Awarded to Version 1 Solutions Limited

Start date: Monday 18 October 2021
Value: £1,153,440
Company size: large
HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)

Managed Software Testing Services for the National Delius

8 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 2 large

14 Completed applications

10 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Monday 23 August 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 30 August 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 6 September 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
A Managed Testing Service team is required to focus on integration testing and non-functional testing of changes to the Probation Service’s National Delius. The team will act as a supporting layer between in-house and 3rd party software development teams and service support and service management teams.
Latest start date
Monday 18 October 2021
Expected contract length
18 months
Organisation the work is for
HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
A major programme is underway in HMPPS to transform probation operations in England and Wales and this includes development of new digital services to support probation staff. People will continue to use existing digital systems and services whilst development of new services is taking place and the cutover between old and new services needs to be as seamless as possible. Data and functionality is being shared across services to allow this.
Testing of the whole range of software changes needs to take place to ensure quality of new services delivered as well as integrity of existing systems which are critical to probation operations and public safety. MOJ digital and technology has a very limited pool of testers and limited experience in developing a co-ordinated test approach for such a complex change programme. We need access to expertise in testing best practice pan government with a focus on digital by default service delivery.
Problem to be solved
Digital probation require a Managed Testing Service which will act as a supporting layer between in-house and 3rd party software development teams and service support and service management teams who are responsible for software release and for maintaining live services. The testing service should provide test planning, test execution and test reporting on software changes for new and existing services with a particular focus on integration testing and non-functional testing of changes to National Delius. National Delius (Delius) is the Probation Service’s case management system and is crucial to the effective running of the probation service.
Due to the critical nature of the service, any changes, releases or updates need to be thoroughly end-to-end tested, including performance and other non-functional testing, before they can be deployed to live. These changes need to be tested against the interfaces that are in place and through the APIs that have been established. Some testing can be automated and scripts are continuously updated to do this but some of the regression and functionality testing needs to be done manually
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a member of the service team, release management and live service owners teams, I require testing results and reporting information to understand the level of coverage and expected quality from tests and to highlight any risks ahead of code release. As a technologist, I need support to script and execute automated tests.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The work required is in support of a continuously improving live application. The equivalent of the work in scope has been being delivered in support of the changes to, and live support of, the National Delius application over the past several years. Therefore this work has been done against changes made to date and is needed in respect of new changes that are budgeted for and in progress.
Existing team
• Service Owner
• Product manager
• Delivery manager
• 3rd Party Developers
• 3rd Party test engineers
• Subject Matter Experts
• Business Analyst
• Database Administrators
• WebOps Engineers
• Technical Architect
• Service Manager
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Predominantly virtually, with the possibility of London or Sheffield based physical working, if required. Occasional travel to other locations in the United Kingdom may also be required.
Working arrangements
We would prefer co-location onsite for 3 days a week (as soon as Covid-19 allows), most weeks in order to engage with the Probation Reform Programme, building broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells), and capability building activity through activities such as pair programming/design review. However, we also know that remote working is both possible and will also be necessary over the next few months
Security clearance
Security Clearance (SC) is required for all Supplier staff.

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
  • Proven track record of providing testing capability to digital services to, and/or on behalf of, Government Agencies
  • Experience working in multidisciplinary teams delivering large scale monolithic systems
  • Experience in the test cycles included within development of services from Beta to Live services meeting the Government Service Standard and technology code of conduct
  • Experience replacing manual testing processes with automation testing
  • Experience replacing repetitive tasks with test scripts that can be reused every time the same scenario needs to be executed
  • Experience using automation to increase the depth and scope of tests to improve the software quality and increases the test coverage of an application
  • Experience Creating automated test suites to build confidence when deploying Oracle and WebLogic systems
  • Experience of providing services with a test-driven development, continuous integration and delivery approach
  • Experience creating performance testing large scale monolithic systems
  • Experience creating regression testing large scale monolithic systems
  • Experience creating non-function requirements for large scale monolithic systems
  • Experience of working with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to develop Acceptance Criteria (AC) within user stories
  • Proven track record of a proactive approach to working with Developers from 3rd party suppliers to coordinate end-to-end test plans
  • The ability to develop and deliver testing against evolving criteria based on changing business needs
  • Experience of providing expert testing knowledge to the Service Owner, Product Manager and Delivery Manager during the planning stages of a release
  • Proven track record of estimating the required testing capability and duration of testing within a development cycle to ensure agreed milestones are met
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience working within a large government program of work, with multiple teams, dependencies and stakeholders
  • Experience coaching and mentoring to build internal capability
  • Experience coaching teams to understand the benefits of automated and performance tests
  • Experience coaching teams to review acceptance criteria in order to build confidence that features meet user needs
  • Experience building a ‘test first software development culture’ in large scale organisations
  • Experience conducting sessions with the teams to understand their testing needs and build testing plans to meet those needs

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Provide an explanation of the overall approach and how you will draw on your experience from a similar project to successfully execute this project
  • Explain how your approach will successfully support MOJ’s goal to build and iterate a product that meets user needs
  • Demonstrate a proven ability to lead the end-to-end testing of a large multi-supplier development team to deliver successful changes to the end user
  • Provide an example team structure including skills, experience, responsibilities in this approach and relevance of individuals, and explain you will ensure the team deliver their responsibilities throughout this approach
  • Provide examples of how you have identified and taken ownership of risks, issues, and dependencies and how you have managed their mitigation and resolution
  • Explain your approach to changing business requirements through a development phase and how you would calibrate the testing to accommodate
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver value for money throughout this project
  • Demonstrate how you would document your work to ensure effective hand over to the business
Cultural fit criteria
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers in a diverse environment
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Have a proactive approach to problem solving
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
There will be a cross section of technical stakeholders who will be evaluating.
2. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
There is an incumbent in place, but HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is unable to disclose any further information about the incumbent.
3. Can you please advise the timelines of this procurement (e.g. shortlisted companies notified, anticipated contract award)? Part A
Evaluation Period :Tuesday 7th September 2021 - Friday 10th September 2021
Phase 1 Moderation Meeting: Monday 13th September 2021 -Monday 13th September 2021
Advise unsuccessful suppliers: Tuesday 14th September 2021-Tuesday 14th September 2021
Invite Suppliers to Round 2 of the Evaluation: Tuesday 14th September 2021-Tuesday 14th September 2021
Supplier Submissions for Evaluation for Phase Two: Wednesday 22nd September 2021-Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Supplier Presentation Period to Take Place: Monday 27th September 2021-Monday 27th September 2021
Evaluation Period: Thursday 23rd September 2021-Tuesday 28th September 2021
This is part A for timelines remaining timeline is provided in the next answer.
4. Can you please advise the timelines of this procurement (e.g. shortlisted companies notified, anticipated contract award)? Part B of the timeline
Evaluation Consensus Meeting: Wednesday 29th September 2021-Wednesday 29th September 2021
Preferred Supplier Identified and Internal Governance: Thursday 30th September 2021-Friday 1st October 2021
Internal Governance completed and Award Contract: Monday 4th October 2021-Tuesday 5th October 2021
5. Is there an incumbent in place already for this work (if so, may we know who) ? Or is this a brand new requirement ?
There is an incumbent in place, but HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is unable to disclose any further information about the incumbent.
6. Is there an incumbent vendor ?
Yes, there is an incumbent.
7. How likely is a new vendor to the organisation likely to succeed?
HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has commenced this procurement, via the DOS framework to ensure transparent, open and fair competition.
8. Do you have any performance testing or automation test tools in place? Is there budget for commercial tooling?
Yes tools are in place for performance and automated testing, additional tools would need to go through a request and approval process to obtain budget consent.
9. In many of the questions for this DOS opportunity you refer to monolithic systems. Please may you clarify what your understanding of, and what you are referring to as a monolithic system?
Monolithic systems refers to a large complex Case Management System that requires comprehensive testing to assess the impact of any change.
10. Is there an existing MOJ test team that will remain on the project in addition to the 3rd party Engineers?
No, this contract will provide the test expertise.
11. Please provide a list of technologies used on the programme?
Oracle, Weblogic, AWS, Alfresco, Java, Scala and Gatling.
12. This requirement states the supplier will focus on integration testing and non-functional testing. What other testing is being done, and by whom; and will the supplier for this service be involved in assurance of, or working with, those other testing teams?
The supplier will work with development teams who do their own System Tests and SMEs who complete UAT to ensure complete coverage.
13. Can you provide more information on how Oracle WebLogic is utilised?
Please could we receive additional clarity regarding this question, so we may provide a clearer response.
14. How long do you estimate the knowledge transition from the incumbent will take?
We estimate knowledge transition will require 1 month.
15. What testing tools / frameworks (including test management, test automation, and performance / NFT tools) are in place, and is there an expectation that the supplier will need to use or align to those tools? Or will suppliers be expected to implement and run their own automation / NFT framework?
The incumbent uses open source testing tools appropriate for the end to end testing of a monolithic application with multiple integrations. The Supplier will be expected to provide the same service.
16. Can you provide any information on other systems and technologies that integrate with Delius?
Delius is the Case Management system for the Probation service, it is Oracle and Weblogic based and hosted by AWS. It integrates with an Alfresco Document store and a Risk Assessment application. It also uses APIs to integrate with new Digital services being developed by MOJ Agile development teams to GDS standards.
17. Can you provide information on the Delius system, such as technology stack and hosting platform?
Delius is the Case Management system for the Probation service, it is Oracle and Weblogic based and hosted by AWS.
18. Do you have any idea of required test team size? Will they need SC
We would be looking for a team of around 7 people who need to be SC.
19. What is the size of the incumbent managed testing service team?
We have 6 people working on testing at the moment.
20. Is there any requirement to support client testing, such as UAT or service acceptance testing?
The supplier won't be required to manage UAT. But it is part of an integrated testing process so support and collaboration is needed as appropriate.
21. Is there an SI partner, and what testing is that partner responsible for?
The supplier of this contract will be responsible for testing the Delius service, end to end through any change. This will involve working with other teams that are integrating with the application to ensure adequate testing.
22. Do supplier staff need to have SC clearance confirmed at the start, or could they onboard with BPSS confirmed and SC in progress?
Supplier Staff are required to hold SC clearance by the latest start date for this contract, Monday 18th October 2021.
23. What is the current timescale to process SC applications?
The process is 60 days. However as per our response to question 22, Supplier Staff are required to hold SC clearance by the latest start date for this contract, Monday 18th October 2021.
24. Does the MOJ have access to a fast-track SC process?
No, we follow the usual SC Process. However as per our response to question 22, Supplier Staff are required to hold SC clearance by the latest start date for this contract, Monday 18th October 2021.