Awarded to Catapult CX Limited

Start date: Monday 1 February 2021
Value: £395,000
Company size: SME
Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Southampton HQ

Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) Scheme Alpha and Beta

3 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 1 large

7 Completed applications

7 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Thursday 26 November 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 3 December 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 10 December 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Using recommendations identified during Discovery, a multi-disciplinary outcomes specialist team is required to undertake Alpha and Beta phases to build a new Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) Claims system creating functionality to run reports in both Calendar and Financial Years, mapping out key milestones and firm costs through to Beta.
Latest start date
Monday 4 January 2021
Expected contract length
Up to 12 Months
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Southampton HQ
Budget range
We are using a zero budget basis for scoping this work. Bidders must use their knowledge and experience of similar projects to calculate the estimated costs for their offer. Preferred bidders will be invited to present their offer. Bids must be based on a series of outcomes being met not day rates. Firm costs are required for full project delivery from Alpha and through to Beta live.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The current grant claims system, which is hosted and maintained by the current Adminstering Body (AB), has been in place for a number of years and is no longer fit for purpose. We are now in a position where we need to carry out Alpha and Beta phases that adhere to the GDS guidelines/criteria. A new system is required to simplify the way Training Providers (TPs) are able to submit their claims on behalf of trainees. This new system needs the flexibility to allow for future technology and policy changes.
Problem to be solved
Deliver an end to end online digital service and provide firm costs for a full system development that allows: Users and a defined target group to submit their claims and forecasts of SMarT Funding, prove trainee eligibility and be awarded grants for training. Access for key stakeholders to run reports and obtain statistical data using the raw data from the system. Reduce the time to submit claims and resolve queries. Digitising the process will make the claims process quicker, more efficient and will provide a better user experience. Digitising the service will reduce the potential for fraud.
Who the users are and what they need to do
"The users include the AB, MCA, Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) Training Providers (TPs) (sponsoring companies), DFT and are predominantly based within the UK.
As a TP I need to be able to submit accurate claims using a unique reference number for each of my trainees and client companies and upload supporting evidence.
As the AB I need to be able to check/validate the claims to reimburse the TPs and run reports.
As the MCA/DfT I need to be able to track trainees progress, obtain accurate management Information, ensure Government funding is claimed correctly and monitor expenditure by running reports"
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
A Discovery Phase has been completed where user research was gathered from key stakeholders (MCA, current AB, TPs), A number of recommendations were put to the MCA in the Discovery Report. This will be made available to bidding suppliers on request.
Existing team
The team will be working with several members of the MCA SMarT Team. The MCA will provide governance and assurance for the technical architecture and project oversight from a delivery manager and service designer.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
MCA Southampton SO15 1EG. For the duration of restrictions on movement due to COVID-19, all teams are expected to work and collaborate remotely.
Working arrangements
"Will report to SMarT Manager. Travel is unlikely due to the pandemic, however, if required it must be in line with MCA T&E Policy and included in the contract sum as there is no separate budget. Operate using an agile methodology including daily stand ups, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives and show and tells. Exact milestones will be determined once a supplier is appointed.
Security clearance
BPSS (Baseline Clearance level)

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
"The supplier will be expected to: Project manage the Alpha and Beta using the supplier's Scrum Master/Delivery Manager with oversight and reporting interface from MCA resources
• Adhere to GDS tech code of practice & digital service standards
• Organise, prepare for and pass GDS service assessments & spend assurance
• Adhere to the DfT architectural principles & have design documents approved by the DfT Digital Design authority.
•Have the required experience: passed Alpha & Beta GDS service assessments. "

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
  • Must have experience in successfully completing Alpha and Beta assessments.
  • Specialist capability and experience in transforming business critical, legacy technology and processes into efficient modern solutions.
  • Proven service design and end to end development / technical expertise in delivering a digital service in the public sector.
  • Supplier must have recent experience within the last 2 years delivering digital projects in line with the GDS Service Design Manual and Service Standards for a Government department
  • Have experience designing services for users who access the site using multiple devices (laptop, mobile, tablet).
  • Evidence of proficiency of UX, UI and interaction design techniques particularly using the GOV.UK prototyping kit to test with users.
  • Evidence of proficiency in creating prototypes to support user research, stakeholders and design team decision making.
  • Experience of planning, documenting and communicating the design process and concepts in a clear concise manner.
  • Experience working in Agile environments using SCRUM or other Agile frameworks.
  • User centered design services (user research, interaction design, content design)
  • Experience of Agile practices, tools, techniques - working within a multi-team Agile programmes.
  • Delivering outcomes at pace within tight timescales.
  • Experience of integrating other services e.g. Notify.
  • Proven track record of successful knowledge transfer to ensure system is reliably handed over to other teams to manage live running.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience in delivering a financial management and information dashboard service to be used by multiple organization’s or businesses.
  • Security standards adherence e.g. ISO 27001 or equivalent.
  • Proven ability of delivering automated reporting/MI solutions.
  • Experience of Government policy work and development.
  • An understanding of MCA Maritime related policy including SMarT.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate value for money
  • How you have identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • The approach and methodology to the project planning and delivery, identifying the main stages and activities proposed at each stage.
  • Estimated timeframes for the work to be completed and how they will meet project milestones
  • Describe your team experiences, capabilities plus set up (including roles and CV’s) and how you would adapt the team to changing priorities during the course of the project phases
  • Detailed resource plan – demonstrating resources will be used and at what stage
  • How the approach or solution meets business/user needs: detail how you will ensure these are understood and met in the development
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the service standard and working towards it.
  • Detail how your Delivery Manager will run sprint planning, sprint development and run the daily sprints.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate how you worked collaboratively in a dispersed multi-disciplined team, with stakeholders and subject matter experts to seek actionable feedback to resolve queries quickly and effectively
  • Experience of working as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Experience of transparent and collaborative decision making
  • Experience of taking responsibility for their work and resolving problems effectively
  • Experience of sharing approach, knowledge and skills with other team members
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are we able to receive a copy of the Discovery Report?
As mentioned in the advert, the Discovery report will be made available to bidding suppliers on request. This means those suppliers who have been shortlisted by the MCA and asked to submit a bid.
2. Who carried out the Discovery Phase?
The Discovery was carried out by The Dextrous Web Ltd trading as DXW.
3. Do MCA have a preferred tech stack?
The MCA has a strong preference for suppliers to develop digital citizen and business facing solutions by exploiting serverless technology in our AWS tenant which is segregated into separate concerns allowing multiple parties (internal and external to the MCA) to independently support and/or maintain environments, deployed code and other AWS resources. The MCA also has an Azure tenant which we prefer to use for internally facing technology solutions.