Awarded to Rainmaker Solutions

Start date: Friday 13 January 2017
Value: £132,925
Company size: SME
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted)

Electronic evidence gathering (EEG)

0 Incomplete applications

32 Completed applications

25 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Wednesday 30 November 2016
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 7 December 2016 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 14 December 2016 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Complete Discovery following GDS guidance. Make recommendations for 'buy' or 'build' for Alpha. Plan and deliver Alpha phase. Plan for Beta, including system integration. Supplier to provide project management, content design and user testing.
Latest start date
January 2017 start date, with work completed by 31 March 2017.
Expected contract length
2-3 months
Organisation the work is for
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted)
Budget range
A maximum of £150,000 including expenses.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Ofsted regulates and inspects services that care for children and young people, and education and skills for learners of all ages. Hundreds of visits to providers take place each week. From April 2017, we will employ 800 inspectors and contract directly with an additional 1,800 inspectors. A further 1,000 staff support inspection activity. During inspection, inspectors capture a huge amount of information, which we call ‘evidence’. In future, we want them to be able to do this digitally.

Work to deliver a prototype solution and a design/plan for subsequent phases (beta, live) must be completed by March 2017.
Problem to be solved
Inspectors currently capture evidence in a range of paper and electronic formats across different types of inspection and regulatory events. There is no consistent approach and the benefits of technology are not being fully realised. User research has identified opportunities to improve how evidence is captured, shared and distilled to make judgements. The first phase will focus on a tool that works for inspectors as the primary users. We anticipate future phases that will enable Ofsted to better access the evidence captured across all inspection and regulatory activities to improve organisational insight through integration with our developing knowledge management system.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As an inspector, I need to easily and intuitively capture, share and distil evidence while out on inspection and regulatory visits so that I can come to well-evidenced judgements that are presented in a report or letter.

As a quality assurance professional for Ofsted, I need to be able to access the evidence captured to carry out quality assurance activity.

As Ofsted, I need to be able to extract the evidence that is captured and use it to derive insight to influence departmental or cross-government policy.
Early market engagement
We have not had any third party involvement in the project to date; all initial discovery work has been done by our internal team.
Any work that’s already been done
Between June and November 2016, we engaged with over 200 inspectors who are the primary audience for this solution. This initial discovery process identified high level needs and barriers to effective inspection and regulation. We have created proofs of concept using standard MS Office tools. These have been used to enable users to prioritise features which may fulfil some of their needs. We intend to complete further user research during December/January and the outcomes will be available to the supplier at project commencement.
Existing team
The internal team will consist of a Product Manager and a Project Co-ordinator who will facilitate contact with other Ofsted teams (inspectors, policy, IS). Access to communication and engagement resource will be available to help set up user research and testing.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
At core times the team will be co-located in London: Ofsted, 8th floor, 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6SE. User research and testing will need to be delivered at a range of locations as our staff and contract inspectors are based all over England.
Working arrangements
Suppliers will be expected to work with us via an online collaborative platform (proposed by the supplier) to enable remote working. We would like a minimum of 2 days per week onsite to make sure this work is visible to others in the organisation to showcase ways of working. Travel to Ofsted regional offices in England will be required for some roles e.g. user researcher. The team should work in an agile way following the principles of the service manual. We want to use this project as a Digital Exemplar to demonstrate the potential for new ways of working.
Security clearance
Suppliers may need to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Supplier personnel working on the project will need to be cleared to Baseline Personnel Security Standard (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
  • Demonstrable experience of working with successful multi-disciplinary teams in the Public Sector, particularly those new to Agile, through Discovery, Alpha and iterative development (12%)
  • Demonstrable experience of developing solutions based on user research and testing with professionals with a wide range of digital competence (12%)
  • Demonstrable experience of developing solutions for collaborative working and/or experience of capturing and sharing of information, with appropriate thought given to offline capability (5%)
  • Demonstrable experience of making buy/build decisions based on market analysis which are subsequently proven to result in a successful service (5%)
  • Demonstrable experience of evaluating Office 365 and OneDrive for Business, including integration and customisation options (4%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Demonstrable experience working with other suppliers to ensure solution design will support the information architecture and information strategy (3%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • State your proposed approach and methodology (12%)
  • State your team structure, including roles and provide CVs of the people who will be delivering the work (12%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Transfer knowledge and experience to Ofsted to support learning from this digital exemplar (6%)
  • No blame culture and encourage people to learn from mistakes (3%)
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions (3%)
  • Able to work confidently and capably in an environment where agile working is not embeded (3%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you confirm this procurement is for the Discovery and Alpha phases of this project? Also, is the budget of £150,000 for both of these phases?
The procurement and budget is to conclude Discovery (noting that user research will have been completed), to complete Alpha and to plan Beta.
2. What roles are Ofsted expecting suppliers to provide?
Suppliers are asked to provide resource to cover project management, content design and user testing.
3. What roles will be provided by the existing team and will they be full time on the project?
The existing team will consist of a full-time Product Manager and Project Co-ordinator.
4. What roles are Ofsted expecting suppliers to provide?
To further clarify question 2, we are open to suppliers suggesting specific roles for an optimum team to run a discovery and alpha.
5. Should Ofsted need to conduct a shortlisting exercise and request suppliers to complete the skills and experience evidence template, do you intend to request suppliers to provide evidence for the specific people who will be doing the work or organisational capability? And can you confirm at this stage what the word count will be for each of the answers?
We will be using the standard GDS Skills and Evidence template for shortlisting. You are required to provide evidence for the specific people you are proposing to do the work. There is a 100 word limit for each criteria.
6. Please can we confirm the procurement timeline for this opportunity?
Initial evaluation of suppliers will take place on 15 December. Evidence templates will be requested by 23 December. Shortlisting will take place on 28 December. Supplier proposals should be submitted by 6 January for a 9 January supplier presentation. The successful supplier will be required to start work as soon as possible after that date, but by 30 January 2017 at the latest.
7. Please could you confirm what the timescales will be on providing evidence for the essential and nice to have skills for shortlisting after the initial screening?
These will be required by 23 December 2016.
8. "Demonstrable experience of evaluating Office 365 and OneDrive for Business, including integration and customisation options (4%)" Could you explain why is this considered essential for a Discovery? This seems to imply a preference for a solution built around MS Office 365/OneDrive, rather than other possible solutions (including open source).
Ofsted want to explore options best suited to user needs. Whilst there is no preference for a specific solution, we have existing licenses for Office 365 and see this as an option that should be evaluated, equally, alongside other solutions.
9. Has this notice replaced a previous similar notice... "" Which can no longer be accessed on the Digital Marketplace?
Yes. This is the same opportunity. A technical competency requirement was erroneously omitted in the previous version.
10. As this is a discovery can the following criteria be removed? > Demonstrable experience of evaluating Office 365 and OneDrive for Business, including integration and customisation options (4%) This seems to indicate a strong preference for a proprietary system, rather than keeping an open mind about all possible solutions (including open source).
Ofsted want to explore options best suited to user needs. Whilst there is no preference for a specific solution, we have existing licenses for Office 365 and see this as an option that should be evaluated, equally, alongside other solutions.
11. I would like to understand what is the Alpha and Beta phase.
Please refer to for standard definitions of Alpha and Beta phases.
12. What were you expecting the Content Designer to do?
The Content Designer is an example of a role that the supplier might choose to provide but we would expect the supplier to suggest the right roles for the team.
13. Are you able to provide details on your knowledge management system, and the level of integration desired?
This is still in development and details will become available as we progress. We see integration happening in future phases.
14. What devices do inspectors have on their visits, and what tools do they use?
There is no standard hardware used by contracted inspectors but employed inspectors have Lenovo Yoga laptops (with Microsoft Office) and iPhones. Currently there is no standard set of digital tools.
15. What is the content captured during visits (e.g. documents, images, etc.)?
Information on what is captured on inspection is available here:
During Discovery we would like suppliers to explore and
identify different ways of capturing information.
16. Are you able to share the existing paper/electronic forms used by inspectors?
We will consider sharing these with shortlisted suppliers on request.
17. What are the remaining tasks from Discovery that you expect the supplier to complete?
Some user research is complete, including one option for a proof of concept. We would like suppliers to validate and expand on this research where they feel necessary.
18. Are you able to share the Discovery work done to date?
This will be provided to the shortlisted suppliers.
19. We believe the procurement timescales are slightly unfair over the holiday period. In order to receive the highest quality responses from suppliers, would Ofsted consider revising this timeline?
The timeline has taken this into account. We have allowed 5 days for completion of evidence templates in accordance with Digital Marketplace guidelines, and a further 7 working days for the submission of proposals. We will, however, allow shortlisted suppliers to submit their written proposals on 9 January 2017 as part of their presentations.
20. Has there been any planning around the mobile devices that will potentially consume the Office 365 & One Drive service and how the devices will be managed?
Employed inspectors are provided with a laptop and iPhone. These are managed through our IS service contract. Contracted inspectors can choose their devices, which they manage themselves.