Awarded to People for Research

Start date: Monday 26 July 2021
Value: £100,000
Company size: SME
Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)

DWP Health User Research Participant Call-off

4 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 0 large

5 Completed applications

5 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Wednesday 28 April 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 5 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 12 May 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Call-off contract - Department for Work and Pensions Digital requires participant recruitment for regular user research activities. We're looking for suppliers who can recruit participants who reflect the diverse make-up of people who use DWP health services.
North East England
Research dates
Call-Off Contract from May 2021 until March 2023
Organisation the work is for
Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
Budget range

About the work

Early market engagement

About the research

Description of your participants
Recruitment brief will vary by project but may include:
In receipt of/applying for, or looking in to a DWP health benefit; Personal Independence Payment/Access to Work/Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance. Including a mixture of those on one benefit and multiple DWP benefits, Example Universal Credit/Employment Support Allowance and a health benefit.
Usage of assistive technologies to access digital services
Requirements for non-digital support to access digital services
Digital usage/experience
Cognitive and/or learning disabilities
Mental health conditions
Motor skills impairments/physical disability/recent diagnosis and long-term disability.
Those who interact with DWP on behalf of the person in receipt of/applying for/looking in to a health benefit.
Visual impairments
Auditory disabilities
Household income levels
A mix of gender/age and educational attainment

Users of services may include vulnerable users so should be recruited ethically and sensitivity. Participants to be informed about purpose of the research, what it entails, how their data will be handled, and requirements around non-disclosure.

Supplier required to ensure repeat participants are not used across projects without prior agreement.
The supplier should have the ability to securely transfer data to DWP regarding participants, ideally PGP encryption.
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements
Participants with assisted digital or access needs will need to be included in the research as described by the project brief.
Research plan
Research plans will vary by project will usually include either usability testing or depth interviews. The recruiter will be expected to adapt to new requirements as new plans emerge
Research location
Research conducted virtually, by Teams or telephone, until the coronavirus restrictions ease. Once eased, we will conduct mixture of remote and face-to-face research. Anticipate 75% will be face-to-face and 25% remote. Initially higher level of face-to-face requests immediately following restriction ease. Face-to-face rounds conducted in (not limited to) Newcastle /Leeds/Blackpool /Manchester . Face-to-face will take place in variety of settings including labs/users' homes/third-party venues, & DWP offices. Settings will be specified in briefs. Agency will be responsible for provision of venue when the brief requires a lab/meeting room in a hotel and the details provided to the researcher and participants.
Access restrictions at location
Accessibility of individual venues will be supplied with individual brief.
Number of research rounds
This is a Call-Off Contract. There will not be a set number of rounds.
Number of participants a round
Minimum of 5 participants per round. Each brief will specify the number required. It is the responsibility of the agency to cater for any last minute drop outs, so that the required number of participants are provided. In the event that replacements cannot be found, DWP will only pay for participants who attend the sessions. There may occasionally be a need to engage with individual participants outside of a full round of research (for example, to speak with hard to reach individuals who are not able to participate in a scheduled day of lab-based interviews).
How often research will happen
Approximately 2 rounds a month. The request for participants may not be at regular intervals. There might be a pause in requests, followed by several simultaneous requests, depending on project timelines. The agency must be able to cater for this - possibly up to 5 requests at one time.
Evening or weekend research

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 recruiting participants who are in receipt of, or eligible for, DWP health benefits.
  • Experience recruiting participants with specific accessibility needs or requirements, for example, who use assistive technology.
  • Experience recruiting participants with a wide range of health conditions, to include physical disability, mental health conditions, and cognitive impairments.
  • Experience recruiting participants for both remote and face-to-face research.
  • Experience recruiting participants in North East, North West, and Yorkshire for face-to-face research, and across the UK for remote research.
  • Experienced recruiting participants with low digital literacy or confidence using non-digital methods.
  • Experienced recruiting participants with a range of socioeconomic status, age, educational attainment and household make up.
  • Experienced in recruiting participants ethically and sensitively.
  • Able to work to short deadlines, and to source participants for several briefs at the same time.
  • Demonstrate experience of data sharing and data transfer complying with GDPR and data security policies.
  • Demonstrate ability to identify, contact, schedule and fully coordinate attendance of participants, including the provision of a suitable venue and incentives
  • Demonstrate ability to cover 'no shows'. Please supply average 'no show' rate
  • Demonstrate ability to recruit participants as described in 'Description of your participants'
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Established links and relationships with health/disability charities.
  • Have experience of working with government departments
  • Provide within research hours contact / support

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Your proposed approach and methodology to meet the Department's requirements.
  • Describe how the end-to-end solution will meet requirements around privacy and information/cyber security aligning with good practice such as that specified within ISO27001/Cyber Essentials Plus and relevant legislation.
  • Breakdown of recruitment costs and incentives
  • How you identify risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
Additional assessment methods
Case study
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is the proper budget for this call off?
At stage two of the procurement, those whom are successful will be asked to price based upon the Department requirements shared. For this reason we don't wish to share budget but want bidders to provide their best price based on the requirements. Price is assessed at the RfP stage (stage 2) of the procurement.