Awarded to Engine Partners UK LLP (Transform)

Start date: Wednesday 27 April 2022
Value: £5,000,000
Company size: large
Department for Education. Teaching Workforce Directorate.

Teaching Workforce Directorate Portfolio - User Centred Design.

2 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 0 large

29 Completed applications

24 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Published
Monday 31 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 7 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 14 February 2022 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 or a consortium of suppliers who can provide appropriate capability and expertise to deliver outcomes, working in multi-disciplinary teams across the Teaching Workforce Directorate portfolio to build and deliver high-quality, user-centred design (UCD) services from inception through to live.
Latest start date
Friday 1 April 2022
Expected contract length
Two years. (With an option to extend by up to six months if applicable and required).
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education. Teaching Workforce Directorate.
Budget range
These capabilities are to be delivered over a contract period of 2 years and with an indicative contract value of £5million for the full 2-year contract.

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

Each Statement of Work (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.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The portfolio supports the Department’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, published in January 2019. This sets out the Government's priorities for making sure a career in teaching continues to be attractive, sustainable, and rewarding. The Government’s vision is for all our young people to have access to a world-class education – no matter where they are from or their background. The key to accessing a world-class education is the teacher in the classroom.

The portfolio’s aim is to drive the delivery of user-centred policies and services that support the Department’s strategic priorities by making sure the journey to becoming a teacher and developing a teaching career better meets users’ needs.

DfE are looking for a supplier or a consortium of suppliers who can provide user-centred design capabilities and expertise to deliver outcomes, working in multi-disciplinary teams to design and deliver high-quality, sustainable, and joined-up user journeys for digital products and services for teacher-facing services.

This involves designing and iterating products to provide coherent customer journeys for users and deliver our policy intent.
Problem to be solved
We know that lots of people have a desire to become a teacher, but not enough have the chance to try it out, and many are put off by the long and complicated application process. Also, teachers at the start of their careers don’t always get the support they need to build a successful career, and too many end up leaving.

We are transforming the way people become teachers and the support they receive at each step of their career. This involves developing and iterating integrated services that:

• encourage people to consider teaching, including in Further Education, and then go on to apply for a postgraduate teacher training course.

• register trainee teachers and provide financial support helping them train.

• help them find a teaching job and early career development with extra professional support.

• claim for financial support offered to retain teachers in hardest to fill subjects.

• access professional qualifications (NPQs) to develop in role or progress to leadership positions.

• help teachers and others retrieve their Teacher Reference Number and other information about their professional qualifications.

• access pensions support.

transforming how we collect, store, and use data to improve services and gather policy insights.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users are prospective and current teachers, schools, colleges, and training providers.

For candidates this includes requesting further information on the steps to become a teacher including training, funding, and understanding how to start out on their career .

For teachers this includes supporting them through the various phases of their career, including applying for vacancies, applying for retention payments online, supporting continuous professional development, to receiving their pension as a retiree.

For schools, colleges, and training providers this includes improving their user experience and reducing administration burdens.

As a supplier you will work with our digital delivery teams and policy areas in developing new digital services and products in line with DfE’s digital transformation journey and GDS service standards, within the context of the Teacher Services Division.

Examples of this include:

• As a teacher in my early career, I may need to claim early-career payments.

• As a candidate teacher I need to understand Initial Teacher Training provision to gain the qualifications needed.

• As a School Leader I need to collect and supply information about teachers, in order to drive the service.

We also support internal users with the data needed to inform policy changes and interventions.
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 Apply to be a Teacher which is in Beta Build - https://www.apply-for-teacher-training.service.gov.uk/candidate/account. Teacher Vacancies which is in Public Beta - https://teaching-vacancies.service.gov.uk/, the Early Careers Framework Early career framework reforms: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-career-framework-reforms-overview. National Professional qualifications https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-professional-qualifications-npqs-reforms/national-professional-qualifications-npqs-reforms In addition we support the delivery of Get into Teaching https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/

There is no incumbent although we have had several smaller contracts delivering elements of the UCD job family. This is a new requirement.
Existing team
The successful supplier or consortium of suppliers for this contract will deliver outcomes specifically in relation to the UCD Job Family in alignment with the Teacher Services programme.

Typical team size for a product team is up to ten, with skills mix such as Product Managers, Delivery Managers, Business Analysts, Developers, Policy Designers, User Research and Design Professionals, with support from Technical Architects & DevOps.

Where necessary you will work with internal DfE staff and other suppliers from a range of disciplines including architecture; security, policy, user experience, service design, software development, finance, and commercial to deliver the programmes/projects.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote working and DfE sites.

All agreements for in-office working will comply with Government guidance on restrictions to movement. When in-office working takes place, locations will be stated in the SOW and includes Sanctuary Buildings, London; Piccadilly Gate, Manchester; Cheylesmore House, Coventry; or, St Paul’s Place, Sheffield.

The primary location will be detailed in each SOW unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location during the execution of the work e.g. if a SOW primary base is in London, then no expenses will be paid for London.
Working arrangements
Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile methodology, with appropriate ceremonies to be undertaken.

Scope and prioritisation of work is decided by the product owner with input from the Senior Responsible Owner.

Separate SOW 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.

To improve DfE internal capability knowledge transfer will be a requirement for each SOW. Detailed working arrangements will be contained within each Statement of Work.
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
The standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions apply.

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.

Consortia bids are welcome.

Variant bids are not permitted.

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

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.
  • Evidence of designing end-to-end services across a range of on-line and off-line channels, considering the service and user needs holistically.
  • Demonstrate understanding of GDS standards and gov.uk design system.
  • Evidence of creating appropriate content which is shown to a user in the right place and in the best format.
  • Demonstrate experience of using qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research approaches, and evidence of applying them appropriately to achieve high quality outcomes.
  • Evidence of service development experience of accessibility, iterative delivery, “working in the open” aka. Open-source.
  • Evidence of prioritising understanding needs and behaviour and using insight to underpin and drive design decisions when designing content, product, and services.
  • Evidence of effectively communicating actionable insights and findings.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • 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.
  • Evidence of ability to support the creation of user journeys on an existing platform.

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 successfully 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.
  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to successfully deliver digital products and services to Government Digital Service standards or similar.
  • Evidence of successfully working with users to understand their work, their operating context and constraints & identify and implement adaptations/improvements.
  • Evidence 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 of advocating for inclusive practices and helping teams design and deliver accessible services that work for all users.
  • Explain and evidence your processes for on-boarding and retention of resources, which meet our requirements for both inside and outside IR35.
  • Evidence of the ability to scale up and down according to demand.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience of collaboration with multiple organisational stakeholders to achieve successful outcomes for both the organisation and users.
  • 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 approach to diversity and inclusion, your ability to manage the team's wellbeing. (Social Value represents 10% of the overall scoring).
  • Describe how you will work transparently and collaboratively with the project teams and seek actionable feedback to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Describe your methodology for training, coaching and knowledge transfer throughout the term of the contract.
  • Describe how you can help the DfE build our in-house capability to manage and support cloud services.
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. Will it be UCD resource only (i.e. Service Design, UXR, UX Design, Content Design) or full UCD agile teams including roles such as Delivery Manager, Product Manager, BA, Developer etc.
The requirement is for resource in the user-centred design (UCD) job family only, for example Content Design. It is not a requirement for any non UCD job family roles.
2. Who will be on the panel assessing the tenders?
Applications will be evaluated by a panel of three established Civil Servants who work in the Teaching Workforce Directorate with the appropriate technical knowledge and an in-depth knowledge of the requirement.
3. Who is the current incumbent?
There is no incumbent. This is a new requirement.
4. Regarding question “Evidence of service development experience of accessibility, iterative delivery, “working in the open” aka. Open-source” – are you looking for developers as part of this contract?
We are only looking for roles that comprise the user-centred design job family. We are not seeking developers as part of this contract.
5. How will you assess the price element of this outcome? Will you require separate rate cards for inside and outside IR35 work or for different geographic locations?
When we invite shortlisted suppliers to the second stage to evaluate the proposals, we will follow the ‘Scoring price for digital outcomes’ guidance in the DOS ‘How to Buy’ section. At the evaluation stage we will seek the rate for inside and outside of IR35, and we will seek the rate for remote and in office delivery.
6. You’ve asked us to “evidence designing services within environments with multifaceted supply and delivery chains.” In this context do the ‘multifaceted supply and delivery chains’ refer to the internal structure of the programme we are bidding to become part of, or does it refer to the business environment of the users (organisations and individuals) of the platform?
The context is the internal structure of the programme for which we are seeking bids.
7. Please could you clarify if the contract will be awarded to a single supplier or a number of separate suppliers who will form a consortium and if there is a preferred option?
The contract could be issued to either a single supplier, or a consortium formed from more than one supplier. There is no preferred option between the two possibilities.
8. For the second round, what sort of evidence will you be looking for ‘Evidence of the ability to scale up and down according to demand’?
Each Statement of Work (SOW) will outline the work required, for example the period of delivery, or the scale of delivery. There could be periods where several Statements of Work are running concurrently or there could be periods with fewer active SOW. In the evaluation we will be seeking evidence of resilience and the ability to meet demand accordingly. Please note that DfE are not committing to a particular number of SOW at any one time.
9. When comparing supplier rate cards how will you ensure different suppliers’ resources are of equivalent quality? What’s to prevent a supplier putting in an artificially lower bid in the expectation they’ll put in lower quality specialists than other suppliers would?
The evaluation process will consider Technical Competence, Cultural Fit, and Price to identify the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT), submitted for this supplier opportunity. MEAT may not be the lowest cost bid and is determined by evaluating bids against the published award criteria to get the right supplier and balance between price and quality to deliver works, goods, or services.

Suppliers are expected to set their pricing across the levels as you see appropriate based on the roles set out in the Profession Capability Framework. A rate card template will be issued at Stage 2 of the process.
10. What is the team structure (including other agency roles) into which these UCD services would fit?
We work in a multidisciplinary agile way and our delivery teams include contractors and permanent DfE staff. Typical team size for a product team is up to ten, with skills mix such as Product Managers, Delivery Managers, Business Analysts, Developers, Policy Designers, User Research, Technical Architect & DevOps. and Design Professionals.
11. Locations: Assumption is that this is nationwide, and that some travel would be required. By nationwide, should we assume England rather than GB/UK?
England.
12. Do you have defined ‘hub’ locations or is it completely open?
The primary location will be detailed in each Statement of Work. These include DfE offices at Sanctuary Buildings in London; Piccadilly Gate in Manchester; Cheylesmore House in Coventry; and St Paul’s Place in Sheffield.
13. Tooling – any preferences e.g. Figma/Proto.pi etc.
Experience with Heroku is preferable, as well as the Gov.uk prototype kit, and GitHub. Further information can be found at DfE Digital Technical Guidance https://dfe-digital.github.io/technical-guidance/ This site documents the technical standards and guidance that we expect teams working within the DfE to follow.
14. Language for prototypes & testing – can you provide a full list of languages we would need to accommodate.
Our prototypes are built on Heroku. We would expect designers to have familiarity with the GOV.UK prototype kit, HTML, CSS and JS. User facing websites are built using Ruby on Rails, so some familiarity with that would be good. Our services are deployed to GOV.UK PaaS, or sometimes Azure. We have a microservices architecture, with internal and public facing HTTP and JSON REST based APIs for business logic and data access. Code is hosted in the DfE Digital GitHub. Further information can be found at DfE Digital Technical Guidance https://dfe-digital.github.io/technical-guidance/
15. The brief mentions that some products/services run under separate brands/identifies. Do you have a description of all key stakeholders across brands/services, or is that centralised?
We work with a diverse range of key external stakeholders. This will include prospective and current teachers, schools including head teachers and admin staff, Multi-Academy Trust leaders, Colleges, and Initial Teacher Training providers. Some services are centralised, and some, for example the Get into Teaching service, have their own branding. The internal structures of our programmes tend to be complex - often working across multiple suppliers, divisions, and even Government Departments
16. Have you identified all audiences? For instance, in order to report on performance of digital products and experiences, dashboards may go to managers/headteachers etc.
Teaching Workforce Directorate’s users and stakeholders include prospective and current teachers, schools including head teachers and admin staff, Multi-Academy Trust leaders, colleges, and Initial Teacher Training providers. This user centred design requirement will include supporting and working with managers / headteachers to improve their user experience and reducing administration burdens. It is likely that over the two years that there will be new products/services needed to deliver to our stakeholders.
17. The brief states that the task will be:’.designing and iterating products to provide coherent customer journeys for users.’The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy states that ‘A positive school culture–including good pupil behaviour–is crucial for retention’.Therefore, is it a safe assumption that some journeys will involve iterations and feedback with not only teachers and candidates, but also student audiences? If so, between which ages? (This may give us something strong for D&I to feedback on).Given the propensity for many new teachers to have switched from other careers,how have ‘prospective users’ been defined? Is the scheme just focused on young people/school leavers?
Our Directorate’s users include prospective and current teachers, head teachers, admin staff, Multi-Academy Trust leaders, Colleges, and ITT providers. We do not anticipate student audiences other than graduates considering a teaching career. The service will be standard agile methodology which includes iteration and building journeys. Our services support those considering a career in teaching, both new to the labour market, for example graduates, and those changing careers, including international candidates, so they can obtain further information on the steps to become a teacher including training, funding, and understanding how to start out on their career.
18. Do you have a clear roadmap of all products/services being deployed or defined within the contract period (2 years)? (This would give an idea of scale/effort).
DfE has already started its digital transformation journey and digital techniques are already being used for a range of delivery services such as Teacher Vacancies which is in Public Beta. Others will be in Discovery with journeys to be defined. Each Statement of Work will state the deliverables needed to support each product and service and the phase it is in. For example, supporting new teachers with services to find a teaching job and early career development. It is likely that over the two years that there will be new products/services needed to be mapped to deliver for our stakeholders.
19. Can you confirm the roles the winning supplier will provide? Will it be UCD resource only (i.e. Service Design, UXR, UX Design, Content Design) or full UCD agile teams including roles such as Delivery Manager, Product Manager, BA, Developer etc.
The requirement is for resource in the user-centred design (UCD) job family only, for example Content Design. It is not a requirement for any non UCD job family roles.