Awarded to NEL Commissioning Support Unit

Start date: Tuesday 17 August 2021
Value: £15,000
Company size: large
The National Archives

UK Government Web Archive documentation review and update

3 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 1 large

4 Completed applications

3 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Wednesday 30 June 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 7 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Supply of resource: the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company
Summary of the work
Rewrite of technical documentation for the UK Government Web Archive. Produce visually exciting, engaging and informative documentation that clearly explains the web archiving process, technology, methodology and limitations to users and Government departments. Must be easy to maintain by the Web Archiving team going forward without needing specialist authoring tools.
Latest start date
Monday 2 August 2021
Expected contract length
6 weeks
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
The National Archives
Budget range
Up to £15000

About the work

Why the work is being done
The UK Government Web Archive’s technical and user documentation was last updated five years ago. Since then the technology for building and harvesting websites has changed, we need to reflect this in the documentation. We want to use the documentation to engage more proactively and creatively with website owners and users, it needs to be up-to-date, visually engaging, easily understandable, easy to navigate, and accessible.
Problem to be solved
Out of date documentation that is not easily understood by readers makes it difficult for the UK Government Web Archiving team to engage with stakeholders. The documentation needs to be updated and presented in a creative and engaging way, it needs to be maintainable by the Web Archiving team going forward. All content produced needs to comply with GDS and TNA guidelines for accessibility and style.
Documentation that needs to be updated/created:
Updated technical guidance document for website owners (HTML/PDF) – estimate 12 pages
Accompanying Powerpoint presentation with graphics and possible video – estimate 15 slides
Updated How to Use the Web Archive page (HTML) (estimate 4 pages)
Updated redirection guidance (HTML/PDF) (estimate 40 pages)
One page summary doc – crib sheet – for website owners (HTML/PDF/Image) (estimate 1 page)
Updated guidance for website managers pages (HTML) (estimate 2 pages)
Updated glossary (HTML/PDF) (estimate 2 pages)
Updated guide to checking an archived website (for owners of closing websites) (HTML/PDF) (estimate 3 pages)
Updated Creating and maintaining the official public inquiry website (HTML) (estimate 3 pages)
It may be that the need for further documentation, or consolidation of the above documents, becomes apparent during the initial stages of the contract.
Who the users are and what they need to do
There are different users of our documentation:
1. Website owners\managers: Need to understand the UK Government Web Archives remit; the importance of building an “archivable” website; the Web Archiving teams methods and schedules; the technical limitation of web archiving; how to reference the archives version of a website; how and when to engage with the Web Archiving team
2. Website engineers: Need to know the importance of building an “archivable” website; the Web Archiving teams methods and schedules; how to facilitate the web crawler, the technical limitation of web archiving; how to configure redirects; how and when to engage with the Web Archiving team
3. Users of the UK Government Web Archive: Need to understand the content in the web archive, the collection methodology, how to access and search the archive, what the search results mean, limitations of web archiving and how these limitations impact how they view and interact with an archived website.
4. Researchers: Need to understand the UK Government Web Archives remit, the technology and methodologies the UK Government Web Archive uses for crawling websites, obtain data about what the collection contains, how to interact/query the services computationally, how to engage with the Web Archiving team.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing documentation last updated approx. 5 years ago includes:

The UK Government Web Archive: Guidance for digital and records management teams
Guidance for website managers page:
Guidance for official inquiry website:
How to use the Web Archive page:
Redirection technical guidance for Government departments:
Existing team
The UK Government Web Archiving Team consists of 8 staff members: Service Owner, Product Manager; 2x Web Archivist, 2x Web Archiving Assistants, Data Analyst, and Technical Specialist. The team is highly skilled in web archiving and will be the primary source of information for the Technical Writer.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU
Working arrangements
Security clearance
General Office Access

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 of writing technical guides and user guides for digital services
  • Ability to explain complex procedures clearly and succinctly
  • Experience working with subject matter experts
  • Talent in showing ideas graphically
  • Experience creating infographics such as diagrams, screenshots, workflows, graphs, etc
  • Strong technical aptitude–ability to quickly learn new concepts and tools
  • Experience in creating documentation for audiences with different levels of technical skill
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of writing technical guidance for UK Government, especially Government Digital Services
  • Experience writing content for web archives or web-based technology environments

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrated understanding of scope of work
  • Track record of meeting or exceeding requirements
  • Proven technical writing skills based on examples of previous work
  • Evidence of creative approaches and ability to design content to meet user needs and make complex language and processes easy to understand
  • Capacity to perform work within timescale and budget
Cultural fit criteria
  • Motivation: We are looking for a motivated appointee, who enjoys producing work to high standards of accuracy.
  • Collaboration: You must have the ability to work well on teams and appreciate the input of a variety of people.
  • Communication: You must have strong communication and listening skills to capture the information necessary and to know which follow-up questions need to be answered.
  • Curiosity: To research and explore the world of web archiving.
  • Creativity: To generate creative ideas about how to present the guidance to excite and engage our audiences.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are there any technical constraints to be aware of?
We need the final version of the documentation to be in a format that is easily maintainable by the in-house web archiving team. The team does not have access to specialist software so all documents need to be editable via MS products (eg Word, Powerpoint, Publisher), Google tools, or low-cost software. The TNA website uses WordPress but will move to a new CMS (tbd) in the short/medium term. You will not have access to the TNA network or CMS.
2. What CMS is to be used for the HTML versions, and will TNA be able to provide remote access?
You will not have access to the TNA network. Documentation needs to be written remotely, the web archiving team will liaise with the team at TNA to import and publish the HTML. The TNA website uses WordPress but will move to a new CMS (tbd) in the short/medium term.
3. Do you envisage this work to be undertaken by a single resource or a team?
We have no firm view. We assume that a single resource will be the primary contact as there will be a lot of specialist knowledge to absorb about web archiving and the methods used, but this is not a requirement.
4. Will all specialist data (e.g. code excerpts), key process diagrams and/or embedded graphics be provided by the Web Archiving or other TNA teams?
Specialist data and diagrams will be shared by the Web Archiving team. The assumption is that these will need to be updated/re-imagined to fit with the new guidance document. New graphics will need to be created based on the information provided by the Web Archiving team.
5. Will any “web-linked” TNA material (like policy documents or guidance) associated with the named documents need to be rewritten to maintain style consistency?
There is one key policy document that will need to be updated or rewritten, OSP27 (, but this will be done by the Web Archiving team and is not part of this contract.
6. How will the Web Archiving Team availability be provided for consultation, document review and signoff purposes?
The Web Archiving team will be available on a daily basis for contact via Teams meetings, Teams chat, Slack messages, phone calls and emails. Time will be made available from the SMEs and Product Manager between core business hours, Monday-Friday. The Web Archiving team is very responsive and flexible, will schedule dedicated meeting slots for consultation, review and sign-off, and accommodate ad-hoc requests for meetings.