Awarded to Nomensa Ltd

Start date: Tuesday 1 October 2019
Value: £400,000
Company size: SME
Highways England

Customer Experience Intelligence Partner for the Dart Charge service

9 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 1 large

21 Completed applications

15 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Tuesday 23 July 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 30 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 6 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
To work with Highways England as a Customer Experience Intelligence Partner during the re-procurement of the entire Dart Charge service. The service will encourage 100% compliance and provide a frictionless customer-centric, multi-channel, socially inclusive road user charging scheme which is compliant with the UK government service standard.
Latest start date
Monday 30 September 2019
Expected contract length
2 years
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Highways England
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
We need to ensure the Dart Charge service continues to meet the needs of our users throughout the re-procurement, while creating a service that improves the customer experience and allows innovation throughout the course of its lifetime.
Problem to be solved
Work with Highways England to investigate and validate quick wins improving customer experience. Set up a multi-disciplinary team providing user experience, design and research, and content design.
Work with suppliers develop the next generation of the service, ensuring ease of use and customer satisfaction is at the forefront.

Investigate/validate future innovations of the service, including scalability to cover other schemes.

Support the project through GDS assessments as necessary.

Field ad hoc technical queries from Highways England, supporting internal and external governance processes.

Work with Highways England to create a common design language to be used across the Dart Charge Estate.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users should represent a broad cross section of account, non-account (casual), LRDS (local residents), commercial users and those that need digital assistance, such that the results are statistically significant. We can provide contacts for some commercial users, but the remainder would have to be sourced as part of the task.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have conducted an extensive survey asking account holders their usage, views and improvement requests. This covers personal, business and local residents on the discount scheme. Using this as a basis, we have conducted an initial discovery phase (original advert here) and are currently prototyping key journeys in support of initial engagement with bidders. All outputs of previous research will be made available to the winning bidder.
Existing team
They will work primarily with the existing digital team in Highways England. This would involve the Digital Services team in Leeds as well as the project team in Guildford and operational team in Birmingham. Work will also be done with the Lower Thames Crossing team
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
We require a Customer Experience Intelligence Partner and expect the work to take place across various locations; off site, at offices in Birmingham, Guildford, and Leeds, or offices connected to suppliers we are engaging with. We want the provider to communicate with users and potential users so they can do this in whatever way is most appropriate. We would not require them to be on site for any specific amount of time. We would expect them to visit Highways England in Leeds, Birmingham, and Guildford as required for meetings and workshops and be available for regular teleconferences.
Working arrangements
Engagement with the team will not be constant with periods where work is minimal.

To assist suppliers with resource planning below are initial indicative timescales for key support tasks.
• Develop shared design principles
- September to December 19

• Assist Highways England and its supply chain in planning and developing the citizen facing components for a Free-Flow Charging alpha prototype/PoC, incorporating the findings from Discovery
- Planning: October to December 19
- Delivery: January to April 20

• Provide UX and specialist digital advice to the FFC procurement team
- September to August 20
Security clearance
Must comply with Highways England’s Security requirements.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of building and testing prototypes
  • Demonstrable evidence of UX design across multiple service providers and back office systems
  • Experience of leading projects successfully and working collaboratively with GDS to ensure GDS assessment criteria is fully met
  • Experience of agile and iterative development
  • Provide example of user research and user experiences design services to central govt and or Local Authorities
  • Proven experience of supporting a re-design of a multi-faceted, complex transactional service
  • Have excellent analytical, problem solving, written and verbal communication skills
  • An in-depth understanding of GDPR and Cyber Security legislation and the processing of sensitive information
  • Demonstrable experience of designing and testing services for Assisted Digital users
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Capability to provide coaching of Agile methodologies and iterative development
  • Demonstrable evidence of working with a broad range of back office systems and the capability to learn adapt to new technologies
  • Demonstrate collaborative experience and innovation (from others etc.)
  • Experience of Content Design and carrying out Content Audits
  • Demonstrable understanding of effective engagement with potential users

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Your proposed approach and methodology to meeting the needs of the project (15%)
  • How you intend to optimise the user experience and deliver value for money to benefit the development of the service (20%)
  • How you'll provide Highways England with a high-quality team that embodies the “essential” and “nice to have” skills and experience; particularly, why you believe the team will be high performing(20%)
  • How you'll balance being responsive and flexible to changing work demands (in terms of skills/capacity) as it progresses with the benefits of a stable and consistent team (15%)
  • Indicative structure (i.e. people/roles in your proposed team and their main interrelationships), indicative profile (detailing how team size and roles might change over time) and start date (5%)
  • How you will work with Highways England and the incumbent supplier to identify improvements to the existing service (5%)
  • How you will work with multiple potential suppliers within the planning and development phase for the new service (10%)
  • How you will work with Highways England and third parties to ensure the new service can meet the relevant GDS digital service standard at various phases of development (5%)
  • How you will ensure delivery of key tasks to time whilst delivering value for money (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work with us as part of a team (15%)
  • Work well in a collaborative agile team and be confident at communicating and demonstrating developments and ideas (25%)
  • Demonstrate courage and challenge the status quo (e.g. can express controversial views, confront reality, make tough decisions) (10%)
  • Demonstrate responsibility (e.g. act like a leader, provide solutions to problems, seek the best for the organisation beyond your team) (15%)
  • Be respectful of different opinions and constructive in feedback (10%)
  • Can work with users with low technical expertise (10%)
  • Share knowledge and experience (10%)
  • Have proven experience of stakeholder management and strong negotiation skills (5%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. As part of working arrangements, you state “Engagement with the team will not be constant with periods where work is minimal” Highways England give an indication of how many days they may be required over the 2 year contract period?
The contract will last for 2 years from September 2019 until August 2021. Within this contract there will be periods when no work is required, and equally there will be periods when suppliers will be expected to be engaged full or part time on the project. We will discuss indicative timeframes with the winning supplier to map out the work required over the next two years.
2. Can you confirm if elements of the proposed team is expected to be engaged from September 2019 to August 2020 or from September 2019 to August 2021, thus matching the 2 year contract period stated.
See answer to question 1
3. Please can you confirm the roles of the evaluation team?
The evaluation team will be made up of members from a multi-disciplinary team working on the project. They will have a range of expertise and experience drawn from the Dart Charge, Project and Digital Teams.
4. Can you confirm if you are looking for single examples per competence or multiple examples?
We are not being prescriptive on this point. We will leave it to the supplier to decide if single or multiple examples best helps them demonstrate the ability and experience required to meet the competencies we need. A supplier will not be penalised for only using single examples as long as they demonstrate the skills we are looking for.
5. If we participate in this procurement event will it exclude us from future downstream engagements on the supply side?
This is a separate contract being used to complement the development of the new service. Following best practice, Highways England wishes to keep the UX research and design separate from development and implementation. Suppliers will not be excluded from bidding for future downstream engagements, however ethical walls and proper conduct should be in place and suppliers will need to describe how this shall be achieved at the point they express an interest in other engagements. HE will then assess these measures to ensure they meet the demands of the PCR 2015 regulations
6. Will the successful bidder be precluded from the delivery procurement that will follow?
See answer to question 5
7. Are you able to confirm the name of Discovery supplier?
Nomensa conducted the discovery phase research. The discovery phase is being viewed as discrete from this contract, with the outputs influencing the direction of work to be done as necessary.
8. Will the outputs of the discovery be made available to bidders for the customer experience partner at proposal stage?
The outputs of Discovery and any other relevant research will be made available to the shortlisted suppliers. However, please be aware that the evaluation team is seeking evidence of fulfilling the criteria and demonstration of approaches and experience, rather than a solution.
9. What roles are you expecting suppliers to provide? In addition, are you expecting all roles to have the ability to be full time?
We expect the winning supplier to provide a multi-disciplinary team providing user experience design and proto-typing, user research/testing, and content design skills. The team will work with us as required for the length of the contract. We will discuss indicative timeframes with the winning supplier, but we do not expect this work to be 'full time' for the full length of the contract.
10. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated?
Price is 25% of the evaluation weighting and supplier submissions will be based on average day rates. A pricing schedule will be issued to shortlisted suppliers to populate.
11. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
The scoring from the evidencing round will be used to determine a shortlist of up to 5 suppliers. The shortlisted suppliers will be asked to submit a written proposal and give a presentation. The scores from the evidencing round will not be used in the final evaluation. Shortlisted suppliers will be evaluated solely on the weighted criteria in the "proposal and presentation" section which represents 75% of the marks and price which represents 25%.
12. Has any other supplier been engaged with this project so far?
See answer to Question 7.
13. Will your Product Owner be allocated full time to this project?
The Product Owner is working full time on this project, however they are involved in other aspects of the project as well.
14. Are you able to continue straight into the next phase of this project with the same supplier with no air gap between phases?
This contract will last through an entire stage of the project, and the project team plans for a Customer Experience Intelligence Partner to be part of the next stage as well, however this is likely to be conducted as a new procurement exercise.
15. Will you be able to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project?
The project team recognise the importance of collaboration and will facilitate all access to stakeholders as and when necessary.
16. Are you looking for an organisation with GDS assessment experience or just certain individuals proposed in the supplier team?
The project needs ready access to the knowledge and experience that comes through leading services successfully through a GDS assessment. We leave it to the supplier to decide whether this is best met by placing someone with this experience within the team or not.
17. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would you expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks?
We want to see evidence that you have clearly understood the required skill and experience and can provide clear examples to demonstrate how you have successfully met the requirements. A supplier shall score 3 marks where they first meet the requirement and then clearly demonstrate significant added value or benefits directly relating to the relevant requirement.
18. As per DOS guidelines 'You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement', are you only requesting one example per skills and experience question?
Please see answer to Question 4.
19. Do you either require or prefer that public sector examples are cited rather than private sector examples? Or, if we have a relevant private sector example, will it be given equal consideration to a public sector example?
While it is important that the supplier has experience working with central government or local authorities, the team welcome all relevant examples and will give equal consideration to private and public sector examples.
20. For requirement "Demonstrable evidence of working with a broad range of back office systems and the capability to learn adapt to new technologies", please could you provide some examples of the sorts of new technologies you have in mind?
This requirement is about demonstrating the ability to work with a range of back office systems, including some you may have never used before, but be able to adapt to them quickly and create a consistent and seamless user experience on the front end. We have no 'new technologies' in mind as such, but we need the chosen supplier to be flexible if other suppliers propose technologies that are unfamiliar.
21. For requirement "Demonstrate collaborative experience and innovation (from others etc.)" please could you clarify what you mean by "from others"?
This work will involve supporting the procurement of key packages for the service. The supplier will be expected to support development of a single user experience utilising all key packages. This will require extensive collaborative skills and the ability to bring innovation from various sources into one service.
22. We note that major Tier 1 suppliers have extensive footprints inside Highways England. How will you implement ethical walls that are sufficiently robust to level the playing field for SMEs and ensure that bids are judged impartially and objectively? For example, unbranded bids and redacted supplier names.
Evaluation will take place as described in the framework guidance - Suppliers will be evaluated solely on their capability to meet the requirements to quality and price.
23. How much time do you envisage suppliers might spend in each of the listed office locations (Birmingham, Leeds and Guildford) during the course of a typical month?
This will depend on the work being done during the month. The supplier will be expected to be able to attend meetings and workshops as and when necessary, though often teleconferencing will suffice. Most meetings will take place in London or Birmingham.
24. Experience of building and testing prototypes" – Do you have any specific ones in mind?
We would expect the winning supplier to have experience putting together low and high fidelity prototypes to rapidly test potential UX solutions with users as required, at an early stage to determine if they are added into the final developed solution.
25. Is there an incumbent supplier connected to previous work? (e.g. initial discovery phase and/or journeys prototyping)
Please see answer to Question 7.
26. Who completed the discovery work?
Please see answer to question 7.
27. The brief says ‘We have conducted an extensive survey asking account holders their usage, views and improvement requests.’ Have any other user research methods been used to compliment the survey findings?
User testing has already occurred on the current service and some future state prototypes. All outputs will be made available to the successful supplier as necessary
28. Supplemental to question 27 - Is this sufficient basis to progress with the development of design principles and prototyping?
We expect ongoing user research to be part of the work, however we have a firm foundation to begin with and we will engage with GDS to ensure they're happy with what we're doing.
29. Supplemental to question 27 - Would you consider including an exploratory phase bringing in additional user insights that can complement the existing survey responses? If yes, please tell us a bit more regarding the scope of the survey you’ve done already, so we can suggest relevant research that can be can be done?
The survey conducted asked account holders about their experiences with the service, and their thoughts on the future service. This was complemented by user testing of the current service. The team understands that user testing and validation is an ongoing process and therefore that more research will be essential at certain stages of the work.
30. We are of the view that ongoing measurement and validation is essential to ensure the programme is progressing in the desired direction. Would you be interested in an ongoing measurement method to monitor the impact of changes on a monthly, quarterly or biannual basis? If yes, would you consider additional budget for this, or would it need to be included in the existing budget?
The project would welcome ideas for ongoing measurement, while recognising that there is a balance to be struck between improvements to the current service and designing a future service. The stated budget is final.
31. There is no specific requirement indicated however there is reference to ‘compliant service’. Will the buyer provide required guidance on the ‘Road user charging regulations’ ?
The team will fully engage with the supplier to improve compliancy within the service. The relevant legislation is linked below: - The A282 Trunk Road (Dart(Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme) Order 2013. - The Road User Charging Schemes (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013.
32. What channels are considered under this proposal when you refer to ‘multi-channel’? this will help us in better evidencing our experience in developing UX across those mediums. Desktop, mobile browser, Mobile app, kiosk, IVR, mail etc…?
The project is focused on delivering a multi-channel service that meets customer needs and is compliant with the UK government service standard. We expect the focus to be digital first, with the opportunity to explore options beyond the current available channels depending on evidenced user needs.
33. Supplemental to question 32 - Could you provide additional information regarding this requirement – perhaps the nature of questions/samples, “Field ad hoc technical queries from Highways England, supporting internal and external governance processes”
The supplier will be expected to field queries and provide advice on best practice within their areas of expertise on topics such as content design, user research/testing, UX design, meeting GDS requirements
34. What support will the buyer provide in the recruitment of customers for gaining user research and ongoing validation of ideas and prototypes?
The project team can provide access to commercial account holders, and some access to personal account holders, however the onus of recruitment would lie with the supplier.
35. What specific Cyber Security legislation are you referring to?
The project team expect the winning supplier to comply with UK government and industry recognised cyber security standards and best practices, particularly in relation to the principles set out by GDS in their service manual and the UK National Cyber Security Centre.
36. Could you please share the link to the original discovery work? The link referenced in 'any work that's already been done' does not appear to work.
Below is the link to advert for the discovery phase. All relevant outputs will be made available to the shortlisted suppliers:
37. Can you please confirm your expected timelines for the assessment, following shortlisting?
We expect to hold presentations before the end of August, and award by the end of September for an October start.
38. Are you able to share any more details about the roles you expect to make available from Highways England and how much time you expect them to be allocated to the project, please?
We expect to facilitate access to project stakeholders as necessary. Working with the supplier will be the product owner, project manager for the work stream, procurement, digital and IT specialists, and other roles as necessary. Other roles will be filled through the suppliers within the procurement process.