HMRC

HMRC User Research Agency Requirements for Newcastle Area

Incomplete applications

4
Incomplete applications
4 SME, 0 large

Completed applications

5
Completed applications
4 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 15 October 2019
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 22 October 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 29 October 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work HMRC’s large team of user researchers, based in Newcastle, conduct iterative user testing and require assistance in finding suitable participants to take part in research on a wide range of digital services.
The agency must be able to manage the volume and frequency of user recruitment requests in Newcastle/North East.
Location North East England
Research dates Various/continuous
Organisation the work is for HMRC
Budget range £300,000 for a 2 year contract.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Early market engagement

About the research

About the research
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Description of your participants Depends on the project's requirements. This will be a mixture of :
- Sole traders
- Limited companies
- Micro-businesses
- Small, medium and large businesses
- Individuals
- Agents
- Assisted Digital users within the above categories
- Accessibility users within the above categories
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements
Research plan
Research location HMRC has a large concentration of researchers in Newcastle and is therefore seeking one or more agencies that are able to recruit users primarily in the North East.
Agencies should also be able to recruit users in or near HMRC's other locations, if required (Worthing, London, Manchester, Telford and Shipley).
Type of location - Contextual (for eg in the participant's home), HMRC site labs, remote (using Skype or GoToMeeting), and also may sometimes require the agency to book external labs for research.
Access restrictions at location
Number of research rounds Multiple
Number of participants per round 5 - 8 users per round
How often research will happen Depends on projects - at least a couple of times per month
Evening or weekend research

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Additional HMRC specific terms in relation tax compliance among other things will be added to the call off contract.

Skills and experience

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

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Proven experience in recruiting participants for user research
  • Evidence of a variety of recruitment methods, both digital and non-digital
  • A high volume of on the ground field agents in Newcastle and the North East
  • Some bespoke field agents (not commonly used across all other agencies)
  • Experience recruiting Assisted Digital participants with low digital literacy, confidence etc
  • Experience recruiting people for niche projects
  • Experience recruiting participants with specific accessibility needs or requirements.
  • Experience of recruiting people for research ethically and sensitively.
  • Have the ability to work to short deadlines
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Sign off the brief (Project specification and create screener) within 2 working days of receipt.
  • Provide research session participants within a maximum of 10 working days from receipt of brief (longer can be arranged with advance negotiation – if unachievable, HMRC needs 48 hours’ notice).
  • Provide participant list to the HMRC User researcher 48 hours prior to the research session and if doing overseas recruitment be aware of time differences.
  • Be able to recruit within reasonable distance of HMRC offices.
  • Provide translator and sign language interpreter details to the HMRC User Researcher 48 hours prior to the research session.
  • Provide participants matching the essential criteria specified. Where unachievable a credit should be made against fee charged. Give clear explanation of difficulties so the brief can be relaxed if appropriate.
  • Service to include distribution of incentives for all recruitment, except when user is a no show when no incentive will be paid.
  • Responding to reasonable changes in specification from one wave to the next, potentially at reasonable short notice.
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Availability

30%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. One essential skill you've listed is "A high volume of on the ground field agents in Newcastle and the North East". This requirement pre-determines the recruitment method. How are you interpreting this requirement and why have you specified this as an essential skill? We require this to enable suppliers to find the right users to participate in research sessions and not just solely use social media and digital routes, to make sure they meet the requirements of identifying accessibility and assisted digital users when needed.
2. One essential skill you've listed is "A high volume of on the ground field agents in Newcastle and the North East". This requirement pre-determines the recruitment method. How are you interpreting this requirement and why have you specified this as an essential skill? We require this to enable suppliers to find the right users to participate in research sessions and not just solely use social media and digital routes, to make sure they meet the requirements of identifying accessibility and assisted digital users when needed.
3. Can to give further explanation/clarification with regards the essential skill "some bespoke field agents (not commonly used across other agencies" We require this so that we are researching with a large pool of users and to aviod re using the same ones as well as avoiding 'professional' users, so that we are gaining as rich insight as possible.
4. Why do you assume or think that providers who don't use freelance field agents cannot recruit the right users in particular identifying accessibility and assisted digital users? Shouldn't the procurement process be down to the supplier to demonstrate their capabilities of recruiting not the client to determine the method they use? From experience with previous suppliers we had found that this has been a challenge for suppliers to provide Accessibilty and Assisted digital users without these field agents.
5. Are you confusing "Field Agents" with "Participants" in Q&A 3? It's still not clear what you mean by a "Bespoke Field Agent" your answer indicates that it's the participants that should be bespoke, can you clarify? By using bespoke field agents we have found that they are able to find a larger pool of users which prevents using the same users over again and avoids the 'professional' users as this is not what we are looking for when we ask the supplier to provide specific users.
6. If you require non-repeat and non-professional participants, the essential skill should be how you avoid recruiting these participants but instead you have stated the essential skill is to have bespoke field agents. Why have you determined the the method to achieve this outcome rather than the ability to achieve the outcome? This is based on experience with previous suppliers that by having field agents prevents repeat and Professional users being used.