This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 19 October 2021
British Council

Dynamic Pricing Consultancy Project copy

3 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 1 large

5 Completed applications

5 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 5 October 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 12 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
How Dynamic Pricing (DP) could apply to British Council and the IELTS exam product. What might the benefits be? What the gaps are and what a solution could look like.
Latest start date
Monday 1 November 2021
Expected contract length
6 weeks
Organisation the work is for
British Council
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help people work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language. Customers can choose to take IELTS with the British Council, or an alternative competitor test (TOEFL, Duolingo). Customers can book online or in person at a test centre, to choose a date to take the test with the British Council (

Two revenue opportunities could exist. Firstly, if the British Council could make incremental changes to the standard IELTS test pricing, when test events are in high demand, that could increase revenue. Secondly, if the British Council had the means to make changes to standard IELTS pricing, to incentivise customers to switch from the competition (because of a more favourable price), that could increase revenue.
Problem to be solved
The opportunities described above are associated with the possible use of Dynamic Pricing (DP) as a solution for exams. DP by its nature is a concrete binary item, highly specific in character and predictable from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) perspective – enabling machine learning with every transaction – and this learning being potentially applied to prices in real-time. The question posed here is how that could apply to British Council and the IELTS exam product. What might the benefits be? What the gaps are and what a solution could look like.

There are two/three questions this discovery exercise should seek to answer or provide an evidenced opinion on:
Who the users are and what they need to do
1. Provide a view on what the costs and benefits to the British Council of having a DP capability and an opinion on its justification. Questions to be considered but not limited to:
- Level of customer appetite in market for DP,
- Commercial & financial analysis with scenario planning
- Likely cost of algorithm/off the shelf solution set-up and maintenance
- DP as a ‘defence’ measure i.e., would our competitors do it if we did it?
- Possible impact on brand, does DP devalue the market or British Council
This would be achieved via engagement with;
- British Council’s personal on the commercial, financial & technical
- External review of the market & market trends, particularly the largest countries (top 10)
- External review of major competitor intentions/capability

2. What would a minimum and a maximum (3rd question) viable DP model look like based on:
a. What capability currently exists within British Council to support it?
b. What would be required to enable British Council to bridge the gap?
c. What a base algorithm could cover that would be of interest to customers?
d. What a tenable customer journey would look like?
e. Why aren’t our competitors doing this?
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
There will be 2 separate possible revenue streams:
- Incremental to standard price caused by the test event being in high demand
- Customer switch to British Council from competitor because of price
Existing team
Edward Murray, Head of Pricing, English and Exams
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
British Council, 1 Redman Place, Stratford, London, E20 1JQ
Working arrangements
to be agreed
Security clearance

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
  • Knowledge of Dynamic pricing
  • Experience of assessing suitability of Dynamic pricing
  • Experience of Dynamic pricing in global education markets
  • Access to suitable data for this assessment
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
  • approach and methodology
  • how the approach or solution meets user needs
  • team structure / Knowledge and experience
  • estimated timeframes for the work
  • value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please can you clarify the “suitability” expectation relating to “Experience of assessing suitability of Dynamic pricing “
have you got experience or access to experience of having done this before – and understand the customer journey
2. Relating to “Experience of Dynamic pricing in global education markets”, would experience of Dynamic Pricing outside of the education market qualify?
3. For “Access to suitable data for this assessment”, is the expectation that we use our own data to build a dynamic pricing tool or do you have the data available for this?
No firm view yet
4. Do you have specific technology solutions to use for this and are you open to using Cloud (AWS) solutions / services?
Open minded
5. Regarding’Experience of Dynamic pricing in global education markets’, is this requirement restricted to suppliers in Education markets or to wider SME suppliers ?
“No restrictions”
6. Is there an incumbent supplier for this work ? How would the requirement ensure fair-assessment for non-incumbent SME suppliers with no education exposure ?
No incumbent, no prejudice against those not engaged in education, presumably however, you would be able to offer strongly in the other areas
7. Regarding Experience of Dynamic pricing in global education markets’, Can you please clarify how how does this align with DOS5 best practices to not discriminate requirement based on a sector or industry ?
no prejudice against those not engaged in education, presumably however, you would be able to offer strongly in the other areas
8. Can I check what is the timeline for stage 2 and final decision ?
No timescales established