Awarded to Jumping Rivers Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 2 September 2020
Value: £21,000
Company size: SME
The National Archives, Richmond, Surrey

User interface developer for an R shiny application

11 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 0 large

19 Completed applications

18 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 27 July 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 3 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 10 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Summary of the work
Develop the Graphical User Interface of an existing shiny application in R, working iteratively to deliver new functionality and an improved user interface using expert knowledge to improve the usability of the application through front-end development to meet GDS service standards and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level AA.
Latest start date
Wednesday 2 September 2020
Expected contract length
20-30 days
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
The National Archives, Richmond, Surrey
Maximum day rate
£833.33 + VAT (£1000 inc VAT)

About the work

Early market engagement
The prototype tool is live on and we have a prioritised list of improvements based on early feedback from users. We also anticipate having a usability report from a professional user researcher before this work starts.
Who the specialist will work with
You will work with a multidisciplinary project team working on a new decision support tool based upon a probabilistic graphical model of risk to digital archives.

You will work with the Service Owner for Digital Preservation (the project lead) and with a Research Assistant in Applied Statistics, who has been maintaining and deploying the application since the original developers completed the first version.

You will also discuss ideas and feedback on an ad hoc basis with a Senior Digital Archivist, a User Researcher and Statisticians from the University of Warwick.
What the specialist will work on
An experienced front-end developer is required to improve the graphical user interface of an R shiny application. This is a decision support tool which allows archivists to assess risk by changing parameters and seeing how different policies or scenarios alter their risk score. The underlying methodology for quantifying this risk is a Bayesian statistical network.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Not applicable – full remote working.
Working arrangements
You will work in an Agile way and scope the work initially. The whole team is working remotely and we would expect the developer to have their own equipment and technology. In particular, you will need access to R, git and the ability to download R packages. Work patterns should fit within standard UK working hours i.e. weekdays 9-5 though we are willing to discuss more flexible arrangements.

There will be regular virtual meetings, which are currently held on MS Teams, and the team uses Slack for quick communications, but there is flexibility with the virtual communication methods available.
Security clearance
Baseline security clearance will be required (BPSS).

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
  • Have strong experience of developing applications in R using shiny and other supporting packages (or similar technologies, please specify).
  • Have experience of User Interface development for a web-based application including interactive graphs and visualisations.
  • Have the ability to test components and pages against accessibility standards and fix accessibility issues identified through testing.
  • Write clean, accessible and performant code that it is open by default and easy for others to re-use.
  • Work in an Agile way, following a test-driver approach and demonstrating progress and discussing findings regularly.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of coding in R.
  • Have a working knowledge of Git for version control.
  • Have a working knowledge of HTML, CSS and/or JavaScript.
  • Have a working knowledge of performance optimisation.
  • Have a background in statistics or analysis.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a work history.

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Communicate effectively with technical and non-technical colleagues.
  • Work effectively within a multidisciplinary team.
  • Apply technical expertise to help the team find the best solution to a problem.
  • Actively seek feedback to steer their developments.
  • Be able to work independently to deliver work to a deadline.
  • Display initiative in proposing and testing different ways to improve the tool’s usability.
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Interview
  • Scenario or test
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there a current incumbent?
2. Must the candidate be UK based?
There is no requirement for the appointed supplier to be UK based, provided they can meet the DOS eligibility criteria listed here
3. Did a supplier build the prototype? If yes, is this opportunity being advertised because are you needing a different supplier to work on the prioritised list of improvements or is the previous supplier expected to apply?
We need a different supplier to work on the prioritised list of improvements.
4. Is this engagement considered to be inside or outside of IR35?
We have checked the role requirements (to the best of our knowledge) using the assessment tool found at and, in our opinion, for the role(s) as advertised the intermediaries legislation does not apply to this engagement. If our opinion had been that these roles lay inside scope for IR35, we would not have published using this Framework.
5. Would you welcome part time working?
We would consider anyone who wanted to work part-time but we would want to know how many hours you are planning to work a week and which days/times you will be available.
6. With the Security Clearance are you able to put the successful specialist through the process or are you wanting them to have it already?
Does BPSS need to be in place now, or are you able to arrange or sponsor this?
Baseline security clearance will be required for the appointed individual. This can be applied for online; The National Archives will send a link to the form, which should be completed as soon as possible in order to avoid delay to the project start. If the individual in question has existing clearance, obtained within the last 6 months AND has worked continuously for that same company (the appointed supplier) since that time, this may be taken as sufficient by The National Archives (at our discretion).
7. With the Security Clearance are you able to put the successful specialist through the process or are you wanting them to have it already?
Does BPSS need to be in place now, or are you able to arrange or sponsor this?
(Supplemental answer) The National Archives will cover the cost of the application.
8. When you state:
How many specialists to evaluate =7.
What does this actually mean, if there are 30 Profiles completed, do you only review the first 7?
All submissions will be reviewed and scored objectively according to framework methodology as laid out here . The 7 highest scoring submissions will be shortlisted to proceed further in the procurement process. We reserve the right to shortlist fewer than 7 if there is clear distinction between the higher and lower scoring submissions, or more than 7 in the event of tied scores.