Awarded to Calba

Start date: Monday 10 January 2022
Value: £43,000
Company size: SME
The National Archives

Service Owner for multiple public-facing digital services

2 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 0 large

3 Completed applications

3 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 30 November 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 7 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 14 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Service manager
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
The National Archives are seeking a Service Owner to help define and establish the role in the Digital Services team, carry out key Service Owner tasks, aid wider recruitment in the team, help set overall service vision and define cross-service blueprint and roadmap.
Latest start date
Wednesday 5 January 2022
Expected contract length
Three months to end of financial year (31 March 2022) with option to extend by six months.
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
The National Archives
Maximum day rate
Up to £700 ex VAT per day

About the work

Early market engagement
As a department we’re responsible for 200+ products and services making up The National Archives public presence on the web. We’re in the process of consolidating those but even once that’s complete each of our product teams will be responsible for many products/services. To add to that, users often need to interact with multiple products/services, owned by multiple teams, in order to complete journeys. We’re looking for someone to help us define and establish a new Service Owner role to take responsibility for the overall service vision, end-to-end user journey(s), department-level prioritisation, service blueprint and roadmap for the department.

We’ve recently introduced a new approach to Product teams in our department and have recruited additional Product Managers to enable that. We are in the process of organising ourselves into four teams – three multidisciplinary teams (Finding, Accessing and Understanding) and one Platform team. We currently have resource gaps in all of the teams which we’re working to recruit into.
Who the specialist will work with
The Service Owner will work closely with the Head of Digital Services, Product Managers, Delivery Mangers and discipline leads as well as members of the wider Digital Services team. They will also be expected to work with colleagues across the Digital Directorate and senior stakeholders across The National Archives as required.
What the specialist will work on
Scoping Service Owner role and responsibilities with HoD, Product and Delivery Managers and key stakeholders. Including how the role interacts with other roles, e.g. Product Managers, and defining how the role could evolve.

Test that this role definition ensures nothing falls through the gaps from a service perspective.

Lead the definition of an overall service vision and support Product Managers in creating service visions for their areas of responsibility.

Lead the definition of a cross-service, multi-year roadmap.

With HoD, Operations Manager and team leads, support and help guide wider recruitment in the team, including contributing to job descriptions and interviewing.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Working remotely, but for information our address is Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.
Working arrangements
Remote working will be the main arrangement for this project. Some work may be conducted at The National Archives, Bessant Drive, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, but only when it is appropriate and safe to do so.
Security clearance
Baseline check (blue) security clearance will be required for access to The National Archives and its systems.

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
  • Previous experience as a Service Owner, ideally in Government, with in-depth understanding of the role from a DDaT framework perspective.
  • A credible and expert leader able to inspire and motivate others, lead innovative thinking and take a strategic view.
  • Experience of matrix-management, skilled at building trust, reflecting, motivating and challenging team members, and innovating to create or tailor new ways of working.
  • Strong diplomacy and negotiation skills, allowing you to engage with colleagues and senior stakeholders, build effective relationships and achieve buy-in collaboratively.
  • Experience of working in an agile product development environment, confidently using a range of product management principles and approaches.
  • Experience leading collaborative development of service vision, blueprint and roadmap, ideally for multiple interdependent services.
  • Excellent organisational and operational delivery skills, with proven experience of working effectively in a fast paced, evolving environment, developing a service over time to meet user needs continuously.
  • User-focused, with proven experience of delivering robust, secure and inclusive digital products that meet user needs, technical requirements, legal or policy constraints and the quality expectations of the business.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience in relevant sector(s) (government, archives, information services, culture and heritage).
  • Familiarity with and experience applying Government Digital Service Standards, Technology Code of Practice and the Spend Control process.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a work history.

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work with and offer thought leadership as part of the team.
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members.
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions.
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes.
  • Take ownership and responsibility for their work.
  • Excellent communication, willingness to adopt and contribute to TNA’s digital ways of working.
  • Commitment to and appreciation of a diverse working environment.
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there any incumbent?
2. Can you please confirm if it is inside or outside of IR35.
We have checked the role requirements (to the best of our knowledge) using the assessment tool found at and, in our opinion, for the role(s) as advertised the intermediaries legislation does not apply to this engagement.
3. Can you explain what you mean by “Baseline check (blue) security clearance”, I presume SC would be okay.
The BPSS (baseli8ne/blue) is the recognised standard for the pre-employment screening of individuals with access to government assets. Further information can be found at,Baseline%20Personnel%20Security%20Standard%20(%20BPSS%20),at%20CTC%20%2C%20SC%20and%20DV%20.
SC clearance would be acceptable since this is a higher level than baseline.
4. Does the candidate need existing SC clearance or will you sponsor clearance?
SC clearance is not a requirement for this role. Baseline (BPSS) is required, as stated.
5. Are there any incumbent suppliers involved in the digital delivery teams? If yes, are any incumbent suppliers providing product managers?
A supplier is working with us on our Discovery/Alpha phase for our Search project.
A second supplier is are working with us bringing Django expertise to help with our transition to using Django/Python.
A third supplier is working with us bringing Cloud-related expertise to support our cloud migration work.

The first supplier has a Product Manager assigned to the project however that role is not overall product manager for the TNA Search work as we have an in-house Product Manager responsible for the contract and the relationship. Therefore this wouldn't fall within the responsibilities of the contracted Service owner.
6. It’s stated:
“We’re looking for someone to help us define and establish a new Service Owner role....”.
“Scoping Service Owner role and responsibilities....”
“Lead the definition of  an overall service vision ....”
“Lead the definition of a cross-service, multi-year roadmap.”
How much time do you expect the specialist to perform the service owner role versus scoping and defining it?
Scoping and defining the Service owner role with key stakeholders involvement is the top priority for this engagement. As much time as is required to achieve that would spent working on that in the first instance. If there was time left over, which we expect there would be, then we want to test the scoped Service owner role and its relationship to other key roles, such as the Product Managers, by having the specialist collaboratively carry out some key tasks from the defined Service owner role.
7. It’s stated, “Some work may be conducted at The National Archives, Bessant Drive, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU”.
If and when this is required, will travel expenses be paid?
Please quote a day rate inclusive of travel and all other expenses; only very occasional visits are anticipated. However if the preferred candidate is situated too far from Kew we would be fine with the whole engagement being run remotely, negating the need for travel.