This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 30 July 2021
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)

Acas17210- DOS Optimised Distribution

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

12 Completed applications

9 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Friday 16 July 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 23 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 30 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Acas require a multidisciplinary team to assist with a Discovery and Alpha looking at how we can most effetively allocate cases to conciliators, reducing manual intervention and improving the user's experience of the service. If the Alpha phase is successful, then we will move to Private Beta phase.
Latest start date
Wednesday 8 September 2021
Expected contract length
18 months with the option to extend by 4.5 months
Organisation the work is for
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)
Budget range
Discovery - up to £50k
Alpha - up to £250k
Private beta - up to £1m

About the work

Why the work is being done
Acas's Individual Dispute Resolution service receives in excess of 120,000 notifications about disputes in workplaces every year. The organisation requires the best possible means of triaging these notifications and distributing them to circa 450 conciliators for action based on their availablity and knowledge.

Currently this work is undertaken by a team reconciling and distributing cases manually. This is inefficient and time consuming, sometimes leading to delay in making initial contact, which research suggests could hamper settlement.

Acas's Case Management System is buit in Microsoft Dynamics 365, utilising power apps and flows to operate a complex multi-stage process with multiple parties to each case, including 1:1, 1:Many and Many:Many relationships. Acas currently uses ITrent for leave booking/staff availability.
Problem to be solved
How can we distribute work in the most efficient manner, reducing manual admin within the allocation process and ensuring speedy connection with the most appropriate person or team to progress a case, including:

1 - Automate the current process, and reframe allocation team’s role as focusing on exceptional circumstance and data quality governance;

2 - Pilot with specific subset of claims and team-based approach, continuing with wider roll-out depending on pilot results.

3 - idenfity the most efficient and effective allocation criteria to gain the best outcomes from the conciliation period available
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a claimant or respondent I need my case to be allocated to a conciliator or team who can provide assistance in handling my case.

As a member of the allocation team I need a system and process that automates the reconciliation and distribution of the highest proportion of cases possible so that I can focus on quickly dealing with exceptional circumstances.

As a conciliator or member of a conciliation team I need to receive cases at the earliest opportunity so that I can maximise my impact.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
A wider discovery was completed in Spring 2021 to map the entire end to end service. The discovery has resulted in a programme of work to transform the individual dispute resolution service, incuding allocation which can be found at

You can read the discovery documents here

This procurement relates to Option D and there is another outcome requirement <link> published on this framework for Option B.
Existing team
The existing team includes support from technical and developer roles, subject expertise, content strategist, user research as well as associate roles.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote/Windsor House, Victoria St, London
Working arrangements
The supplier team will work 36 hours per week during normal office hours. Acas will supply Office accounts and multi factor authentication to be used on supplier devices.

The project will be remote with regular travel (up to 2 days a week) to London.
Security clearance
All must have BPSS as a minimum.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Acas will pay travel expenses to locations outside London.

All expenses must be pre-agreed between the parties and must comply with the Acas Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy.

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
  • 3 years' + expertise in iteratively, prototyping, designing and building services which meet both user needs and the GOV.UK guidelines for content design, service design and accessibility.
  • 3 years' + experience of developing a user-facing service in Dynamics
  • 1 years' + experience of integrating Dynamics CRM with external systems
  • Evidence of successfully developing a large scale multi-channel user-facing service through alpha and beta phase.
  • Proven track record of service delivery in a complex multi-supplier environment.
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Delivery approach and methodology - including use of agile and user centred design (30%)
  • A plan for alpha that will meet user needs and deliver on workstream objectives (15%)
  • Evidence of managing a workstream within a larger programme - identifying risks and dependancies and working with other suppliers and internal colleagues (15%)
  • Understanding of working within a legal framework with associated constraints (10%)
  • Proposed team structure and team CVs (20%)
  • Value for money (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Ability to drive own work, providing direction, coaching and support to other specialists (15%)
  • Leads by example, creating a supportive environment which allows all the team to participate to their fullest (15%)
  • Collaborative and open approach where mistakes are taken as an opportunity to learn (15%)
  • Excellent stakeholder management (15%)
  • Focus on development of Acas team, identifying opportunities for others to participate and learn (20%)
  • Committed to whole programme success including collaborating to ensure coherence of the whole service design and helping on other worksteams if required (10 %)
  • Committed to inclusivity including in own hiring practices (10%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could you please elaborate on multi-channel. What channels do you expect to be used?
Most notifications are completed using our digital service, but there is still a way to complete and send paper forms. Conciliation is carried out mainly by phone supported by email and occasionally using digital tools to meet face to face. Some formal communications are sent using Gov Notify. Other channels may be appropriate and considered during alpha including static video, video calls, and document collaboration.
2. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Kate McCaul - Head of Digital Services
Samantha Clark – Director of Individual Dispute Services and/or
Stewart Gee – Programme manager/Product manager – TBC
3. Could you please advise who conducted the Discovery work?
4. Can you please advise the timelines of this procurement (e.g. shortlisted companies notified, anticipated contract award)? Also, can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present.
Issue Stage 1 Requirement: 16/07/2021
Deadline for supplier Response: 30/07/2021
Shortlist Evaluation: 2nd – 3rd August 2021

Issue stage 2 Invitation to Tender: 4th August 2021
Deadline for Tender Response: 18th August 2021
Presentation: 23rd to 26th August
Final Evaluation 27th August
Award w/c 30th August

NB these dates may be subject to slight change.
5. How will you ensure equal competition on this opportunity given the existence of an incumbent supplier?
Acas do not have an incumbent supplier working on delivering this project outcomes. Acas will follow the framework guidance and standard government guidelines to ensure the fair assessment of bids that are presented to us. The evaluation will be undertaken by an experienced panel of assessors and will be overseen by the Acas Procurement team.
6. Can ACAS please confirm whether this is referring to external customer facing or internal ACAS users in terms of developing services
Part of the work will be external customer facing and part will be internal process. The notification element is more external facing and the allocation more internal.
7. Please could ACAS confirm the systems referred to as external. Are these systems external to the case management system such as finance or does this refer to other partner and central government agency systems. If any particular systems could be referenced that would be helpful.
The systems are external to the case management system but within Acas – for example outlook calendars or our HR/Pay system (iTrent).