This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 20 October 2020
The Planning Inspectorate

User Research Participants for The Planning Inspectorate in England and Wales

0 Incomplete applications

6 Completed applications

6 SME, 0 large

Important dates

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


Summary of the work
The Planning Inspectorate assistance in the recruitment of research participants across England and Wales for user testing to support the Appeal a Planning Decision Service development.
South West England
Research dates
November 2020 to May 2021, plus 6 months option to extend
Organisation the work is for
The Planning Inspectorate
Budget range

About the work

Early market engagement

About the research

Description of your participants
Appeal a Planning Decision covers householder planning appeals.
Specific participant requirements will be defined prior to the start of a project to assist the supplier in screening suitable candidates, but we envisage the following requirements for homeowners who:

• have not made a planning application with their Local Planning Authority (but could use the service in the future)

• have been through the planning application process /resubmission process without the help of an architect, planning professional or agent

• have been through the planning application process /resubmission process with the help of an architect, planning professional or agent

• have received a decision on their planning appeal from The Planning Inspectorate

In addition there may be a requirement to recruit professionals in domestic planning such as solicitors, architects, agents etc. Suppliers should provide separate costs for recruiting these legally qualified or professional users.
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements
We are particularly looking to include participants with:
• Use of assistive technologies to access digital services
• Requirements for non-digital support to access digital services
• Cognitive and/or learning disabilities
• Motor skills impairments
• Visual impairments
• Auditory disabilities
We are also looking to include those with different degrees of digital competency and the digitally excluded (including those who chose not to engage with government services via digital channels).
Research plan
We would like to use a variety of research methods, including:
• Usability testing
• Accessibility testing
• 1-to-1 interviews (structured/semi-structured)
• Focus groups
• Observation/contextual enquiry
• Workshops

Incentive value - £50 (target) for all participants, including those not recruited by the agency, but passed on by the Inspectorate.

Participants must be homeowners who (preferably) do not take part regularly in research

Known difficulties - We encounter difficulties recruiting certain groups of participants representing people who:

• have appealed a planning decision without the help of an architect, planning professional or agent;
• and/or who are not digitally confident.
Research location
Due to COVID-19 research will be done remotely. However, once it is safe to so research will likely to take place throughout the UK.
Access restrictions at location
If Covid restrictions are lifted labs for face-to-face research will be selected based on accessibility, although we cannot assure that they are completely suitable (e.g. equipped with hearing loops, accessible for wheelchair users, etc.).
Number of research rounds
Number of participants a round
Minimum of 5 participants per round.
The Planning Inspectorate will advise prior to booking if spares are required.
How often research will happen
It is likely this will be weekly.
No evening or weekend research is required.
Evening or weekend research

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, and ability to regularly recruit participants for government services
  • Experience of, and ability to recruit participants with low digital literacy or confidence
  • Experience of, and ability to recruit participants with specific accessibility needs or requirements
  • Experience of and ability to recruit appellants in person who have received a decision from the Planning Inspectorate without the help of a planning professional, architect or agent
  • Experience of, and ability to recruit participants using non-digital channels to ensure coverage of those with low digital literacy
  • Experience of, and ability to recruit professional users such as planning professional
  • Ability to store participant data securely and demonstrate compliance with GDPR
  • Ability to mitigate the risks of participants not showing up for research sessions or meeting the required criteria
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Experience of recruiting users within the householder planning sector

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to recruiting the specialist participants required, particularly those with access needs, with lower digital skills and professionals
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Breakdown of recruitment costs and incentive payment management
  • Approach to mitigating and managing research associated risks
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






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