This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 11 November 2021
Department for Work and Pensions

CRCF Team User Research Participant Call-off Contract

1 Incomplete application

1 SME, 0 large

3 Completed applications

3 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Thursday 28 October 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 4 November 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 11 November 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
DWP Digital (CRCF) 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/could use DWP CRCF (Children, Retirement and Counter Fraud) services and is able to book/provide venues for research to be conducted when needed
North East England
Research dates
Call-Off Contract from January 2022 until December 2022
Organisation the work is for
Department for Work and Pensions
Budget range

About the work

Early market engagement

About the research

Description of your participants
The recruitment brief will vary by project but may include:

In receipt of , applying for, or looking in to, a DWP benefit
who are planning for retirement
Who are over State Pension age (65+)
been recently bereaved
People with a disability/cognitive/physical/short term/long term and terminal
Who care for a disabled child/adult
-people who are in receipt of a DWP benefit,
-people recently in receipt of a DWP benefit,
-who have outstanding amounts to repay to DWP, such as a payment advance, a benefit overpayment, or social fund loan
-professionals who register/manage/settle compensation claims e.g insurers
-professionals who represent people going through compensation process e.g solicitors
-people who have received a DWP benefit as a result of accident/injury/illness and seeking compensation
-Separated parents
-Parents in the Child Maintenance journey (at various stages)
-Pregnant engaging with Maternity Allowance (or who have engaged previously)

People who:

-use assistive technologies to access digital service
-have requirements for non-digital support to access digital services
-with varying digital usage and experience
-Are not online and do not use computers
-have a range of household income, including people with a specific income range and savings amount
-Age/gender and educational attainment
-have a range of household income/debt
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.
The recruiters must be able to recruit users across the range of assisted requirements and digitally excluded users, so be able to recruit by using non-digital means.
All participants must be recruited ethically and sensitively
Research plan
Research plans will vary by project will usually include either usability testing or depth interviews. There are multiple projects across CRCF (Children, Retirement and Counter Fraud) each of which with their own research plan. Each research plan could change based on project priorities.
Research location
Research is to be conducted virtually, by Teams/telephone, until coronavirus restrictions allow otherwise. Once eased, we anticipate 50% face-to-face, 50% remote. Face-to-face rounds will take place throughout UK, and in variety of settings including labs/users' homes/third party venues, DWP offices. Setting will be specified in brief.

Agency will be responsible for provision of venue when the brief requires a lab/meeting room in hotel. The lab/hotel selection and booking will be by the agency, details provided to the researcher/participants. In other settings, DWP will specify in the brief, so agency can source participants who find setting acceptable.
Access restrictions at location
Accessibility of individual venues will be supplied with individual requirement brief as research conducted throughout whole of UK at a number of different venues
Number of research rounds
This is a Call-Off Contract. There will not be a set number of rounds.
Number of participants a round
Rounds typically require between 5 /8 participants. Each brief will specify number required. It is the responsibility of the agency to cater for last minute drop outs or no-shows, so required number of participants are provided. 1 spare may be required to stand in for no-shows. In the event that replacements cannot be found, DWP will only pay for participants who attend the sessions. There may occasionally be need to engage with individual participants outside of a full round of research ( to speak with hard to reach individuals not able to participate in a scheduled day of interviews).
How often research will happen
Average of 16 rounds a month. We provide two weeks notice ahead of research. The requests for participants may not be at regular intervals. Maybe be a pause in requests, followed by several simultaneous requests, depending on project timelines. The supplier must be able to cater for this and up to 7/9 requests at one time
Some research sessions may spread over a couple of days. Details for each research requirement will be provided in a brief to supplier.
We require flexibility in regards to session length/participant numbers and participant requirements as this contract caters for all of CRCF areas.
Evening or weekend research

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Additional Security Terms will be added to the contract. These will be shared at a later stage in the procurement in the RFP

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 with specific accessibility needs/requirements, low digital literacy or confidence using non-digital methods.
  • Experience recruiting participants that are retired, coming up to retirement, planning retirement or lost a pension
  • Be able to handle all participant communications around recruitment including sending/collecting DWP consent forms (provided during each project recruit).
  • Be able to ensure incentives for DWP user research are vouchers such as Amazon, Love2Shop or similar
  • Experience and ability to work to short deadlines and to source participants for several briefs at the same time.
  • Experience recruiting participants across the whole of the UK for face-to-face and remote research
  • Experience of or be able to recruit people who work for insurers, personal injury solicitors and other organisations that pay out compensation settlements
  • Experience of recruiting Pregnant people engaging with Maternity Allowance (or who have engaged previously)
  • Experience recruiting parents in the child maintenance journey (at varying stages)
  • Experience or be able to recruit people who have received a DWP benefit because of an accident, injury or illness and are seeking compensation
  • Experience recruiting people who have been recently bereaved
  • Experience recruiting people with a disability cognitive, physical, short term, long term and terminal
  • Experience recruiting people who care for a disabled child or adult
  • Experienced in providing monthly reporting to see overall projects/usage within the CRCF Team against budgets for each area.
  • Experience managing recruitment for multiple research projects across a large department with multiple researchers/teams.
  • Demonstrate experience of data sharing and data transfer complying with GDPR and data security policies.
  • CyberEssentialsPlus certification or ISO27001 certified or have gained either within 6 months of contract start date. Scope must cover the entirety of services (people/process/technology) offered under contract
  • Experience of recruiting research participants ethically and sensitively
  • Create/maintain research panel database on behalf of DWP to include participants referred or redirected from DWP services.
  • Be able to manage the data capture/storage and transfer back to DWP or a new vendor who would take on the user research panel
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working with charities and external organisations to find participants that are very hard to reach, vulnerable, or those with access needs
  • Can add a Social value element that is specific to this contract
  • 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
  • Breakdown of recruitment costs and incentives
  • 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.
  • How you identify risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Risk mitigation to recruiting specialist demographics
  • Case Study demonstrating experience, ability to build a database of participants, working to short deadlines, recruiting specialist demographics and identifying and managing risks
  • What social value can you add to this contract
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are you able to provide a budget range?
We do not wish to disclose a budget or range at this time as this is still being determined. This procurement of User Research Participants is to cover a number of different areas, each will bring their own budget to the contract.