Awarded to Hippo Digital Limited

Start date: Monday 6 January 2020
Value: £350,000
Company size: SME
Department for Education (DfE)

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)

13 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 2 large

14 Completed applications

12 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Monday 14 October 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 21 October 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 28 October 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
DfE require a highly skilled supplier with experience in creating and publishing content using Whitehall specialist content management system. Working with the department’s digital communications team (DCT) to create, publish and manage content on GOV.UK. The supplier will be required create the training materials to meet GOV.UK and accessibility standards.
Latest start date
Monday 2 December 2019
Expected contract length
up to 7 months
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education (DfE)
Budget range
[£200K - £400K]

About the work

Why the work is being done
From September 2020 all schools must teach relationships education; relationships and sex education; and health education
The DfE is committed to providing training support to help schools to teach the above subjects.
We are looking for a multi-disciplinary team to deliver the beta with an MVP to be delivered no later than April 2020.
Problem to be solved
To create online training materials through user research and working with subject experts. The online training material will be published on by April 2020 for it to be effective in schools.
We anticipate this involving:
The supplier working with department’s digital communications team to structure the content in way to meet users’ needs.
Development and publishing of the content as a minimum viable product beta (public) that meets GDS requirements and is compliant with all relevant legislative requirements (including but not limited to accessibility and security) no later than April 2020
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are, school leaders, subject leaders and teachers. These users need to find and use materials which will enable and support them to deliver the new curriculum subjects from September 2020.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Discovery completed and alpha prototype built. A summary of key findings of research objectives will be made available to short-listed suppliers.
Existing team
The successful supplier will be working with a subject expert(s) in RSHE to develop online training materials; DFE content designer to ensure the training material meets the requirement of GOV.UK; and with the RSHE policy team responsible for delivering the government’s objective to support schools to teach the new curriculum
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT
Working arrangements
Co-located working principally from DfE’s London office, maximising opportunity for engagement with policy units and stakeholders. Some travel to meet users is expected. All travel must be pre agreed and adhere to DfE T&S policy.
Security clearance
The HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard (or ‘BPSS’) (Baseline security level) See -

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
  • Expertise in developing training materials - creating, updating and reviewing content that meets user needs, making information and guidance clear and easy for users to understand
  • Experience of delivering to a GDS Beta assessments. The Beta assessment for this project will be tailored to only the training materials.
  • Expertise in user research and usability testing and taking account of discovery/alpha findings to meet user needs (including assisted digital, users with accessibility needs and accessibility audits) and policy goal.
  • Experience of working in an agile team and using agile techniques and roles to build capability within existing teams
  • Experience of working proactively with internal stakeholders and maintain good working relationships to support wider digital work streams
  • Experience of translating users need in the context of policy and political objectives
  • Demonstrate experience of designing and delivering peer to peer training modules
  • Experience in identifying risks and dependencies and approaches to manage them
  • Ability to present and communicate project update/outcomes to a variety of stakeholders including those with low technical expertise
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Organisation skills and being able to deliver outputs to time and budget
  • Ability to work with a range of stakeholders to develop content
  • Experience of coaching, mentor and upskill people in agile techniques and roles to build capability within existing teams

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution - how you will deliver these training materials compliant with government technical standards, and relevant legislation (including accessibility) resulting in all specified outputs.
  • Team structure - We anticipate the team will include a content designer, user researcher and delivery manager. However suppliers can alternative team structure they think would meet our objective.
  • Approach and methodology– demonstrate a strong understanding of agile, user-centered design and research; online training and content design and how these are applied to the digital solution.
  • The approach to training – an example of where the supplier has refined user needs through systematic and robust approach to user and non-user research to deliver a successful service
  • Estimated timeframes for the work - how the development will be organised and achieve value for money. Details of the delivery timeline, duration and resource profile.
  • Risk and dependencies -effective approach to identifying and managing risks, issues and dependencies within the programme to ensure timely delivery, in the context of this digital solution
  • Value for money - transparent financial structure and fair pricing for the service. How you will ensure quality of delivery with prices and resources you have estimated
  • Accountable for delivery -set out how you will ensure you, as lead supplier, will be fully accountable for delivery, including where this involves partnership working and subcontracting
Cultural fit criteria
  • Approach to working collaboratively and openly in a complex political and delivery environment
  • Approach to working as part of a mixed supplier-client delivery team, particularly at the boundary between modern digital ways of working and UK government departments with formal procedures and policies
  • Ability to quickly understand relevant pre-existing research, identify user needs, and maintain continuity between previous work and the Beta
  • Ability to deliver successful projects in partnership with other organisations providing additional expertise.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What will the team be made up of
It is not clear whether this question if is referring to the supplier's team or the Department for Education's team.
For the supplier, we anticipate that the team will include a content designer, user researcher and delivery manager but we are open to consider alternative suggestions that will meet the project objective.
For the department, there will a team made up of a product owner/programme manager (policy team), content designer to structure content on GOV.Uk and RSHE subject specialist.
2. Is there flexibility in working remotely for this opportunity?
We expect the team to work majority of the days each week in our London office but there is flexibility to work remotely some days of the week.
3. Was the Discovery and Alpha prototype built in-house by DfE or by an external supplier?
The Discovery and Alpha prototype testing were both carried out by an external supplier.
4. Who was the supplier(s) for discovery and alpha?
The supplier for both discovery and alpha was Farsight Consulting Limited.
5. Would the chosen supplier be able to impact and improve upon the alpha work?
Yes the chosen supplier would be able to impact and build on the alpha work depending on the user research findings. The alpha has tested an approach to training that can be delivered through GOV.UK. The department still wants to use GOV.UK as the platform for delivery but the training modules have not been developed yet. The Alpha also tested a first iteration of one of the training modules but it will require further user testing and any additional iteration. The training approach can also be improved if needed.
6. Please clarify what you mean by ‘experience of translating users needs in the context of policy and political objectives’.
Ministers made a public commitment to support schools to teach RSHE. The successful supplier will be working on the RSHE project to deliver this commitment. The project also has to be delivered within certain political constraints. The successful supplier must have experience of balancing users’ needs against the boundaries of ministerial expectations and constraints. Must be able to articulate to the department where there is a significant conflict between what users need and political constrains and recommend how it may be reconciled. Ministerial expectations and constraints will be clearly explained to the successful supplier.
7. Will access to users for testing be available via the DFE team?
The DFE team has a number of schools that have registered to be early adopters of the new curriculum and are available for user testing. However, we expect the supplier to be able to recruit additional users outside this pool of schools for user testing of content.
8. For clarification – is this purely a research, UX and content brief to comply and delivery on your existing Whitehall’s specialist content management system with no requirement for any front end development to sit on top of the CMS?
The supplier will be required to conduct user research and deliver training materials including user testing/feedback and iterative development and to work with DfE content delivery team to shape the content on around the training materials. Some user journey testing is expected but the supplier will not be required to develop any systems that users interact with.