Awarded to Nomensa Ltd

Start date: Monday 1 June 2020
Value: £15,000
Company size: SME
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

Accessibility audit of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's digital real estate

8 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 4 large

12 Completed applications

9 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Tuesday 14 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 21 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 28 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
MHRA requires a specialist supplier to support our project to achieve compliance with Accessibility Regulations. To conduct an audit of our digital estate including extranets against WCAG 2.1 AA. Produce detailed report on which sites and pages do not meet this standard and which accessibility requirements they do not meet.
Latest start date
Monday 2 March 2020
Expected contract length
Organisation the work is for
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Budget range
£15,000 (excl. vat)

About the work

Why the work is being done
The agency requires a specialist supplier to support our project to achieve compliance with the new Accessibility Regulations that apply to public sector websites. Suppliers are required to conduct an audit of our digital estate including extranets against WCAG 2.1 AA. A report detailing which sites and pages do not meet this standard and which accessibility requirements they do not meet should be the end product of the audit.
Problem to be solved
Automated checks of the agency's digital real estate have identified that all of our sites and systems are incompliant. We now require manual checks to fully scope the action we need to take to achieve compliance and formulate our project plan.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a disabled user, I need to be able to access and interact with the guidance, products and services available on the agency's digital real estate with ease so that I can decide whether or not to use or progress them.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Automated checks using Microsoft Accessibility Insights for Web have been carried out against our websites and extranets and have identified failures across the board. Work to improve accessibility on sites that we host content on but do not maintain e.g. is underway and being progressed through the webupdates/communications function and by content owners cross-agency.
Existing team
This is a cross-agency project involving the Communications and Transformation Divisions with internal stakeholders from across the business responsible for content development and business continuity reliant on digital systems.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4PU
Working arrangements
The agency would expect the supplier to attend meetings online and in-person as required, but the majority of this work can be completed at the supplier's premises.
Security clearance
Successful bidder will be expected to sign the agency's standard NDA.

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 conducting accessibility audits of software for the public sector and optionally for the private sector;
  • Experience of application of the accessibility regulations on extranets and online forms;
  • Experience of understanding of WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines;
  • Experience of understanding the Equality Act 2010 in relation to websites;
  • Experience of understanding the EU Accessibility Directive;
  • Experience of testing with users who have a range of disabilities;
  • Experience of assessing websites for usability through assistive technology and software.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Recent experience (last 12 months) of conducting accessibility audits for the public sector;
  • Experience working with a UK-wide regulatory body;
  • Experience providing content designers and product owners/developers with guidance relating to accessibility;
  • Experience managing expectations of a broad range of senior stakeholders with a range of technical experience;
  • Involvement in the wider accessibility community - for example through publishing blog posts, running training and contributing to standards.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution;
  • Approach and methodology;
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs;
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation's policy or goal;
  • Estimated timeframes for the work;
  • How they've identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them;
  • Team structure;
  • Value for money.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers;
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions;
  • have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. 1. How much time are you expecting from the Supplier to put in for this work as it is a fixed price?
1. £15,000 is the maximum budget, it will be for the agency and chosen supplier to determine how much time is required to complete the audit and provide the report as soon as possible.
2. 2. How many digital websites / estates are you looking for the supplier to audit?
2. 3 external facing public websites and up to 10 extranets
3. 3. You refer to "compliance with Accessibility Regulations" and "conduct an audit against WCAG 2.1 AA" but these are not the same thing, so can you please confirm which you want. The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 has exemptions such as maps and legacy PDFs, but WCAG does not allow those exemptions.
3. We want to ensure compliance with the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018
4. 4. In the report, is it sufficient to just report what is non-compliant and why it is? Or do you also want detailed information on how to fix the non-compliances, which obviously costs more.
4. Information on how to fix non compliance is sought at the report stage. If this exceeds the budget for completing the audit and identifying the next steps an additional business case will be developed.
5. 5. Is this engagement just for a single round of testing for each system? Or does it include one or more rounds of retesting until full compliance is achieved?
5. This is just for a single round of testing – retesting will be a separate project further down the line
6. 6. Is any post-testing support required, such as conference calls to explain the non-compliances and discuss solutions? If so, are you able to quantify the level of support that will be required?
6. The report at the end of audit should detail the non compliance and provide some indication of solutions, and a meeting to playback findings and inform the next stage of compliance will discuss the solutions in more detail, informing a subsequent business case if or when appropriate
7. 7. Are you able to estimate the total number of pages that are to be tested and provide an indication of the page complexity, such as "one thing per page"?
7. No. The data across our digital real estate includes but is not limited to PDFs, forms, public health guidance, product catalogues and systems through which users can submit and track applications to the regulatory function. On some sites, the audit will only need to be completed against a sample of pages to inform the report, on others, all pages should be checked.
8. 8. Are you able to provide any other information that will help us assess the time requirement, such as screenshots or wireframes of the pages or access to the systems?
8. The external facing sites are for the Yellow Card Scheme; NIBSC and CPRD. Content on will require a non comprehensive check as work is already being carried out in house to update content to meet the requirements. Screenshots of the extranets and access will be provided at the shortlisting stage to assist with interview preparation
9. 9. Do you require every page to be tested, or will you accept the testing of a subset of pages if some can be considered to be equivalent from an accessibility perspective?
9. Yes. A subset of pages will be acceptable for audit purposes on some of our sites (see question 7)
10. 10. Testing a subset of pages is only valid if the coding is consistent across a website. Can you provide assurance that this is the case?
10. Anticipate that the answers is yes but cannot guarantee the coding is the same across all sites
11. 11. Are you expecting the audit to include testing with people with disabilities, if so, how many test participants are you expecting?
11. No test participants are expected at this stage
12. 12. What working arrangements, e.g. working days / working hours are you expecting from the Supplier? Can the Supplier do any hours they wish ensuring they are available for any meetings the Organisation arranges
12. Yes. The supplier is only expected to work according to the agency’s schedule/working pattern for meetings, which will be organised in advance
13. 13. What would you class as a 'UK wide Regulatory body'? Would DWP, DFE count as one?
13. An organisation that appears on this list
14. 14. Do you have a preferred format for the test results? Will you want the non-compliances entered in an online bug tracking tool as well as in the report?
14. No preferred format for the results is specified. No online tracking is required.
15. 15. Do the 10 extranets share the same design?
15. No, the extranets do not all share the same design.