Awarded to Xpertise Recruitment

Start date: Thursday 16 January 2020
Value: £20,800
Company size: SME
LB Lambeth in partnership with Open Systems Lab, Camden, Wycombe, Lewisham and Southwark councils

Specialist User Researcher for a digital project for the planning application submission system

13 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 0 large

12 Completed applications

12 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 3 December 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 10 December 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 17 December 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
User researcher
Summary of the work
Project is designing a tool to reduce the number of invalid planning applications, and make the existing system easier to use. Specifically looking for an experienced user researcher to engage with users and stakeholders. The vision is to develop something openly available for any council to use.
Latest start date
Monday 6 January 2020
Expected contract length
Project runs until 26 March 2020
Organisation the work is for
LB Lambeth in partnership with Open Systems Lab, Camden, Wycombe, Lewisham and Southwark councils
Maximum day rate
Maximum day rate of £400. The provision will require a 3-4 day commitment for the duration of the project. Ideally with a pre-meet at an agreed date between the 18th and 23rd December.

About the work

Early market engagement
Who the specialist will work with
Working with LB Lambeth's delivery project team and Open Systems Lab (OSL) and partnering authorities.
What the specialist will work on
1. Help identify suitable users and stakeholders to engage for user research;
2. Work closely with our software designer and team to frame, design, conduct and document the user and stakeholder research and testing ;
3. Engage users/stakeholders in the testing of prototypes;
4. Carry out moderated usability testing;
5. Analyze, present and publish report on findings in line with MHCLG Digital Funding requirements.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The work will primarily take place in London at LB Lambeth and OSL's offices however there may also be a requirement to travel to Wycombe District Council to understake user research/testing and potentially also the boroughs of Camden, Southwark and Lewisham.
Working arrangements
Likely to be 3-4 days a week, on site, face to face in close collaboration with the team as agreed. Expenses will be limited to travel between Lambeth and partner authorities for specific research meetings to be agreed in advance.
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 leading user research and creating the testing/analysis environment and conducting interviews and obtaining relevant consents
  • Past experience where you had lead testing for a similar (alpha) stage of project
  • Experience of setting up and carrying out moderated usability testing
  • Knowledge of how to best engage with users and stakeholders as well as how you would go about testing for user/stakeholder feedback
  • A recognized expertise in user research/testing methodologies
  • Have a free diary to provide the required commitment to the 26th March 2020
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience of involving a team in user research and helping them develop a deep understanding of their users
  • Expertise in reviewing and analysing the results
  • Ability to present clear findings in writing and report format so that they are easily understood
  • Experience of undertaking research/testing with a broad range of users, including those with limited digital access and confidence and people with a range of visual, hearing, motor and cognitive impairments.
  • Modelling insights gained from user research into formats - such as personas, user journey maps - and providing final project reporting
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working in a local authority environment
  • Experience of working in/with the local authority planning application service
  • Enthusiam
  • Good knowledge of the planning service
  • Friendly and approachable / good people skills

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a work history.

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. How many headcounts are you looking to hire?
One user researcher specialist required - i.e. one headcount.
2. Is this inside or outside IR35?
Our hope is to engage a supplier for this one-off project. We had not envisaged recruiting via an agency. IR35 requires amongst the various requirements that if the worker is not trading through a limited company, partnership or unincorporated body that that status cannot apply and must work off site – therefore it’s unlikely this appointment would fit an agency recruitment service and as there would be a need to hold research on site at Lambeth we’re not certain that this could be outside IR35 worth checking HMRC link
3. Are you open to candidates relocating (at their own expenses) or only within the local candidate pool of London?
No isuses where the User Research specialist originate from - we are open to someone from anywhere in the country – however expenses will only be provided on the basis indicated and no accommodation or relocation expense will be agreed.
4. Is the rate inclusive of agency fees?
We had not anticipated using an agency - however the maximum rate advised is the maximum rate so if an agency is submitting then they should submit on that basis.
5. What level of security clearance will you require please?
We are assuming this question means in relation to IT systems and as we are not expecting to give direct access to the council's systems or eqiupment and we expect them to use their own device to carry out the user research required.
6. If a candidate has a 2 week holiday booked for February but is willing to do extra days in the weeks surrounding so as not to affect work flow, could they still be considered?
The requirement asks for a commitment and full availability for the duration until 26 March. It is considered that a two week in February - which is expected to be a critical month - would impact negatively on the progress of the proejct and therefore not meet the requirement.
7. Is the day rate exclusive of VAT?
Yes, the rate is exclusive of VAT.
8. By using DOS you are engaging with agencies so we would need to know if this falls inside or outside of IR35 if the specialist is supplied through an agency?
OK thanks and noted. As you will be aware it is an incredibly grey area - we have posed the question to our HR team and are awaiting their confirmation as we wouldn't want to state it was outside if it then transpires they refuse to process it as such. We will revert with a hopefully clearer answer once they have advised their view.
9. By using DOS you are engaging with agencies so we would need to know if this falls inside or outside of IR35 if the specialist is supplied through an agency?
The position will be outside IR35 .