Essex County Council

0812 Digital accessibility partner to capability build across Essex County Council

7 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 1 large

6 Completed applications

3 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Wednesday 18 September 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 25 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 2 October 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Act as our accessibility ‘partner’ offering support, guidance and recommendations to enable us to meet WCAG 2.1 AA requirements across our significant web estate. Build understanding and capability across the organisation enabling us to independently test products with our users and assure our content and code accessibility compliance going forward.
Latest start date
Friday 1 November 2019
Expected contract length
1 year
East of England
Organisation the work is for
Essex County Council
Budget range
The budget is capped at £60k

About the work

Why the work is being done
We are a large and complex organisation with a significant web estate with a range of legacy sites and apps. In addition to the main site there are over 80 microsites that will need to be assessed and made compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA by September 2020.

There are a handful of staff who understand digital accessibility from a code and content perspective and we need to build our capability and capacity quickly to enable us to comply with the legislation and ensure our web estate remains accessible going forward.
Problem to be solved
Content Designers, Developers and Graphic Designers do not have a clear understanding of what WCAG 2.1 compliance means for their profession or the best tools or techniques to check and assure their work.

User Researchers do not understand what tools, techniques, facilities or approaches they may need to create a test panel of users with disabilities and impairments that can test our digital products on an ongoing basis.

Senior leaders and commissioners do not have a clear understanding of the importance of delivering inclusive digital services to support self-service and channel shift.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Content Designer, Developer or Graphic Designer, I need to understand what constitutes WCAG2.1AA compliance for my profession so that I can meet the need of all users.

As a User Researcher I want to create a panel of residents with a range of disabilities and impairments so that I can test websites, apps and systems on an ongoing basis to understand if they are compliant.

As Head of Product I want to support senior leaders and commissioners to understand the importance of inclusive digital services so that they are commissioning digital products that are accessible from go live.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have done an audit of our web estate and now hold a list of:
• Website names and URLs (approx. 80)
• Some platform information
• Identified content editors

Work is already underway to ensure content and code on is accessible and we are just completing fixes based on recommendations from a Shaw Trust assessment.

We already have the SiteImprove tool but it has never been used for accessibility checking purposes. We are working with SiteImprove to train developers and Content editors on the system.
Existing team
Service Design Team:
• Product Manager x 2
• Delivery Manager x 1
• Content Designer x 6
• Front End Developer x 1
• User Researchers x 3

Graphic Design Team:
• Designers x 4

Technical Services Team:
• SAAS Team x 6
• Technical testers x 6
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Main site - County Hall, Chelmsford, plus other ECC locations as needed. You will have to be available at these locations when required but we also accept that this can be balanced with work being progressed or delivered remotely if deemed suitable.
Working arrangements
Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques. This will involve daily stand ups and fortnightly sprint planning sessions which include a retrospective of the previous sprint and prioritisation by the Product Owner for the following sprint.
Security clearance

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 successfully implementing WCAG2.1 standards
  • Demonstrate experience of working as a joint team with a public sector body and operating within its governance and culture.
  • A detailed understanding of the key accessibility priorities for content designers
  • A detailed understanding of the key accessibility priorities for user researchers
  • A detailed understanding of the key accessibility priorities for developers
  • A detailed understanding of the key accessibility priorities for designers
  • Ability to tailor training to specific teams/services to best fit their needs
  • Ability to conduct high quality handover and training sessions to ensure effective long-term support and further development of capability
  • Capacity to mobilise a skilled and experienced team, responding flexibly to peaks and troughs in demand and able to substitute similar resources without any implication to the project.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Share the profiles of the team that will be working with us
  • Experience of working in a large and complex organisation
  • A short case study that illustrates your work against a similar set of requirements.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to upskilling Content Designers, Developers and Designers to enable them to deliver WCAG 2.1 compliant outputs including guidance and tools.
  • Approach to enabling the organisation to manage it’s own end to end accessibility testing including setting up and managing a test panel of residents with disabilities or impairments
  • Approach to engaging with senior leaders to support and enable them to commission and manage accessible digital services
  • Detail the cost of each requirement and how supplied resource will be broken down and flexed as needed
Cultural fit criteria
Describe previous work where you have established a trusted advisory relationship within a public sector body
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

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