Awarded to Cognizant Worldwide Limited

Start date: Thursday 1 July 2021
Value: £880,000
Company size: large
Health Research Authority (HRA)

HRA Digital Directorate: Supporting the HRA’s Digital Transformation Programme

10 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 5 large

10 Completed applications

6 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Tuesday 20 April 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 27 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 4 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Providing services to support the management, analysis, development and testing of the HRA’s digital transformation programmes including the RSP (Research Systems Programme).
Latest start date
Thursday 1 July 2021
Expected contract length
2 years
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Health Research Authority (HRA)
Budget range
£880,000 maximum contract value for the period of the contract.

About the work

Why the work is being done
he Research Systems Programme (RSP) is a major part of the HRA’s wider digital transformation programme. The RSP’s aim is to migrate from its legacy systems to the Pega Platform. This work will continue throughout 2021 and 2022. Additionally, a number of other programmes of work are being scoped and will need support. These digital transformation programmes will support the HRA’s strategic aims.

We are looking for a Pega systems registered partner with experience in cloud based Pega 8 and other framework development to support the main RSP on the Pega Platform and other digital transformation work streams.

Briefing document can be found here:
Problem to be solved
The HRA’s digital transformation programme will require a flexible service plan to meet the demands of the different work streams.

This will include:
• Working collaboratively with the RS team, partners and stakeholders to support the RSP in the areas of development, testing, business analysis and project management.
• Working collaboratively with the RS team, partners and stakeholders to support the HRA’s digital transformation programmes in the areas of development, testing, business analysis and project management.
• Ensure and evidence that the work complies with all GDS Standards and GDS Technology Code of Practice
Who the users are and what they need to do
As an applicant (researchers and sponsors) I want to:
• Register my application
• Prepare and submit applications for approval to undertake health research in the UK
• Manage my application post approval
• See status information relating to applications

As a regulatory user/volunteer committee member I want to:
• Manage reviews of all applications I am responsible for

As an NHS organisation research site, I want to:
• Manage all applications I am responsible for

As a member of the public I want to:
• View summaries of applications approved

All users need to be able to view their whole portfolio of applications
Early market engagement
The HRA commissioned an independent review of their research systems in late 2017 to assess their ability to meet future requirements in the light of EU transition and further improvements needed to support the wider UK research governance systems. This resulted in approval to procure a technical platform (Pega Systems) and associated implementation and support services to deliver a technology platform to provide the basis for the HRA to comply with future regulation associated with clinical trials of investigational medicinal products, which have introduced a need for changes to the HRA systems.

We have worked with suppliers in previous phases of work and currently have a partner / supplier that provides development, test and business analysis services, all of which have all informed this procurement.
Any work that’s already been done
• HRA have procured the Pega platform on Pega Cloud and Pega services.
• Discovery work and high-level sizing for wide range of future modules was undertaken April 2019.
• The first module (CWoW IRAS portal MVP) and interfaces with 2 systems were deployed to production on 2 March 2020.
• Two modules were deployed on 18 May 2020 (interface for Online Booking System and e-submission of amendments).
• Further functionality has been added in late 2020 and early 2021 (sponsor roles and transparency).
• Development is underway to enhance CWoW MVP with planned release in August / September 2021.
Existing team
Technical Team
• Scrum Master
• Product Owner supported by 2 Product Managers and SMEs
• 2 x BAs (one in a development role)
• QA and Test Manager + 2 x Test analysts
• 3rd party, offshore supplier of current Pega systems
• 3rd party, near-shore supplier of current non-Pega systems
• 3rd party onshore supplier of identity authentication system
Programme support
• Chief Digital Transformation Officer
• Programme Manager and Project Managers
• Resource Manager
• Commercial and Procurement Lead
• Deputy Director Finance
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The HRA team is currently based in London (Stratford East London) and other offices in England. Any proposed near/offshore services need to be managed by the supplier and be available during UK normal working (08.00 to 17.00 hours).
Working arrangements
The programme is being led by the HRA and any supplier will need to work within its agile delivery/management model. There will be a requirement to work remotely using appropriate technology (TEAMS) and be available during UK normal working (08.00 to 17.00 hours). Supplier staff will be expected to attend all relevant agile ceremonies (daily stand ups, etc).
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard DOS Call off Contract GDPR and Data Protection clauses will apply, however, additional GDPR clauses may be required dependent upon supplier location and outcomes of any UK trade negotiations related to EU Transition.

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 evidence providing services to support IT Programmes on Pega platform meeting defined deliverables/services. Evidence must demonstrate project management; development (SA’s); business analysis and testing activities contributed to successful delivery.
  • Demonstrable evidence of successfully working within an agile / scrum methodology.
  • Demonstrable evidence providing services to support IT Programmes on other development platform to meet defined deliverables/services. Evidence must demonstrate project management; development; BA and testing activities contributed to successful delivery.
  • Demonstrable evidence of ability ramping up/down at short notice, for: Pega Cloud and development (Pega 8/Pega Infinity); other technology framework development (eg .NET); testing (manual/automated); BA services; and project management.
  • Demonstratable evidence of working collaboratively with a partner’s in-house teams and partner / supplier organisations, giving examples of successful collaborations.
  • Demonstrable evidence that the supplier can provide experienced and accredited staff that they will use to provide the services.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable evidence that the supplier can meet the challenges of working in a regulated environment.
  • Demonstrable evidence that the supplier can meet the challenges of working in the health and or public sector.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Provide detailed service plan supporting HRA’s digital transformation programme, identifying roles/levels of support providing at short notice/how integrates with HRA team/suppliers/partners, meeting demand levels/Explain flexibility of plan in contract period
  • Describe/evidence level of accreditation/experience (number years) that roles (PM; development; BA and testing) described in service plan will typically have. Include maximum number resources that can be provided short notice.
  • Detail/specify assumptions made, risks identified, issues perceived dependencies identified /detail how propose to mitigate against them during course of contract through to contract closure and thereafter.
  • Describe/evidence of proposed reporting mechanisms to be used throughout contract showing how contractual obligations are being met. Evidence how delivery to time/budget will be fully managed/maintained
  • Describe and provide evidence of the value-added services that you can offer the HRA to support our digital transformation programme.
  • Describe/evidence approach to working productively/ collaboratively as team within HRA, incl. liaison with external stakeholders/suppliers. How will ensure that culture of mutual respect/focus on the tasks in hand, programme vision/goals?
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe and evidence how you will proactively share knowledge and experience with other team members.
  • Describe and evidence your approach to working with clients with minimal technical expertise.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who are incumbent suppliers for the program ?
For the main element of Pega Programme - Coforgetech
2. What is the technology stack of the existing system?
The new applications are being developed on the Pega Platform, however, in the future there may be a requirement to source development resources to support other tech stacks, however, details not yet known
3. How many and what type of resources are required?
This is not yet known. HRA require to flexibly call off service provision / flexible resources at short notice.
4. We assume that resources can work from outside UK also. Please confirm.
Resources can work from outside of the UK.
5. Would you consider bid from supplier with a non-PEGA BPM delivery expertise ?
The Ad asks for a mix of dev resource which is both Pega and potentially other development platforms such as .NET. However, currently Pega is the main development framework and we would need to be able to call on this type of development resource for the service.
6. Is it mandatory to be a PEGA partner for the bid as this may be difficult for SME with a non-PEGA exposure ? From the PEGA Partner list, Large companies are currently partner.
It would be advantageous if the supplier was a Pega partner, however, we didn’t stipulate this as a mandatory requirement in the DOS Ad. The supplier must be able to provide a service that includes Pega certified developer resource.
7. We assume all license costs to cover Pega software (Customer Service, Knowledge Management, etc) are accounted for separately and do not form part of the £880K – 2 year budget?
That's correct, licence costs are accounted for separately and do not form part of this contract.
8. Would you be able to share the current programme structure, governance, and third party suppliers already working on the programme?
Main Pega supplier is Coforge. BGO Software provide development and help desk resources for legacy systems and Vysiion provide/manage infrastructure.

Programme and associated work streams headed by the CDTO and working for him, Associate Director of Portfolio Management, has day-to-day responsibility for running of Programme. Working within Programme are number of HRA roles: scrum master, QA&Test Manager, 2 Test Analysts, 2 Business Analysts, Systems Architect, Project Manager and Programme Manager. Additionally,Product Owner, 2 Product Managers and number SMEs.

Governance for Digital Directorate is comprehensive with number of Boards responsible for change control, live systems and commercial aspects.
9. Does the application require front end development for customer-facing interaction?
The development work will involve creating user interfaces for customers, these interfaces will need to follow usability and accessibility guidelines,