Awarded to Nexify Solutions UK

Start date: Sunday 8 December 2019
Value: £64,000
Company size: SME
The National Archives

PRONOM Developer

20 Incomplete applications

19 SME, 1 large

17 Completed applications

16 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 4 November 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 6 November 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 11 November 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Data engineer
Summary of the work
Develop a new version of PRONOM (, our registry of file format information.
High-level requirements available here
Rapidly prototype/evaluate different models and approaches so we can understand the feasibility of our requirements.
Create/demonstrate prototype features to users and stakeholders.
Implement data model and service enhancements according to agreed design.
Latest start date
Sunday 1 December 2019
Expected contract length
4 Months, with completion by 31/03/2020
Organisation the work is for
The National Archives
Maximum day rate
Up to £1000 per day

About the work

Early market engagement
No previous market engagement has taken place for this outcome.
Who the specialist will work with
You will work collaboratively with the product team at The National Archives:
- Product Owner, Technical Architect, Senior Developer, and the core team of Digital Archivists who create the data and use the service.
What the specialist will work on
A data engineer is required to develop a new data model and web service for PRONOM, with associated services for regularly updating the PRONOM data files. The core aims are to modernise the database infrastructure/technology (currently based on MS SQL), to refine the PRONOM data model, to extend the PRONOM signature vocabulary, and to facilitate better linking and data sharing with external data sources, in particular Wikidata and the Preservation Action Registry. Work will also be required to update the PRONOM web application and bring it into line with The National Archives’ current brand.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The team is based at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU. You will be expected to be on-site regularly, but it would be possible for some of the work to be undertaken remotely.
Working arrangements
Co-located for a minimum of 1 day a week so you can discuss and demonstrate your work and test and refine requirements with the team throughout the project. Normal office hours are 9am to 5pm, some flexibility is available.
Security clearance
Baseline security clearance will be required.

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
  • Highly experienced Senior Data Engineer (or Senior Software Engineer) with excellent track record of designing/creating/iterating/testing data models, working with production data , delivering resilient, data-driven services into live environment
  • Have excellent experience of implementing data models for use in live systems environments,
  • Have the ability to manage all aspects of the release cycle, including migration of existing data
  • Have an excellent knowledge of architectural approaches that are relevant to this work – you should identify appropriate approaches in your response.
  • Experience, knowledge and understanding of graph based data models and of modelling graph data, including experience, knowledge and understanding of graph/linked data querying languages, such as SPARQL or Cypher
  • Experience, knowledge and understanding of Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) processes
  • Experience, knowledge and understanding of creating resilient and secure systems using IAM in a cloud context
  • Experience, knowledge and understanding of validating graph data with SHACL
  • Demonstrate an ability to deliver high quality work to a fixed timeline and budget
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Have knowledge and experience of digital file formats and their identification and characterisation.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a work history.

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be willing to work regularly at The National Archives, Kew
  • Have excellent problem solving skills and display initiative in proposing and testing different approaches to find a solution
  • Communicate openly, demonstrate progress and discuss findings regularly
  • Be able to work and make progress independently to deliver work to a deadline
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please could you confirm the IR35 status for this role?
We have checked the role requirements (to the best of our knowledge) using the assessment tool found at and, in our opinion, for the role(s) as advertised the intermediaries legislation does not apply to this engagement. If our opinion had been that these roles lay inside scope for IR35, we would not have published using this Framework.
2. Is there an incumbent?
No, there is no incumbent.
3. Should the latest start date be the 2nd of Dec rather than the 1st Dec?
4. Is the identified day rate inclusive or exclusive of VAT?
Excluding VAT.
5. Who developed the existing service?
The current version (version 6) was developed with Tessella, under contract in (we believe) 2007.
6. This Essential Experience question has 7 parts to it, with 100 words available can it please be split up? if not, which part do you wish the answer to concentrate the most on? E.G designing models? creating models? delivering resilient data-driven services?
"Highly experienced Senior Data Engineer (or Senior Software Engineer) with excellent track record of designing/creating/iterating/testing data models, working with production data, delivering resilient, data-driven services into live environment"
It is not possible to amend notices once they have been posted. Please treat "designing/creating/iterating/testing" as "designing, creating, iterating AND testing", perhaps providing an example of a single project which included you doing all of these (this might equally be covered by a number of different project examples). The aforementioned project(s) may also have been "working with production data, delivering resilient, data-driven services into live environment", or you may wish to provide a separate example covering this aspect of the requirement. Our preference is for a supplier who has delivered, and can demonstrate, all aspects of the requirement.
7. Are you able to confirm what technologies you need this person to have worked with previously? I.e. SQL etc.
The opportunity states that we are seeking ‘Experience, knowledge and understanding of graph based data models and of modelling graph data’, but since the existing PRONOM is based on MS SQL we would expect that the successful bidder has demonstrable experience of migrating from relational to graph data models. We don’t have a target graph data technology in mind and would expect the successful bidder to prototype alternative approaches.
8. Would security clearance be provided for the right candidate?
If you do not hold current baseline clearance, you must be prepared to apply, which TNA will facilitate and cover the cost and takes approximately 2-3 weeks.
For every individual requiring access to our systems we will require:
The applicant’s First Name and Surname (as per passport);
Company name (if applicable);
Email address (for Data Protection reasons, the e-mail address must be for a mailbox that can be accessed only by the applicant. This can be a work e-mail address).
Do not include this information in your tender response. The information will be requested by us from the appointed supplier.