This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 22 June 2020
Department for Education

User Experience & Design Capability

23 Incomplete applications

20 SME, 3 large

55 Completed applications

40 SME, 15 large

Important dates

Published
Monday 8 June 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 15 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 22 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
DfE are looking for a supplier to work alongside our digital development teams covering User Experience and Design capabilities to drive user centred design of communication, content, IA, interactions, products, policy, operation and services.
There is currently no incumbent delivering this capability in the South of England
Latest start date
Monday 24 August 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
up to £1 ,500,000

About the work

Why the work is being done
DfE need a supplier who will work with blended teams across the department, to improve the customer journey on delivery services targeted at Teachers, Schools, Parents & Children. Specifically focusing on designing, developing and maintenance of application processes, that fit together as a coherent, consistent offer for users, as part of a longer term aim to provide a single, seamless service with a common entry point.
Problem to be solved
Digital requires capabilities which are able to deliver outcomes based on user needs and government service standards and capable of supporting a range of projects from inception through to live.
Working with blended teams who are delivering digital projects, the supplier will address unmet user needs, disjointed and confusing user journeys, and enabling users to make better informed choices through available services.
This approach will provide continuity through the lifecycle of projects, ensuring no break in support and expertise built up in the team leading to improved opportunities for shadowing and knowledge transfer.
We anticipate 5-8 projects at any time.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Teachers
Parents
Students
Education advisors
School administrators
People that deliver children’s services
Our own staff
For example:
I need to train to be a teacher so that I can be employed as a qualified teacher”
As a person or body wanting to establish an academy I/we need to establish an academy as simply as possible
As a school leader I need to know about funding opportunities so that my school can apply for relevant grants
As a parent I need to know how to apply for financial support for my child
Early market engagement
Not applicable
Any work that’s already been done
Some digital education services are live via the GOV.UK website, for example:
https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance
https://www.gov.uk/find-teaching-job

There continues to be potential to deliver development work and enhancement.
Digital programme discovery is well underway with potential services identified and prioritised with some service discovery, alpha and private beta activity already completed. The department has a high-level roadmap of digital projects, which are iterated on the basis of insight and departmental priorities. The roadmap will be shared with the successful supplier once a contract has been awarded.
Existing team
This contract will support digital delivery taking place across DfE. You will work with internal DfE staff from a range of disciplines, including architecture, security, policy, service and product management, finance, and delivery management.

You may also collaborate or work on projects with other suppliers who are providing capabilities as part of a team, for example, Delivery Management, Business Analysis, User Research and Software Development.
This contract will not prevent us from using other commercial arrangements to engage capabilities to support the volume of work
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
For the duration of restrictions on movement due to COVID-19, all teams are expected to work and collaborate remotely.
For any given Statement of Work (SoW) the work is likely to be based in London, Coventry or Cambridge, some work may be UK wide and travel may be required to DfE offices in these locations
The primary base will be detailed in each SoW and expenses will not form part of the cost unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location e.g. If SoW primary base is in Coventry, then no expenses will be paid for Coventry
Working arrangements
A Statement of Work will be completed to outline the working arrangements, outcomes and deliverables expected for each engagement.

Existing DfE digital teams comprise of lead roles in Product Management, User Research and Delivery Management, as well as stakeholders from our finance, commercial, HR and legal services teams.

To improve DfE internal capability, build and support the applications/services, knowledge transfer back into DfE will be a requirement for each work package.

We anticipate a maximum of 5-8 concurrent engagements.
Security clearance
DfE requires all supplier staff to have baseline personnel security standard clearance (BPSS). There may be a requirement for some of the work to require a higher level of security clearance. Where this is needed it will be detailed in the Statement of Work.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE standard Travel and Subsistence policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. Contract and Vendor Management will form a key part of governance and suppliers will be expected to co-operate in a manner that fosters healthy working relationships and quality delivery.

Suppliers must provide sufficient guarantees to meet the requirements of GDPR in line with Procurement Policy Note 03/17 Changes to Data Protection Legislation & General Data Protection Regulation

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
  • Evidence of designing end-to-end services across a range of on-line and off-line channels
  • Evidence of prioritising the understanding of needs and behaviour, and uses insight to underpin and drive design decisions when designing content, product and services
  • Evidence of communicating service concepts and ideas using methods that allow others to see all the different parts of a service
  • Evidence of pulling together the relevant aspects such as user research, organisation design, business analysis, data science and policy intent to deliver digital services
  • Evidence of analysing failure within a service and identifying root causes which can be resolved or documented for future learning
  • Evidence of designing and developing services through iteration, research and testing
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Evidence of designing services within environments with multifaceted supply and delivery chains
  • Evidence of ability to prototype in code
  • Evidence of experience with the GOV.UK design system

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence of understanding and examples of passing the Government’s Service Standards Assessment
  • Evidence of designing a service that has passed a government accessibility audit and accessibility beyond standard (e.g. design for neurodivergence)
  • Evidence of working with users to understand their work, their operating context and constraints & identify and implement adaptations/improvements
  • Examples of effective communication across organisational, technical and political boundaries, understanding the context
  • Experience working with an organisation at the beginning of agile culture change
  • Evidence of ability to make informed decisions based on user needs, available technology and value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of dissecting and delivering complex and technical information and making language simple and accessible for non-technical audiences
  • Evidence of establishing a strong User Experience and Design based culture of service and continuous improvement
  • Experience of working with multi-vendor teams and understanding of how to be part of a multidisciplinary, agile service team
  • Experience of collaboration with multiple organisational stakeholders with the aim to achieve a single objective.
  • Experience of transferring knowledge to permanent staff within the client organisation
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. 08/06/20
Hi, is there a current incumbent providing services?
There is no current incumbent delivering this capability in the South of England
2. 08/06/20
'Evidence of designing end-to-end services across a range of on-line and off-line channels', What do you mean by range of online and offline channels? Could you list specific channels that DFE wants to address through this contract?
DfE are looking to work with a supplier who has multi-channel experience. For example designing the screens and call centre scripts, letters to candidates, face-to-face training, TV and radio marketing etc
3. 08/06/20
'Evidence of designing services within environments with multifaceted supply and delivery chains', What do you mean by multifaceted supply and delivery chains? Could you please explain?
DfE are looking for a supplier who has experience delivering where the focus is about the external complexity. Less about the digital teams themselves and more about call centres, or social workers, or schools, or publishers etc.
DfE have lots of legacy organisational and technical architecture. We deliver through complex supply chains - setting regulation, frameworks, outcomes etc, but often not directly delivering ourselves for some of it. E.g. Apprenticeships as a service was built where an existing apprenticeships service existed, and woven in piece by piece, swapping bits out and refactoring as they went.
4. 08/06/20
'Evidence of communicating service concepts and ideas using methods that allow others to see all the different parts of a service', What are the specific methods that DFE is looking for?
There aren’t specific methods being
sought.

A whole service may have a single
delivery team or multiple teams and different parts of the service would include lots of different elements - content on a webpage, emails and texts, sometimes a contact centre, support teams, databases, servers.

As this all needs to be carefully orchestrated to fit together well (so the user experience stays awesome even if the wiring is complicated), being able to show it visually helps everyone understand that they’re part of a bigger “whole” service.
5. 08/06/20
1. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
2. Who does the scoring panel consist of?
There is no current incumbent delivering this capability in the South of England
The panel will be made up of permanent civil service digital specialists
6. 08/06/20
Can you clarify where in the South East this opportunity is based?
The contract will cover London, Coventry and Cambridge. Each SoW will state the base location as one of these three DfE sites.
7. 08/06/20
Are there any max. caps to the roles required?
‘We have not set maximum caps to the roles within this capability. A pricing document will be provided at the second evaluation stage and scored in accordance with the DOS guidance’
8. 08/06/20
Is this outside the scope of IR35?
As with all DOS opportunities the work packages will provide the outcomes required and be outside of IR35
9. 09/06/20
Are you looking for one supplier for this work or is it open to more than one?
DfE are intending to award this contract to a single supplier, however, we welcome applications from suppliers who collaborate and submit applications as a consortia
10. 09/06/20
Please can you explain the requirement for end-end offline service design experience ie "Evidence of designing end-to-end services across a range of on-line and off-line channels".
DfE are looking to work with a supplier who has multi-channel experience. For example, designing the screens and call centre scripts, letters to candidates, face-to-face training, TV and radio marketing etc
11. 09/06/20
For the following question will you accept multiple examples or, as per the template guidelines, will you be wanting just a single example:
1. Evidence of Evidence of designing services within environments with multifaceted supply and delivery chains
2. Evidence of Evidence of ability to prototype in code
3. Evidence of experience with the GOV.UK design system
The DOS framework allows suppliers to provide either single or multiple examples as evidence against the criteria set.
Each example provided will be scored against the given criteria
12. 09/06/20
Is the Scottish Digital First assessment an acceptable alternative to "Evidence of understanding and examples of passing the Government’s Service Standards Assessment"?
Yes the Scottish Digital First Assessment would be acceptable as evidence for this criteria
13. 10/06/20
Please advise who the incumbent supplier(s) are.
There is no current incumbent delivering this capability in the South of England
14. 11/06/20
How will the evidence be scored?
All scoring is 0-3 in line with the DOS guidance’
The evidence will be scored in line with the weightings advertised –
Technical competence - 50%
Cultural fit - 20%
Price - 30%
There will be no additional weightings applied against any of the evidence
15. 11/06/20
Please can you confirm your procurement timetable up to Contract Award?
-Advert 8th June – 22nd June 2020
-Proposal to be submitted by suppliers 10th July 2020
-Interview & presentation W/c 20th July 2020
-DfE internal assurance 21st July – 20th August
-Contract start date 24th August 2020

Please note this is an indicative timetable
16. 11/06/20
Would the Dept welcome a nearshore / onshore delivery mix provided all security requirements can be met?
The current Government guidelines restrict travel and as such the expectation is that delivery will primarily take place remotely as such having a supplier who have a nearshore/onshore mix would be acceptable.

As and when onsite attendance is appropriate and required there may also be some travel to DfE locations on an ad hoc basis, having an onshore delivery team would be preferable and likely to be more suitable for the supplier. Each SoW will identify the base location and expenses will not form part of the costs unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location.
17. 12/06/20
With regard to the question “Evidence of ability to prototype in code” – Many prototyping tools do not require 'coding' in the purist sense of the word. Are there any examples of coding you would like us to demonstrate?
DfE don’t have any specific examples of coding that suppliers need to demonstrate.
18. 12/06/20
Please could clarify what you mean by ability to prototype in code?”
We would like suppliers to demonstrate they are able to create a basic version of a product that can be quickly tested and iterated with users.
19. 15/06/20
Can you explain and provide example of DfE's multifaceted supply and delivery chains please?
DfE are looking for a supplier who has experience delivering where the focus is about the external complexity. Less about the digital teams themselves and more about call centres, or social workers, or schools, or publishers etc.
DfE have lots of legacy organisational and technical architecture. We deliver through multifaceted supply chains - setting regulation, frameworks, outcomes etc, but often not delivering directly ourselves for some of it. E.g. Apprenticeships as a service was built where an existing apprenticeships service existed, and woven in piece by piece, swapping bits out and refactoring as they went.
20. 15/06/20
We note that clause 34.2 states that the indemnity given in respect of a breach of clause 14 (Data Protection and Disclosure) is unlimited. Market trends however show that customers are not asking for unlimited liability and indeed CCS have agreed after consultation with suppliers to future cap liability breaches. Therefore in consideration of the new position being taken by CCS can you please confirm if you are willing to discuss a separate cap for data breach liability with the down selected supplier
DfE would be happy to consider a discussion with suppliers
21. 15/06/20
' Evidence of pulling together the relevant aspects such as user research, organisation design, business analysis, data science, and policy intent to deliver digital services '
Can you clarify if this question is asking for us to show where we have designed and delivered digital roadmaps, or if it's asking for a breadth of digital skillsets (research, organisation design, business analysis, data science, policy) working together as part of a blended team?
This contract is to support digital teams and projects across DfE with User Experience and Design capabilities. As each piece of work may be in different stages of digital delivery, it is likely that the support required will be varied. This criteria is to give suppliers an opportunity to demonstrate that they understand the needs of each capability within a team in order to deliver a service.
22. 15/06/20
Are there any specific technologies (AWS, Azure, CMS, IVR etc) that you would prefer that a bidder has experience of
DfE digital's technology stack and approach consists of the following elements:
Microservices architecture, with internal and public facing HTTP and JSON REST based APIs for business logic and data access.
User facing websites are built using Ruby on Rails, and deployed to the DfE Azure platform and GOV.UK PaaS. Code hosted in the DfE Digital Github.
Databases to be one of the provided managed databases on DfE Azure or GOV.UK PaaS such as Postgres.
DfE Digital Technical Guidance: https://dfe-digital.github.io/technical-guidance/
23. 15/06/20
Can you elaborate on your expectations of a supplier with respect to "content" is this authoring, testing messages with users, both or something else
Content design and copywriting
Write content for a site or service to communicate information clearly, simply and quickly to users. This link will provide more information about the work of a content designer.
24. 15/06/20
Will the supplier resources be embedded with existing digital delivery teams or be offering a 'consultancy style' service from a centralised position
DfE are looking for a supplier who will work with digital delivery teams with embedded capabilities or where necessary a distanced offering. Each SoW will give the outcomes required for the project.
25. 15/06/20
We would like to make sure that we understand the types of roles that would be involved in delivering this service.
Could you please indicate whether you envisage the following roles being provided under this contract?
User Researcher
User Experience Designer
Business Process Analyst
Service Designer focused on Customer Experience
Content Designer / Creator
Are there any others?
We are presuming that the following roles would NOT usually be provided via this contract (as you mention working with other teams). Could you confirm this?
Delivery Manager
Product Owner
UX Developer (but prototype in code might require this?)
Thank you
DfE would be looking for the roles which sit under the User experience and design capability as advertised on the digital marketplace https://www.gov.uk/guidance/digital-outcomes-and-specialists-digital-outcomes-capabilities
User experience and design includes:
• Accessibility
• Animation
• Brand development
• Content design and copywriting
• Cross-platform design
• Information architecture
• Interaction design
• Prototyping
• Service design
• User experience and design strategy
26. To ensure we understand the opportunity, please could you provide a worked example (this could be a hypothetical) of the kind of project that would be commissioned under this contract?
In doing so could you set out the specific roles that would be provided by the successful supplier (and which roles would be sourced from elsewhere (either internal DfE or via another contract)?
It would be useful to understand the expected breakdown of roles too. If possible could you indicate whether it is likely to be more focused on certain roles (e.g. more content creation focused or more analysis focused?)
The capability contract will support digital delivery across DfE and so projects will vary. Each SoW will outline the project, outcomes and capability/team that will be required.
DfE would be looking for the roles which sit under the User experience and design capability as advertised on the digital marketplace https://www.gov.uk/guidance/digital-outcomes-and-specialists-digital-outcomes-capabilities
Capabilities required outside of this contract will be formed by permanent civil servants or alternative commercial routes.