Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Monday 2 August 2021
Value: £652,000
Company size: SME
Probation Reform Programme, Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service

Managing Supervision in the Community Beta

7 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 2 large

6 Completed applications

4 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Monday 29 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 5 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 12 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Progressing the ‘Manage supervision in the community’ service for Probation from private to public beta. This will involve meeting the GDS Service Standards, passing the beta Service Standard Assessment and completing all required steps to roll the service out to all identified users.
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 June 2021
Expected contract length
6 months with option to extend for further 25% as per DOS terms.
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Probation Reform Programme, Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service
Budget range
The budget for this procurement is £612,000.
Budget ranges for the extension period will be agreed if required.
Pricing will be evaluated out of 25% and pricing submission documents will be issued to suppliers who pass Round 1.

About the work

Why the work is being done
This work is intended to introduce an improved digital journey for probation practitioners to arrange, carry out and record supervision appointments for service users being managed in the community.
The goal of the work is to realise time savings, improve user experience and build new services that enable greater business agility. HMPPS have already made a commitment to move off the existing monolithic systems by 2024-2025.
Problem to be solved
Discovery and alpha phases have identified opportunities to create a new digital product which will provide an improved user journey for managing supervision integrated into, but separate from, the National Delius case management system.
The goal of the beta is to build and iterate this product to meet the needs of users. Products created during beta should integrate with other applications within the Probation service as required and by the end of beta, allow HMPPS to significantly reduce the use of similar features in the National Delius software application.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The primary users of this service are Probation staff, ranging from Senior Probation Officers through to case admin staff. In early iterations, users will be those probation staff involved in the management of low and medium risk cases.
Service users are an important secondary user of this new service as the subject of the supervision process if not the main user interacting directly with digital tools.
Identified users will use the new service to manage appointments for probation cases. They will still need to use existing digital systems including OASys and National Delius both to manage more complex aspects of cases and to manage cases outside the scope of this product.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Discovery and alpha phases have concentrated on research and design activity. Research findings from multiple rounds of interviews and usability tests, card sorts etc are available. An interactive prototype of core journeys has been developed. Technology spikes are taking place as part of alpha and will lead to sample code being available to assist integration of a new service with existing systems.
Existing team
Product Manager, User Researcher, Service Designer, Developer, Data Analyst (50%), and we are recruiting a Business Analyst.

The remainder of the team is currently being provided by a managed service.

This is part of the Probation Reform Programme which is run as a blended, multi-supplier environment.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Predominantly virtually, with the possibility of London or Sheffield based physical working, if required. Occasional travel to other locations in the United Kingdom may also be required.
Working arrangements
We would prefer co-location onsite for 3 days a week (as soon as Covid-19 allows), most weeks in order to engage with the Probation Reform Programme, building broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells), and capability building activity through activities such as pair programming/design review. However, we also know that remote working is both possible and will also be necessary over the next few months.
Security clearance
A minimum of Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) standard is required. Where access to live production data is necessary, Security Clearance (SC) may also be required.

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 in the development of services from Discovery to Beta, from learnings Discovery to Beta, meeting the Government Service Standard and technology code of conduct.
  • Evidence of in-depth understanding and experience of presenting clear, compelling, evidence-based recommendations for change based on primary and secondary research.
  • In-depth understanding of collaboratively delivering rapid/ iterative prototyping (low to high fidelity) using design systems and approaches.
  • Experience of migrating away from legacy applications to digital services
  • Experience using modern standards to deploy robust cloud based web solutions that can scale to meet the demand of user needs.
  • Proven track record of building products in Kotlin and Typescript/Node.
  • Experience of building secure systems and adhering to modern security best practice and standards.
  • Experience of providing services with a test-driven development, continuous integration and delivery approach.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable experience of setting up and operating application support for staff facing applications.
  • Experience working within a large government program of work, with multiple teams, dependencies and stakeholders.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Provide an explanation of the overall approach and how you will draw on your experience from a similar project to successfully execute this project.
  • Explain how your approach will successfully deliver MOJ’s goal to build and iterate a product that meets user needs, including for users with low technical expertise.
  • Provide an example team structure including skills, experience, responsibilities in this approach and relevance of individuals, and explain you will ensure the team deliver their responsibilities throughout this approach.
  • Provide examples of how you have identified and taken ownership of risks, issues, and dependencies and how you have managed their mitigation and resolution.
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver value for money throughout this project, across both Private and Public Beta phases.
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver against the MOJ’s timeline for transitioning this service from private to public Beta within 6 months.
  • Demonstrate how you would document your work to ensure effective hand over to the business.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Develop and share knowledge, experience and good practices and processes with team members and the wider service.
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers in a diverse environment.
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions.
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes.
  • Take responsibility for their work.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Hello. Is there a specific reason why you’ve asked for suppliers with a proven track record of building products in Kotlin and Typescript/Node? We have a COTS SaaS product that we believe could be used to fulfil this opportunity, that we’ve used to build digital appointment services that have passed GDS assessments.
A 'build' approach has been selected for this product. Kotlin, Typescript and Node JS experience has been requested as these are part of MoJ's tech stack.
2. Please could you confirm whether the Discovery, Alpha and private Beta was built inhouse by MoJ (Sheffield) or by a private sector supplier?
The Discovery and Alpha phase were delivered by The Dextrous Web (dxw) on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. The Private Beta is to be completed as part of this opportunity.
3. Could you confirm who the incumbent supplier is?
The incumbent supplier for the Discovery and Alpha phase was The Dextrous Web (dxw).
4. Are the following roles filled by MoJ/HMPPS civil servants or third party suppliers, and will they continue to be assigned for Beta delivery: Product Manager, User Researcher, Service Designer, Developer, Data Analyst (50%), and Business Analyst (once recruited)?
This is a blended team which comprises both civil servants and contractors from third party suppliers. It is currently our intention that these roles continue to be assigned to the work during beta, though this is subject to change.
5. Who is the incumbent supplier for Discovery/Alpha?
The incumbent supplier for the Discovery and Alpha phase was The Dextrous Web (dxw).
6. You ask for a Proven track record of building products in Kotlin and Typescript/Node. – but if a COTS package was available that can deliver equivalent capability more efficiently and meet compliance matters would you consider this?
A 'build' approach has been selected for this product. Kotlin, Typescript and Node JS experience has been requested as these are part of MoJ's tech stack.