’ is compelling. This, coupled with their empathy and responsiveness, makes for a good team fit. I will always look to use the Roq team, as I have found them to be the best testers.

Non-Executive Director and Chief Commercial Officer, Mathew Mallett

Roq continues to assist Cancer Central on their mission to support those affected by Cancer, by bringing them the relevant information and connecting them with people going through similar experiences.

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We understand the importance of getting it right first time. We also understand how hard that is. Using our expertise and experience, we can work together with that intention in mind. Call us on 01257 208890, contact us using our online form, or email to find out more.

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