This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 1 December 2020
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

Accessibility Audit and Testing of DVLA Digital Services

6 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 2 large

11 Completed applications

8 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Tuesday 17 November 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 24 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 1 December 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
DVLA need to ensure that digital services have been tested with users who have access needs, as well as them being compliant with WCAG legislation and standards.
Latest start date
Monday 21 December 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
Budget range
Budget range - Up to £1400 per day, including provision of user testing participants with access needs, WCAG audit report and summary of findings from user tests.

About the work

Why the work is being done
DVLA must ensure that digital services work for those who have specific needs or use assistive technology and ensure compliance (to minimum Accessible AA level) within WCAG2.1 web content accessibility guidelines. It is also essential that DVLA test digital services with users who have access needs to ensure that those services are not only WCAG compliant but usable.

Being able to demonstrate that we have tested our services with users who have access needs continues to be an increasingly important part of the GDS Service Standard Assessments. Since 23rd September 2020, it is also a legislative requirement for our services to meet the standards set out in WCAG.
Problem to be solved
DVLA want all digital services to be as inclusive as possible, meaning that we do not discriminate against type or group of user.
In order for DVLA services to be accessed via GOV.UK, they must meet the minimum usability and accessibility criteria set out by Government Digital Services (GDS). The GDS standards can be found on the GOV.UK pages.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are citizens and users within businesses with specific needs or using assistive technology who consume DVLA digital services. These services need to be designed in a way that enables the different user segments to conduct their business with DVLA and are relevant, accessible and ultimately useable.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The supplier will work alongside the DVLA Research team, as well as the DVLA Interaction Designers, Service Designers and Front-End Developers.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Off site
Working arrangements
Participants with accessibility needs would be expected to work from their own premises rather than coming on site to carry out the testing.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
DVLA expect a report within 5 days of audit completion, unless otherwise stated and against an agreed timeline for each service.
Report outputs must contain details around any elements of any of the pages within the service that have defects when accessed via assistive technology.
These outputs must stipulate the platform (i.e. desktop, mobile etc.) and software (e.g. JAWS) affected by each defect.
Report outputs must identify lines of code at the root of these defects, and suggested fixes.

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 and experience over a period of 2 or more years of Assessing pages for usability through assistive technology and software to include at least 1 detailed example.
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of Assessing pages for accessibility to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of Providing designers and developers with accessibility advice to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of undertaking Wireframe reviews to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of conducting Audits to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of WCAG 2.1 Accreditation to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Robust Evidence and experience of undertaking assessments covering disabilities including Blindness, Low Vision, Colour Blindness, Dyslexia, Deafness, Limited Limb mobility, Learning Disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorder & other Neuro Diverse conditions
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 years or more of testing services on all or any combination of mobile Phones,Desktops,Laptops,Smart TV’s to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience of providing coding support to customers design teams to include at least 1 detailed example
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets our organisation's policy or goal
  • Value for Money
  • Team structure
Cultural fit criteria
Provide at least one example of working collaboratively with customers, research, interaction design teams, service designers and front-end developers providing support during build phases.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are you really going to shortlist 10 companies for this opportunity?
Yes, our aim is to shortlist down to 10 suppliers and evaluate those 10 suppliers.
2. Can you clarify that this requirement is to cover both accessibility audit to WCAG standards (i.e. a desk based exercise) and to run regular rounds of accessibility testing with participants with diverse access needs?
A really important part of our requirement is based on identifying accessibility issues and any blockers to how usable a service is to anyone with additional needs. In order to achieve this we are looking for a supplier who is able to assess usability for participants with access needs as well.
3. If so, how many rounds of audit and testing and you envisaging over the 2 year contract term?
This will depend on the complexity of each service and will be assessed on a case by case basis.
4. In the essential skills please clarify exactly what you mean by 'Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of WCAG 2.1 Accreditation'?
Evidence that the supplier has 2 years or more in delivering test/audit to WCAG (2.1) standard.
5. There is a max daily rate quoted and then Fixed Price mentioned. It would be complex to fix a price without having a great deal of detail around the scope. Can you expand on how this will be managed with the winning supplier. And at what stage are the commercials going to be discussed in more detail – is that after the initial sift ?
Scope will vary based on how complex each service is and will be dealt with on a case by case basis with the winning supplier. If you could provide some more clarity regarding the 'commercials' so that we can provide you with the correct answer. Terms and Conditions will need to be agreed prior to awarding a contract.
6. Who has been undertaking the Accessibility testing to date ? Has it been done in-house or is there an incumbent supplier of this as a service ?
We have some in house capability but the testing and formal WCAG audit is undertaken by Digital Accessibility Centre.
7. Please can you confirm the URL(s) for the accessibility audit and number of page templates?
URL will be provided for each service so that it can be sized by the supplier and for the test/audit to take place. These links will not be available in advance.
8. Please can you provide details of any CRM?
A CRM system is not part of this requirement.
9. Is Application development done in-house or COTS, or via niche suppliers ? What level of Accessibility compliance responsibility is given to suppliers ?
Application development is an in-house capability.
10. Please can you provide details of who will be evaluating submissions and their role/title within DVLA?
Senior members of the UX Team at DVLA.
11. Are you open to our company using offshore services to deliver some of this requirement or a hybrid Model UK/Offshore?
In the event that the successful tenderer proposes to offshore any DVLA Data as part of the contract, they would be required to provide details about the processing to be carried out offshore, the privacy risks and the security controls in place to protect the data. Any request to offshore must receive clearance and approval from DVLA prior to the commencement of any data processing activity.
12. As a follow-on to question 5. How are you going to assess and award the contract (ie, 30% of the decision is based on 'price') ? Will you be seeking day rates that will later be multiplied by the size / scope of each project, or some other means ? It seems as if, once awarded to a chosen supplier, each 'project' to be WCAG reviewed will need a separate pricing phase – is that correct ?
The Evaluation weighting is based on Technical Competence 50%, Cultural Fit 20%, and Price 30%. Each audit is scoped/priced based on the size and or complexity of the service. As such the day rates are multiplied by however long it will take the supplier to conduct the testing/ audit on a case by case basis.
13. Have the services in scope been audited / tested before? If so, can you provide some indication of commonly known issues?
Some services may have been tested before, but not all. Defects can vary between services but all possible defects are defined within the WCAG 2.1 standard.
14. How old are the services in scope? Do they all use GDS design patterns?
The services vary in age. The vast majority have been built using the GDS design system. Some are in the process of being updated to latest versions of the design patterns.
15. Is the intension to appoint a single supplier or would you consider a framework of suppliers?
We can confirm that the intention is to appoint a single supplier
16. In terms of supporting your internal team, do you envisage the supplier providing advice to your inhouse development team post testing, rather than being embedded in your sprint development team?
Yes. At this stage there is no requirement for the supplier to be part of the development process, more of a critical assurance function.
17. Do the sites in scope share the same technology?
Some aspects of the technology/architecture will vary between services but the vast majority of screens that need WCAG test/audit at the interaction level will be built using the GDS design system
18. In terms of the commercial evaluation, is the intention to provide a scenario / brief for shortlisted companies to quote against, as part of the proposal stage?
A proposal template will be sent to shortlisted companies.