Awarded to Manifesto Digital Limited

Start date: Monday 24 February 2020
Value: £198,200
Company size: SME
Health Education England

Health Education England Training & Recruitment Hub Alpha

14 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 3 large

10 Completed applications

8 SME, 2 large

Important dates

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


Summary of the work
HEE needs a supplier to work with them to unify 200+ current websites into an integrated digital service supporting trainee health professionals. This contract is to deliver an Alpha phase of the project focused on a Training & Recruitment Hub for medical education and a collaborative document library.
Latest start date
Monday 3 February 2020
Expected contract length
6 months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Health Education England
Budget range
£150,000 - £200,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Interim NHS People Plan sets out the importance of growing and retaining the health workforce, and Health Education England’s crucial role in this endeavour. To recruit and retain health professional trainees within the NHS and support them through to full qualification, Health Education England needs to provide a consistent, comprehensive and user-centred digital service that enables trainees across England to navigate their training journeys.
Problem to be solved
• To rationalise the existing fragmented web estate into an integrated National Wesbite Platform.

• The reduce the number of disparate websites “owned” by HEE, thereby reducing associated technical and reputational risk, and reducing associated duplication of effort and resources.

• To establish consistent security, look and feel, language and branding across all HEE websites that serve medical trainees.

• To enable curation of data and content at both national and local levels.

• To begin this process with an Alpha exploring the minimum viable product for a Training & Recruitment Hub for medical education, and a collaborative document library for adoption across a network of community hubs.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Trainees and prospective trainees:

• want to search for and find clear information about specialty training opportunities.

• want to see open training vacancies at national and regional level. They want to know which regions recruit per specialty, and to find information to plan future applications, even if there are currently no open vacancies.

• want more consistent websites layouts.

• want clear divisions between what applies nationally and locally.

• want to compare Foundation Programmes at national level and regional level, to decide how to rank their preferences of where to train.

National HEE Providers, Trainers and Content Managers:

• want to inform trainees of the right information for their training stage and specialty.

• want to provide trainees with nationally relevant information, advice and support.

• Want to co-create, store and find documents.

Regional and Local HEE Providers, Trainers and Content Managers:

• want to be enabled to write in an authentic, local voice so that trainees feel like they'll be working with real people.

• want to be able to manage their section of the website in a way that best communicates to trainees information, opportunities and support specific to that programme or region.
Early market engagement
We have engaged with a range of organisations - including Buyers and Suppliers - to better understand the process and establish a realistic budget.
Any work that’s already been done
For discovery, three rounds of user research have been completed with multiple stakeholder groups.
Existing team
The existing team consists of the Senior Digital Communications Manager, Service Owner, and Business Relationship Manager. The Service Owner will be the primary point of contact for the supplier. The Business Relationship Manager will work with the supplier to recruit users and stakeholders for research and feedback. The Senior Digital Communications Manager will be available to provide strategic oversight and guidance.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The Buyer's team is located in Birmingham, West Midlands, so the supplier is expected to be able to attend meetings and workshops in Birmingham. The supplier will also be expected to run workshops with users scattered across the country.
Working arrangements
Suppliers are requested to work from their own location, with regular visits to HEE’s offices in Birmingham, and to host visits from the HEE team at their site. They may also be required to attend meetings and workshops with stakeholder and user groups scattered around the country.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Contract to be used

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
  • Have skills and experience in the following: Java/JavaScript/ Bloomreach brXM (previously Hippo CMS) platform /GitHub.
  • Be able to use relevant technologies in context of an Agile development programme, using Scrum or Kanban or both.
  • Demonstrate ability to successfully run complex digital projects through their life cycle including Discovery, Alpha, Beta, Live and Retirement.
  • Have excellent understanding and experience of API-based integration with multiple systems.
  • Demonstrate excellent information architecture skills.
  • Demonstrate ability to use intelligent personalisation to better meet user needs.
  • Understand and be committed to helping the project meet the GDS Digital Service Standard.
  • Understand and be committed to the confidentiality, data protection, and data and system security standards in use within government and the NHS.
  • Provide evidence of a strong capability to deliver user experience design, ideally aligned to GDS principles
  • Provide evidence of expertise in accessibility, specifically WCAG compliance
  • Provide evidence of capabilities to engage with users via quantitative and qualitative user research and testing throughout the development process, including running user research workshops.
  • Demonstrate they have risk management processes that provide information suitable for HEE to incorporate/build on for production of project and programme management products including risk registers.
  • Demonstrate evidence of financial management processes to provide information suitable for HEE to monitor/control project costs, incorporate, build on to produce project/programme management products/ financial reports.
  • Have facilities to host HEE team members for meetings, workshops and occasional collaborative working at supplier site.
  • Demonstrate they have experience in using modern CI / CD methods as part of an integrated DevOps process, utilising the Cloud.
  • Demonstrate experience of building and user testing prototypes during the Alpha phase.
  • Demonstrate expertise in managing the complete Alpha process.
  • Show willingness and ability to deliver training and engagement activities with relevant HEE staff and stakeholders.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of health sector digital service provision
  • Show evidence of successfully completing GDS assessments.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution. Solution must be realistic, utilise core technologies listed (or their equivalents) and not introduce risk, technical debt, lead to divergence from agreed HEE standards and technical roadmaps.
  • Approach and methodology. These must be compatible with HEE’s commitment to Agile, user-centred and data-driven design as expressed in the GDS Digital Service Standard.
  • Meeting user needs. The proposal must show a realistic approach to developing solutions using an existing backlog, capturing, prioritising new requirements and stories as work progresses.
  • Meeting HEE’s policy or goal. Proposal should be drawn up in the context of relevant NHS and HEE strategies, such as the Interim People Plan.
  • Estimated timeframes for the work. The proposal will be evaluated to determine if the work and the approach can realistically deliver the Alpha within the time available.
  • Risks and dependencies. The proposal will be evaluated to determine how the supplier has identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them.
  • Team structure must support the full range of activities needed to fulfil the project’s objectives and be able to undertake training and engagement activities with relevant HEE staff and stakeholders.
  • Value for money. The proposal must represent good value for money when compared with similar ones both within and outside HEE and across different sectors.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with HEE and other suppliers. We will seek evidence for an inclusive approach and a willingness to co-operate/collaborate, with practical mechanisms suggested to achieve this.
  • Be transparent/collaborative when making decisions. Cover the decision-making process, set out the role of the key team members and the mechanisms by which the processes will be adopted (Agile ceremonies/reports/etc.)
  • The proposal must show a realistic approach to developing solutions to meet user needs, using an existing backlog, capturing, prioritising new requirements and stories as work progresses.
  • Take responsibility for their work. We would expect the supplier’s proposal to show evidence of process for setting quality standards for their own work.
  • Provide examples of how they would devise tests and information on how they would implement checks and reviews of their output.
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members and HEE. Proposal should show how information and knowledge is captured, shared and interpreted, in terms of day-to-day activity and longer-term reporting.
  • Helping to review the alignment of deliverables with goals and to challenge ones that are potentially unnecessary or not achieving the project or sprint objectives.
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline. The supplier should be able to give examples of how they have justified and proven the value of their approach in the past.
  • Work with clients with low technical expertise. Supplier should explain how they bridge gaps between technical expertise of their team and the knowledge of the HEE team and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate ability to facilitate both parties to learn from each other, and how full implications of any specialised technical discussions can be clarified to key team members including Service Owner.
  • Alignment with NHS and HEE values.
  • It will be the supplier's responsibility to ensure that a platform provider representative is included in the project kick-off activities.
  • Capacity to schedule the Alpha along staggered timelines to allow for the 6-8 weeks notice clinicians require to be able to attend workshops.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. You ask us to...
"Demonstrate evidence of financial management processes to provide information suitable for HEE to monitor/control project costs, incorporate, build on to produce"
How do we know which processes are suitable for HEE, if we have yet to work with you ?
Thank you for your question. Please provide information of the financial management processes your organisation uses to monitor project costs. This may include information on whether these processes are standardised or whether processes vary according to client needs.
2. 1) This project is for developing a new system or support current one?
2) What amount of separate applications/sites need to be supported/developed?
3) How much is the total amount of pages/screens, tables/lines of data in the databases, lines of code (if existing systems)?
4) What language was used for the current system?
5) What capacity (number of simultaneous users, requests, new documents per unit time, etc.) should the system support?
6) If new system required which is approx amount of functionality?
7) Is discovery completed? Could you please share discovery report?
1) The project is to develop a new system.
2) The Alpha will explore potential applications/sites to be developed, addressing the user needs outlined in the requirements listed.
3) This project is to run an Alpha for a new system.
4) This project is to run an Alpha for a new system.
5) We know the identified platform can support required capacity.
6) We know the identified platform can support the functionality required.
7) Discovery is completed. We do not want to share the discovery report with unrestricted access, so we will share that report with suppliers who are shortlisted.
3. Is there an incumbent supplier?
There is not an incumbent supplier.
4. Hi – can you let us know if you have worked with an agency during your discovery period, (ie, is there an incumbent supplier here)? Thanks.
An agency was used for the first round of discovery research conducted in 2016, but they are no longer involved. Subsequent rounds of discovery research were conducted internally. There is not an incumbent supplier.
5. What are the NHS and HEE values?
Please follow the below link for information regarding the NHS and HEE values:
6. Is it critical that selected provider has experience with Bloomreach brXM or are you open to exploring the possibility of similar CMS platforms?
The platform has already been identified, therefore we are looking for a supplier with experience of Bloomreach brXM.
7. As Alpha needs to be delivered in a 8-10 week timeframe can we assume that diaries of key people to attend workshops have been blocked. Would it be possible to raise change requests if there are any delays in scheduling the workshops due to the non-availability of key people. Thanks
We would agree the schedule with the Supplier as part of the kick-off sessions. Because clinicians require 6-8 weeks notice to attend workshops, the whole Alpha period is likely to need to run beyond 10 weeks. However, effort should be covered by 10 weeks working days. The contract length reflects this need for some flexibility. Clinicians are not the only group of users/stakeholders - other groups may require less notice. Such availability issues will influence decisions made between the Buyer and Supplier regarding workshop schedule/order, and research mode (eg face-to-face or remote/online). We would like to avoid change requests.
8. Regarding Hippo CMS. Is this the CMS that must be used, or is there scope to suggest an alternative CMS?
The platform, including the CMS, has already been identified. This is the CMS that we require Suppliers to work with.
9. Please can you share a procurement timetable outlining steps (which would typically include evidence response evaluation, shortlisting of suppliers for next stage, preparation of supplier proposals, evaluation of supplier proposals, announcement of successful supplier, contract completion, contract signatures, commence work), bearing in mind the dates published on the contract notice: evidence submission on 25th December and commencing work on 3rd February?
We require suppliers to have availability from 03 February, and we aim to start work week commencing 03 February. The provisional procurement schedule is outlined below. The schedule could change slightly - e.g. to accommodate supplier availability to give presentations:

25 December 2019: Submission deadline

30 Dec 2019 – 8 Jan 2020: Shortlisting of suppliers

8 Jan – 17 Jan: Preparation of supplier proposals

20 – 24 Jan: Evaluation of supplier proposals

27 Jan: Announcement of successful supplier

Week commencing 27 Jan: Contract completion

03 Feb: contract signatures

Week commencing 03 Feb: start work
10. To what extent (if at all) will the delivery of this engagement be aligned to the Service Manual and associated GDS assessments?
This will be aligned to the Service Manual and we expect the supplier to take us through the GDS Alpha Assessment.
11. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would you expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks?
We would expect answers that score 3 marks to:
- Specifically address the exact requirement
- Be comprehensive
- Include an example
12. Will you be able to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project?
Yes. Our Business Relationship Manager will work with the supplier to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project.
13. Has work has been fully defined, bounded and prioritised?
As far as this is possible for an Alpha.
14. Are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research?
Yes. Our Business Relationship Manager will work with the supplier to provide access to users.
15. Will your Product Owner be allocated full time to this project?
Both our Service Owner and our Business Relationship Manager are allocated full time to this project.
16. What roles are you expecting suppliers to provide? In addition, are you expecting all roles to have the ability to be full time?
We are expecting suppliers to provide all roles necessary for an Alpha, apart from the Service Owner and the Business Relationship Manager who will be provided by the Buyer. We expect the supplier to estimate how many days each role would need to contribute to the project.
17. Q5 Demonstrate excellent information architecture skills: what criteria will you use to give full marks for Excellence?
We would expect answers to outline experience and give at least one example that illustrates the Supplier's approach to Information Architecture (IA), complexity and scale of data and information worked with, and how the IA process undertaken impacted users’ experience.
18. Q3 refers to “Life cycle including Discovery, Alpha, Beta, Live and Retirement”. Is it permissible to use more than one example to illustrate our capability across the full lifecycle?
Yes, it is permissible to use more than one example to illustrate capability across the full lifecycle.
19. Can you provide some information on how you propose to use Bloomreach? Will this be deployed as a headless CMS or as a traditional page rendering publishing platform?
We expect the Alpha to explore the best way to use Bloomreach.
20. The project is posted as an Alpha. Is HEE following the Alpha definition/approach outlined in the GDS Service Manual? If you are why is the choice of CMS fixed? Is this to align with wider technical considerations/standards? Do HEE already use Bloomreach?
Yes HEE is following the Alpha approach outlined in the GDS Service Manual. The choice of CMS is fixed at the moment due to broader considerations. If the outcome of the Alpha shows that the CMS cannot meet user needs then at that stage the choice of CMS would be re-evaluated.
21. Do you have any preference between public sector or private sector examples? Or will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question?
Responses will be marked according to how well they meet the requirement, regardless of sector. However, we advise suppliers to consider the nice to have requirements in their responses.
22. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
Scores from the evidencing round will be used for shortlisting.
23. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated: will you be evaluating by the total price, rate card or both? How do you ensure that you are completing a genuine value for money comparison rather than just a rate card comparison?
We will follow the Digital Marketplace guidelines which are as follows:

“Calculate a total score for each supplier by multiplying the day rates for the individuals who’ll be doing the work by the number of days the supplier said each role would be needed to complete the work.”

Any additional costs and related information specified by Suppliers will also be taken into consideration.
24. What WCAG compliance is the required? WCAG 2.0 or 2.1? And at what level A, AA or AAA level? Please clarify.
WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility compliance is required.