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Education and Skills Funding Agency (DfE)

T Level Service agile development BA, user-centred design delivery management services

6 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 1 large

21 Completed applications

14 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Thursday 1 August 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 8 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 15 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We require project delivery and development services to support the development of GDS compliant digital services for T Levels users, ahead of Sept 2020.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 October 2019
Expected contract length
31 March 2020
West Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Education and Skills Funding Agency (DfE)
Budget range
The budget could range up to a maximum of £4m consisting of multiple Statements of Work, but that scope could expand or contract. DfE does not commit to any minimum spend at this point. A pricing template will be given at the proposal stage to those suppliers we shortlist.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Government’s plan to reform technical education, includes moving to a simplified system based on routes to employment, with T Levels as a flagship qualification. The new T Levels will be delivered in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science, with the first T Levels being introduced in September 2020. A T Level digital service will help to support the roll-out of the qualifications, achieving a number of objectives including raising awareness and understanding; facilitating enrolment on the qualifications; enabling providers to source suitable employer placements; and providing timely results and certification to students.
Problem to be solved
A new service is required to ensure we actively support our range of stakeholders and users in the delivery of T Levels. An initial discovery for a T Level Service identified potential service areas and user touchpoints. We have identified three priority service areas for the T Level Service in the first instance: Marketing and Communications; matching providers and employers to facilitate industry placements for students; and issuing results and certification.

To address these needs, a range of GDS agile roles are required to either support existing teams or potentially form discrete delivery teams.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users are external and internal, for example:
As a student I need to easily access impartial information to understand and access T Levels.
As an employer I need to understand T Levels and link with providers and students to offer industry placements
As a provider I need to maintain relationships with students, employers and ESFA in the delivery of T Levels
As an awarding organisation, I need to ensure that I can provide accurate and timely data on students' progress
As ESFA I need to oversee effective delivery of T Levels, including directly managing the issue of student certificates
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
A discovery of the end to end T Level Service was completed in early 2019, with a further discovery focussed specifically on a Results and Certification Service completed in June 2019. Development of an initial campaign site to support marketing and communications is now underway to launch in September 2019; the alpha phase for our results and certification service commenced in July 2019.
Existing team
The existing teams are comprised of multi-disciplinary agile delivery skills. These teams are involved in service development for providing brand new digital services, going through the standard GDS phases. Typical team size is up to 8 with a skills mix such as product/service managers, delivery managers, business analysts, user research and design professionals. Teams are made up of managed service suppliers, supported by a small number of permanent staff
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Primary location will be ESFA Cheylesmore House, Coventry. Occasional travel to DfE/ESFA site in London may be required
Working arrangements
This will be a 5 day per week (Monday to Friday) commitment and detailed working arrangements, including team location, size and make-up, will be contained within each statement of work. Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques. These could be either a Kanban or a scrum approach (depending on the work) but the standard agile ceremonies appropriate to those will be undertaken. These will be monitored by the Delivery Manager and the Product Owner will be responsible for prioritising backlogs in refinement sessions.
Security clearance
Personnel from the Service provider need to have a BPSS check.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE Travel and Subsistence Policy. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy. Primary work location stated in Statement of Work will not attract expenses. No parking is available on site.

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
  • Within the last two years have experience in development and delivery of digial products/services to GDS standards within Public Sector
  • Within the last two years have experience in Business Analysis services
  • Within the last two years have demonstrable experience in User Centred Design Srevices (User Research, Content Design and Interaction Design)
  • Detailed knowledge of research methodologies and user centred design
  • Within the last two years have experience in delivery management and project support services such as agile, scrum
  • Within the last two years have demonstable experience in working in multi-team agile delivery programmes
  • Proven experience of using a range of agile and lean practices, tools and techniques, working in multi-team agile programmes
  • Strong verbal, written and visual communication skills with the ability to proactively manage stakeholders and tailor to the needs of audience by collaborating on decisions
  • Experience of being able to challenge and influence decisions
  • Within the last two years experience in architecture services and ensuring new and updated platforms, products, transactions and system architectures are robust, scalable, open and secure
  • Within the last two years experience in scalable server-side cloud-based web applications (preferably Microsoft Azure) detailed knowledge of the C#,.NET,ASP.NET MVC programming languages
  • Within the last two years experience in building front-end web applications (HTML/CSS/JS
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of passing GDS service assessments
  • Experience of Microsoft product suite in the education sector
  • Experience in delivering public sector products/services
  • Understanding of DevOps services including running production applications and optimising existing applications

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate working experience in delivering digital products/services within Public Sector
  • Demonstrate understanding/ability to deliver digital products/services to government Digital Service standards
  • Experience and methodology in approach to agile project using both Kanban and scrum
  • Demonstrable experience of working alongside clients in co-located, integrated teams, together with representative CVs of key roles
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer
  • Technical competence in a wide range of relevant technologies and agile practices
  • Ability to scale up team and flex resource when needed on-site
  • Value for money
  • Demonstrate understanding of the challenges of implementing user centred design in a government agile environment
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team – Collaborate, establish good working relationships, generate team spirit
  • Innovate – Act on initiative, drive improvements, balance risks
  • Build capability – Encourage learning, share knowledge, address capability gaps, act on feedback
  • Focus on delivery – Focus on goals, set stretching targets, take responsibility for delivery
  • Approach to developing a "One Team" approach
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will the customer support remote working?
Services will be required to work on site from the Coventry office Monday – Friday. Occasional remote working may be permitted at the discretion of the Manager
2. Is there already an incumbent organisation that is involved in the project?
No there is no incumbent supplier for this work.