Awarded to Digi2al Limited

Start date: Monday 19 October 2020
Value: £2,000,000
Company size: SME
Department for International Trade

DIT Content Design (incl UX and Capability) Resourcing Service, Project_544

12 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 3 large

20 Completed applications

15 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Thursday 6 August 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 13 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 20 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
"We require a flexible-team-to-support-the -transformation-of-our platforms, services-and-products and to help us with new requirements, including-unplanned activity-relating to the EU-transition period. In addition-to-content design, we require the supplier-to-be-able to provide the-full-range-of-content design, UX and capability design-roles-delivering outcomes-based-services.

The requirements-are-for-the-provision-of-services, not-staff, therefore we have-assessed-this-opportunity-to-be-a services contract and outside-the scope-of-IR35. ".
Latest start date
Wednesday 21 October 2020
Expected contract length
2 years (with the option of the Buyer to extend by a further 6 months).
Organisation the work is for
Department for International Trade
Budget range
DIT will-issue-a range of work packages. A maximum budget of £2,000,000 for a 2-year-duration, inclusive of VAT. This budget range excludes-any-extension-options. The-value-of-the-optional-extension-period-is £500k, incl VAT.

Pricing submission documents will be issued to suppliers who pass Round 1 and pricing-will-be-evaluated-out of 20% (in Round 2). In accordance with-the-DOS-criteria, the lowest-price-attracts-the highest-score.

Although capped t&m is-the-expected pricing-mechanism for any SOW entered-into-under-the-contract, the Buyer reserves the right, in the contract to use alternative payment mechanisms such as fixed price or t&m to enable DIT to have flex to choose the most-appropriate-pricing model based on the-requirements-needed-for each SOW. "

About the work

Why the work is being done
"DIT is a global organisation with representatives in over 100 countries across the world. It operates across about 50 industrial sectors across every region in the UK.

The content team in the digital, data and technology directorate designs and publishes the department’s content on, GOV.UK and across a range of digital services for businesses.

In everything we design, we take a user-centred approach. That means we use user-research-and-data to inform-the-design-of-our-content. We monitor how our pages, components, services and platforms perform and regularly iterate them to ensure the meet user expectations.

The category roles (content, UX and capability) for-this-requirement are identified in the questions-in-the-written-proposal-section.

In-accordance-with DOS guidance, the evaluation for this project will be undertaken over 2 rounds, the-highest-scoring 5 suppliers (with-scores-of 2 or more in-the essential-criteria) will-be-invited to-submit proposals for Round 2." However, if-there-is-a tie-for 5th place-resulting in-more-than 5 highest scoring-bidders, the Buyer will select all 5th placed suppliers. Round 2 will be issued via DIT Commercial email address with tenders being evaluated offline.

The individual weightings for essential and nice-to-have skills and experience will not be used as part of shortlisting at Round 1, but will form part of the overall score at Round 2.
Problem to be solved
Our programme of work is complex, spanning the full range of departmental priorities with some currently more defined than others. We need extra capacity to deliver new projects and transform existing services, identify gaps and build departmental capability as we help DIT to transform its operating model.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our products and services are used every day by businesses in the UK and overseas. Overseas businesses need to understand our market as a trading destination, so they choose the UK as the place for foreign direct investment. They also need to know how to trade in the UK, taking account of import tariffs, quotas and sanctions. British businesses interact with our services so they know how to export and import goods. Our internal users are our staff, who use our intranet, tools and services to efficiently do their job.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
DIT's content design team in the Digital, data and technology directorate will be the principle team the supplier will work with. There are five teams (three platform-based (GOV.UK, and internal/data services), a capability team and a standards team), and all work closely with service owners, product leads and delivery managers.

There is no incumbent supplier.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Windsor House, 50 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0TL
Working arrangements
"Typically all work will be performed on-site at DIT’s premises in Westminster, London, unless otherwise agreed. However, at-the-time of-writing, government measures to reduce covid-19 are in operation and as-such, work should be done remotely and in-observance-of social-distancing and shielding-guidance. DIT will continue to observe all government advice in-the-coming months aimed at--reducing the spread-of-the-disease.

The service is being delivered against the GDS Service Manual. Statement of Works (SOW) will be issued to define the deliverables and outcomes of each project phase and typically span circa three months. The suppliers' team will be required to work with DIT's staff."
Security clearance
"All contractors will be required to have SC clearance before they start. A copy of the clearance from the supplier will be required.

For further guidance see :

DIT is willing to sponsor the SC clearance process at the supplier's expense. ".

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All expenses must be pre-agreed between-the-parties and must comply with-the Cabinet-Office Travel & Subsistence Policy.

Liability Insurance: minimum level of cover £5,000,000
Professional Indemnity: minimum level of cover £1,000,000
Suppliers must be able-to-provide resources within a 2-week notice period (not-including-duration-for-security-clearance) with the necessary skills to-minimise-impact-on delivery.
The initial SOW will-be-agreed-with-the-successful-supplier-following award.
DIT reserves the right to treat any-bid-which-is-caveated-by reference to the UK's relationship with the EU and / or COVID-19 as non-compliant and, as with any procurement exercise, a bidder in submitting its prices for evaluation does so in acceptance of all business risks and circumstances arising from-time-to-time.

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
  • Provide details of your proven extensive copywriting experience and paired/collaborative writing experience(5%).
  • Provide details of your extensive experience of creating learning materials to help users deepen their knowledge and understanding about a subject(5%).
  • Demonstrate your experience in working on personalised user journeys(5%).
  • Demonstrate your experience of creating content that meets new accessibility legislation using a range of software(4%).
  • Demonstrate your experience of creating user-focused content based that supports needs, journeys and behaviours of users(4%).
  • Demonstrate your experience of working in user centred design teams in large organisations (e.g. government departments)(4%).
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of delivering training at scale using digital tools and platforms to a global audience(2%).
  • Provide evidence of how your organisation created a content operations function to support organisational transformation(2%).
  • Provide evidence of producing trade-related content and ideally in a government context(1%).

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How-will-you-ensure DIT's outcomes/needs are met for Content-category - (Content strategist/lead, Content-designer, Copywriter, Creative-content-producer, Videographer, Illustrator, Service-content-designer, Taxonomist, Content-operations-architect, Search-engine-optimisation-technician) (10%).
  • How will you ensure DIT's outcomes/needs are met for Capability building category - (Capability-strategist, Learner-experience-designer, Instructional-designer, Trainer, Facilitator) (10%)
  • How will you ensure DIT's outcomes/needs are met for User experience design category - (User-researcher, Performance-analyst, Delivery-manager, Business-analyst, Service-designer, Customer-experience-strategist, Customer-experience-designer, Administrator) (5%).
  • Please explain your processes for on-boarding and retention-of-resources, what internal tests / processing you will-undertake to-ensure category-resources match our requirements(2%)
  • Describe your approach to exit, transition and handover for teams and individuals ensuring that knowledge-transfer-to-DIT-is conducted during handover of project outputs when exiting a contract(1%).
  • Present 2-3 examples-of-your work-in-the-learning/content/ux design space, explain the objectives-of-the-work & what-was-achieved. Show your-specific-contributions within the different disciplines (e.g. illustration, film, text, performance). Outline challenges-faced-&-how-you dealt with them (10%).
Cultural fit criteria
  • Please detail your organisation's relevant (content design) experience using agile methodologies (3%).
  • Explain how you will work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (3%).
  • Please explain how you would maintain a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes; provide examples of where this has been used (2%).
  • Demonstrate how, for the contract duration, you will be transparent and collaborative when making decisions (2%).
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. In the DOS Listing you state, "In addition-to-content design, we require the supplier-to-be-able to provide the-full-range-of-content design, UX and capability design-roles-delivering outcomes-based-services.". Will the contract mainly be focused on Content with some UX/Design roles? Do you have a view of the ratios between Content, Research, UX/Design roles?
The supplier will be expected to provide content, UX, design roles as per the DOS publication. There are no expected ratios. As requirements materialise, we will provide the supplier with a specific statement of works outlining the work to be done, the roles (whether content, UX or design) required and the outputs expected. As such, each statement of works will specify how much content, UK or design work will be required and this could vary from SOW to SOW.
2. 1. Who’s in the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
2. Who's on the panel?
"Bidders are referred to the last line in the section entitled 'Existing team' which states 'There is no incumbent supplier'.
The evaluation panel will consist of civil servants from DIT's content design team in its digital, data and technology directorate. "
3. Can you clarify which roles will fall under this work? Content Designer? Which other roles? Interaction Designer? User Researcher? Service Designer?
Bidders are referred to the first 3 questions in the 'Proposal' section, this contains all the roles to be provided under the contract. All roles it lists may be required as the roles / requirements are 'drawn down': an individual statement of works will determine the roles required to deliver specific requirements.
4. Can you clarify what you mean by a 'capability design' role?
DIT's digital, data and technology directorate has a responsibility to build-up the maturity of its professional team of civil servants. We need support to better embed the Government Digital Service DDaT capability framework in our work, to design and deliver curricula, learning opportunities and training, which is what this role will do.
5. With reference to the criteria to "Provide evidence of delivering training at scale using digital tools and platforms to a global audience", please can you advise if you would like examples relating to internal or external training?
The examples can be about either internal or external training delivered at scale using digital tools and platforms to a global audience.
6. Is it possible to provide some indication of the first projects the successful supplier will be expected to support, and the spec/roles these will entail?
The initial statement of works (SoW) are not yet available, however a high level draft will be issued with the Round 2 invitation. As indicated in the published requirement, the SoW will be agreed with the successful supplier.
7. Is there a requirement for any technology design or build that could underpin the content? As requirements are drawn out do you expect to need some architecture or build expertise?
The requirement does not cover technology design or build.
8. Does the requirement include the need for User Training or upskilling of existing DIT team members?
9. How agile is the environment you are currently working in? Are you driving towards a fully agile approach?
We work predominantly in an agile environment in the directorate however other teams use a variety of delivery approaches, which sometimes makes it necessary to adapt to a hybrid model.
10. Are there multiple tones of voice to be used for the content?
This is likely and each statement of works will determine audience and user needs.
11. Do you have personas created already?
Some existing platforms, products, services or tools work to a consistent set of personas, however the supplier may be expected to update existing or create new personas if problems arise.
12. Will we have access to users for user testing
User researchers employed under the contract will have access to an approved route that DIT use to hire user participants.
13. Will the content be for more web based users or both mobile and web?
Our services and content must be mobile optimised, so both mobile and web.
14. Do you anticipate the requirement for the full team to be co-located with existing team members when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted or do you support a flexible working model?
This will be reviewed in line with corporate policy.
15. "Given the current standstill on non-COVID-related SC clearance and no indication of timescales for change/likely backlog of existing applications, will you consider sponsoring supplier personnel to gain SC clearance following contract award?
Or does this stipulation for immediate SC clearance rule out any suppliers except for those who can provide the full range of personnel, all of whom have existing SC clearance?
"1. Bidders are alerted to the following which is included under Security Clearance in the published requirements ""DIT is willing to sponsor the SC clearance process at the supplier's expense. ""

2. DIT have been given a monthly allocation of applications for SC clearances driven by EU Exit, these roles are driven by EU exit. Therefore this does not rule out suppliers who do not have existing SC clearances."
16. SC clearance is limited at the moment to coronavirus urgent projects, is this a coronavirus related project? Otherwise only suppliers with existing SC can apply for this opportunity.
This is not a coronavirus project, however DIT have a monthly allocation of clearances for projects driven by EU Exit, content design roles fall within this category. Therefore suppliers without current SC clearances can apply.