Awarded to Farsight Consulting Ltd

Start date: Monday 10 January 2022
Value: £4,609,080
Company size: SME
Department for Education

Vulnerable Families and Children Portfolio - User -Centred Design and User Research

10 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 2 large

24 Completed applications

20 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Published
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

Overview

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
DfE are looking for a supplier who can provide appropriate capability and expertise to deliver outcomes, working in blended teams across the department to build and deliver high quality, user-centred and sustainable digital products, and services from Inception through to Live within the Vulnerable Families and Children portfolio
Latest start date
Monday 13 December 2021
Expected contract length
2 Years
Location
North West England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
These capabilities are to be delivered over a contract period of 2 years and with an indicative contract value of £4.6M for the full 2-year contract.

Budget approval is subject to Cabinet Office spending controls, service assessments and DfE governance.

Each SOW will outline the work required, associated budget and payment approach, CTM, T&M etc. Suppliers will need to provide clear costs to enable tracking.

DfE does not commit to any minimum or maximum spend at this point.

A pricing template will be provided to shortlisted suppliers at proposal stage

About the work

Why the work is being done
DfE are looking for a supplier who can provide User-centred Design and User Research capabilities and expertise to deliver outcomes, working in blended teams across the department to design and deliver high-quality, sustainable, and joined-up user journeys for digital products and services within the Vulnerable Families and children portfolio.

This involves designing and iterating products to enable journeys that that fit together as a coherent, consistent offer for users and deliver policy intent.

The mission of the portfolio is to drive the delivery of user-
centred policies and services that support the department’s
strategic priorities to:

•Provide the best start in life through high-quality early education and
childcare to raise standards and help parents to work.

•Support the most disadvantaged and vulnerable through high quality local services so that no one is left behind.

•Support social workers to develop in their careers and can do their best work with children and families.

•Work with Local Authorities to make the most of the opportunities that digital and technology can offer to improve their services.

Capabilities across the User-centred Design job family are required.

This requirement is primarily within scope of IR35.
Problem to be solved
Digital and Technology Directorate are looking for a supplier to deliver outcomes based on user needs and to government digital service standards, from discovery through to live within this portfolio by using User Centred Design and User Research techniques to inform the approach to achieve the below:

•Improve outcomes of vulnerable children and families by finding solutions to how professionals share information and how family’s access and use services. To work in partnership with 5 Local Authorities across 3 years to take a user-centred, cross-government approach to how we deliver services to children and families

•Improve child and family social workforce practice through delivering a coherent career development offer to the sector.

•Improve how technology can help children’s social care outcomes through, for example improving case management systems in children’s social care.

The supplier will work with blended, multi-disciplinary teams to validate and meet user needs, streamline, and clarify user journeys, to lower cognitive load of the user and to avoid duplication of efforts with other teams working with similar users.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users are both external and internal to Department for Education. Users include, but are not limited to:

• Social Workers
• Local Authorities
• Families and young people
• People that deliver services to children and families
• DfE staff

As a supplier you will work with our digital delivery teams and policy areas in developing new digital services and products in line with the DfE’s digital transformation journey, within the context of the Vulnerable Families and Children Portfolio. Examples of this include:

As a Social Worker, I want to spend more time directly supporting children and families so that I can offer an improved service

As a parent or carer, I need to access the right services at the right time for me

As a senior responsible officer for a project, I need user centred design capability to design and deliver services that meet the needs of users
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The Department has already started its digital transformation journey. As a result, digital techniques are being used to deliver services such as The National Skills Fund, Apprenticeships Service, Apply to be a Teacher (Apply is in Beta Build - https://www.apply-for-teacher-training.education.gov.uk/ and Teacher Vacancies is in Public Beta - https://teaching-vacancies.service.gov.uk/), Fostering and Adoption, School Performance Tables, and the Early Careers Framework.

In addition, Service Delivery has played a part in delivering https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
Existing team
The successful supplier for this contract will deliver outcomes specifically in relation to the User-centred Design job family in alignment with the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Profession Capability Framework.

Where necessary you will work with internal DfE staff from a range of disciplines including architecture, security, policy, user experience, service design, software development, finance and commercial to deliver the programmes/projects within this portfolio.

Where necessary in delivery of outcomes you will also be expected to collaborate or work with other suppliers who are delivering in areas such as, service design, technical architecture, software development and user research.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote working.

All agreements for in-office working will comply with the relevant and prevailing Government guidance on restrictions to movement. When in-office working takes place, the location will be Sanctuary Buildings, London or Manchester Piccadilly.

The primary location will be detailed in each Statement of Work (SoW) and expenses will not form part of the cost unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location during the execution of the work e.g. If SoW primary base is in Manchester, then no expenses will be paid for Manchester.
Working arrangements
Detailed working arrangements will be contained within each Statement of Work.

Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques, with appropriate ceremonies to be undertaken.

Scope and prioritisation of work is decided by the product owner with input from the Senior Responsible Owner and wider DfE governance. SOWs will be reviewed by relevant Heads of Profession.

Separate SOWs may include services that fall inside and outside of IR35 - with an expectation that a high proportion will be inside of IR35. We will be looking for a supplier that has the capacity to meet both scenarios.
Security clearance
DfE requires all supplier staff to have baseline personnel security standard clearance (BPSS) – any enhanced security requirements will be detailed in the Statement of Work. Suppliers will be required to complete a supplier security assurance form to ensure they meet the required standard for DfE e.g., cyber essentials

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off T&Cs apply. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE Travel and Subsistence policy.

Primary work location stated in the SoW will not attract expenses.

Contract and Vendor Management will form a key part of governance. Suppliers will be expected to co-operate in a manner that fosters healthy working relationships and quality delivery.

Suppliers must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018; Data Protection Act 2018; Law Enforcement Directive and any subsequent amendments to date including providing sufficient guarantees to meet GDPR requirements in line with Procurement Policy Note 02/18 May 2018.

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
  • Evidence of successfully conducting user research at all stages of the lifecycle from inception to live
  • Demonstrable experience of using qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods research approaches, and evidence of applying them appropriately to achieve high quality outcomes
  • Evidence of effectively communicating actionable insights and findings
  • Provide evidence of your business capability and capacity to successfully scale up and down concurrent projects at pace to meet business needs with both inside and outside IR35 working arrangements
  • Evidence of successfully designing end-to-end services across a range of on-line and off-line channels
  • Evidence of integrating design with other disciplines such as user research, org design, business analysis, data science and policy intent, to deliver digital services in the face of challenges.
  • Evidence of designing, developing and delivering products and services across the whole lifecycle through iteration, research and testing
  • Evidence of working at local government level i.e., Local Authorities or non-profitable organisations.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of helping teams adopt and master a wide range of user research methods to apply on research with vulnerable users (e.g. ethnography, diary studies, contextual inquiry, observation).
  • Evidence of ability to identify the right type of prototype for the situation and to deliver low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes, including ability to prototype in code.
  • Evidence of designing services within environments with multifaceted supply and delivery chains

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Experience of helping teams to adopt a wide range of analysis and synthesis techniques.
  • Evidence of collaborating with multiple teams in order to deliver end-to-end services successfully
  • Evidence of understanding and examples of passing the Government’s Service Standards Assessment or an equivalent standard within private sector (if applicable)
  • Evidence of working with users to understand their work, their operating context and constraints & identify and implement adaptations/improvements
  • Examples of effective communication across organisational, technical and political boundaries, understanding the context
  • Experience in providing strategic design insights to contribute to a collective vision and to align and increase the profile of design in a government department
  • Experience and examples of working with local authorities or local services in Children’s Social Care settings.
  • Experience of advocating for inclusive practices and helping teams design and deliver accessible services that work for all users.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of collaboration with multiple organisational stakeholders in order to achieve successful outcomes for both the organisation and users
  • Evidence understanding of how to work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary, agile service delivery team
  • Evidence of establishing a strong User Experience and Design based culture of service and continuous improvement
  • Social Value (equal opportunity and wellbeing) - Provide evidence of your company's approach to diversity and inclusion and your ability to manage the wellbeing of your team
  • Describe how your organisation encourages diverse representation in the workforce, and how you monitor and measure this
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

40%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there a vision as to roughly what the team make-up required will be, for example 4 x researchers 4 x designers etc from the onset with it scaling up or down to suit project delivery?
It will depend on the phase of the project/programme. The successful supplier will need to be flexible supplier cover all the capabilities within the UCD profession.
2. Who is the current incumbent?
There is no incumbent. This is a new requirement.
3. Where is the primary location for delivery?
All agreements for in-office working will comply with the relevant and prevailing Government guidance on restrictions to movement. When in-office working takes place, the location will be Sanctuary Buildings, London or Manchester Piccadilly.
4. Please could you advise which 5 local authorities you are working with?
We are not in a position to formally advise on all 5 Local Authorities (LAs), however, we can confirm that two of the LAs will be Bristol and Lancashire.
5. Please could you clarify your statement "This requirement is primarily within scope of IR35"
This contract is for both inside and outside IR35 requirements. IR35 determinations will be assessed based on the outcomes and working practises required for each Statement of Work. It is likely that the majority of requirements will fall inside of scope of IR35.
6. 'Separate SOWs may include services that fall inside and outside of IR35 – with an expectation that a high proportion will be inside of IR35. We will be looking for a supplier that has the capacity to meet both scenarios.’

Please can you clarify this – are you expecting the supplier to provide ‘interims’ as well as deliver the outcomes required in a SOW as a consultancy type supplier?
We are looking for suppliers to provide capability that is either on a payroll within your organisation (inside IR35) or where appropriate, that are outside IR35 – in both scenarios, it will be to deliver the outcomes described in individual Statement Of Work's that are issued. The CCS DOS5 framework is outcomes based and we are not looking for suppliers to provide ‘interims’ that we would engage through other CCS Frameworks.
7. Evidence of designing services within environments with multifaceted supply and delivery chains” can you be more specific about your particular supply and delivery chain environment?
For example, our service design needs to be aligned with programmes being developed by other government departments and other local authorities. Also we need to account for services where different parts of the service architecture are provided / managed by different supplier
8. Please confirm who your evaluation panel will comprise (names and job titles please).
Applications will be evaluated by a panel of 3 individuals who work in the Digital and Technology Directorate with both appropriate technical knowledge and an in-depth knowledge of the requirement.
9. Have you undertaken any preliminary or previous work which has informed this requirement or resulted in this requirement being a recommendation? What are the drivers informing this requirement? Did you work with any external organisations as part of this definition?
"This is new requirement.

The requirements are informed by the work we do in the vulnerable children and families portfolio and more widely across the department to enable us to deliver user-centred services.

We have not worked with external organisations to define the requirements.
10. How will successful outcomes be defined for this work? What are your anticipated success measures? Please could you clarify the relationship between the contract period (2 years) and the reference to working in “partnership with 5 local authorities across 3 years” in the problem to be solved section?
Successful outcomes and the subsequent success criteria, will be outlined within each individual SoW.

We have secured funding for a 2 year contract at this stage. The Department has already been working with LAs over the past year.
11. “Evidence of working at local government level i.e., Local Authorities or non-profitable organisations”, will you consider an example of a public body like NHS/social services/etc., particularly where the work was supporting vulnerable people?
Yes
12. What is the difference between the below question and the first essential? What additional information are you looking for here?“Evidence of designing, developing and delivering products and services across the whole lifecycle through iteration, research and testing”
The first essential criteria explicitly requests evidence of successfully conducting user research at all stages of the lifecycle. 'Evidence of designing, developing and delivering through products and services across the whole lifecycle through iteration, research and testing" is understanding how suppliers have used a variety of methods to deliver outcomes and is not solely about User Research.