Awarded to Deloitte LLP

Start date: Monday 16 May 2022
Value: £3,000,000
Company size: large

Ofsted Digital Services for Alpha/Beta Service Developments

9 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 0 large

29 Completed applications

19 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Wednesday 2 February 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 9 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 16 February 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Ofsted are seeking a supplier to work with us across a range of Alpha and Beta phase deliverables.

This involves being able to develop, code and test web-based solutions that will support inspection and regulatory activities, delivering elements of a modular digital platform that will primarily support our internal users.
Latest start date
Friday 29 April 2022
Expected contract length
2 Years with an optional 6 months extension
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Budget range
Estimated £3 million maximum over the contract lifetime.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Ofsted has numerous systems, products and services that support our Inspection and Regulatory activities, including large, monolithic applications. Ofsted have adopted and are part way through a modular replacement of our legacy estate, known as “Application and Data modernisation”. We aim to provide inspectors with modern, accessible interfaces and to remove pain points from our handling of data, reporting and MI, using data as a driver to link our systems together. Application and Data modernisation has been organised into several high-level modules, that include a range of services/products that require further development.

This work is necessary to provide development for elements of our platform including “case management” service that will support our Regulatory services (work with Childminders, Early Years etc).

We have modernised and moved delivery of services to public cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure.

Our requirement includes delivering outputs at the Alpha and into the Beta phase, ready for us to transition to live. Discovery and scoping has already been completed in house.

The work is being done to allow us to decommission older services and to support our transition towards a modular inspection and regulatory architecture, using data at the heart of what we do.
Problem to be solved
Ofsted need to develop functional UX/UI and associated services coded (in line with our standards) to support our inspection, regulatory and case-management ambitions.

We need to provide the detailed designs and implementation of a new set of regulatory and inspection journeys, interfaces and UX options for different groups of inspectors, support staff and regulatory managers that can replace old functionality.

The service(s) will need to operate with our data layer and other modular components to deliver a flexible, supportable platform that is easy to use and can deliver the right information and process management for our workforce.

The overall problem space is large and links to the work we are carrying out across several projects – including:

• Manage an Inspection Service - (Services for non-regulatory inspections) - internal Ofsted users
• Data Foundations (Cosmos based central datastore with GraphQL)
• Working with Customers (Contact Ofsted) – for external users
• Manage my Ofsted account – for external users
• Inspection Data Summary report – for external users

Initial work will be to solve the problem of how to show information to regulatory inspectors/support staff relating to management of registered providers. Further work packages may be released under this contract.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users are primarily internal Ofsted staff (Inspectors, Professional Support staff), with a limited set of external users (e.g., Schools, Childminders), who will interact with other products, services, and data sets across Ofsted.

Users need to see and update information about providers and act (workflow) depending on the work scheduled, the type of visit or planned regulatory activity. We need to be able to record information, act , send notifications and overall, maintain a register of all our providers and registered workforce.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Pre-discovery and discovery work has been completed in many areas of our App and Data modernisation and digital services existing across some modules. High level technical plans for key elements of the work have been developed and our key user requirements are understood . Supporting modules (e.g., data platform) are in beta and available to support development.

Further work on design and development will be required through on-going engagement with users during later phases.
Existing team
Ofsted have wider design and IT infrastructure teams. The supplier will work with users across Ofsted. A product manager, service owner and business analyst will work with the team, other delivery roles may be expected to be resourced by the successful supplier. Supplier developments will need to be appropriate for the Ofsted environment. Resources will work with Ofsted Lead or Principal staff (e.g., developers, architects) to engage in Ofsted governance processes (e.g., Design Authority), where necessary.

The resource profile and delivery approach for work packages will be scoped and agreed with the successful supplier.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The Supplier will be expected to work off-site with occasional visits to Ofsted office locations. The primary office locations will be Ofsted’s digital hubs in London , Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham or Manchester.
Working arrangements
The Supplier will be expected to work off-site using a mixture of their own devices or, where business and security reasons require, Ofsted issued equipment (Microsoft Surface Pro) accounts and VPN.

Use of Supplier provided devices is contingent on this adhering to Ofsted security policies and being agreed in work packages.

Ofsted will provide appropriate digital contacts and technical resources to allow the supplier to work with our internal teams and other suppliers during the course of a work package.
Security clearance
The Supplier will ensure all staff are BPSS cleared.

No offshoring of data or international resource shall be permitted.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All expenses must be pre-agreed between the parties and must comply with the Ofsted Travel and Subsistence Policy.

Stage 2 Scoring Methodology:
0 No evidence of criteria
1 Unsatisfactory - Poor response that does not fully answer the criteria.
2 Weak - addresses some criteria, has lack of quality with limited detail.
3 Satisfactory - Answers criteria/lacks detail/evidence.
4 Good - Detailed response.
5 Strong - Comprehensive includes thorough evidence.

Ofsted Mandatory Terms will apply to the DOS 5 Call-Off Contract.

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
  • Proven track record of ability to produce products that pass required GDS Service Assessment, Security Health Check, Vulnerability/Penetration Testing, Service Readiness, and release reviews as part of quality/acceptance tests.
  • Experience of digital service and interaction design
  • Experience of agile, incremental software development that delivers value early and iteratively
  • Experience of leading investigative user research into problems and opportunities, gathering & analysing information and producing clear, compelling, evidence-based recommendation
  • Have previous experience of application development using node.js/JavaScript technologies and appropriate frameworks
  • Be proficient at developing and configuring resources with Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Power Platform including Dynamics 365
  • Ability to work with common cloud platforms and tooling including Microsoft Azure components (e.g., releasing code via pipeline/Terraform or similar)
  • Be proficient at use of Infrastructure and Software management, e.g., Azure DevOps or similar
  • Proficient at management of data, development of RESTful APIs and integration of systems with appropriate technical patterns
  • Prove experience and expertise of collaborating across teams, departments and transferring ownership and knowledge to in-house teams
  • Please provide evidence that supports your financial capability to deliver a contract of this nature
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working with a regulator or similar corporate body
  • Experience of working within a complex public policy and service environment
  • Experience of working with the Government prototyping system

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Please provide details of your approach and methodology for delivering Alpha/Beta services for Ofsted, using user-centred design methods and appropriate techniques (15%)
  • Provide details of an example team structure you would put in place to deliver a beta service, building a web based digital service using our preferred technology platforms (10%)
  • Describe your experiences and approaches to creating and supporting service developments and integrations across the technologies used in the Ofsted service platforms; Microsoft Azure, Microsoft PowerApps, and associated features. (10%)
  • Please provide details of your approach and methodology for creating services that are accessible and compliant with relevant accessibility legislation, e.g., WCAG (5%)
  • Please provide details of your approach and methodology for testing, assuring service performance (KPIs) and collecting relevant service performance data (5%)
  • Provide details of your account management approach. The methods you will use to ensure an effective working relationship is established to ensure the effective operation of the contract. (10%)
  • Please outline your approach to code development and how you would expect to deliver digital/web services and integrations, based on the Ofsted toolset. (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe how you will ensure you will effectively transfer knowledge/experience with team members, wider Ofsted staff and other suppliers who maintain Ofsted systems, during the delivery of work packages. (10%)
  • Ofsted has a diverse digital team who support all kinds of diversity. Describe how your company shows understanding of and commitment to diversity in the UK's tech/digital industry. (5%)
  • Describe how you will work as part of a team with Ofsted's digital team and internal stakeholders to effectively deliver various work package outcomes that may be commissioned. (5%)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Update from Ofsted
Please note this is a republished requirement. The original requirement published on the 31st January 2022, included a duplicate question in the 'essential criteria', this has now been corrected.

Ofsted received five clarification questions for the initial publication of these requirements . For transparency purposes the original questions and answers will be republished below.
2. 'No offshoring of data or international resource shall be permitted'.

Are European resources accepted or is it no resources situated outside of the UK?
At this stage, we are planning that resources will need to be UK based and bids considered accordingly. If this requirement was to change in the future, then this may be negotiable within a given work package but for the purpose of any bids/evaluation we would require any bidder to be able to resource/supply UK staff and price accordingly at this stage.
3. Who is the current incumbent?
There is no direct incumbent supplier. This is a new development and different elements of our app and data delivery have been delivered by different methods (e.g. in-house or blended). Several other suppliers work with Ofsted for different projects or service lines, but this project is not to directly replace them.
4. Who is the panel assessing the bids?
The panel will comprise of relevant specialists from within Ofsted from different areas including: Service Management, Architecture / Design, Product/Service Owner and Development areas of the business.
5. Please can confirm if you have considered using a low-code platform for this solution?
Low code solutions (e.g. Power platform) are potentially part of a solution. They are unlikely to address the entirety of the needs to be met.
6. Who is the incumbent supplier for the current delivery?
Please refer to the answer at question 2.
7. Are there any changes to the previously withdrawn advert?
There are no changes to the overall withdrawn advert except the removal of the duplicate question in the 'essential skills' section.

Duplicate question removed
‘Proficient at management of data, development of RESTful APIs and integration of systems with appropriate technical patterns’

replaced with
'Prove experience and expertise of collaborating across teams, departments and transferring ownership and knowledge to in-house teams'.
8. 1) Please can you confirm this will be delivered through Time and Materials all deliverables are the responsibly of Ofsted?

2) Could Ofsted provide a view of the initial team required at inception, and how they intend to call off additional resources/adjust the team composition over time under call-off?.
1) As stated in the advertised requirements 'Payment Approach' section. Ofsted confirm the charging mechanism for this opportunity is 'Time and Materials'

2) Indicatively, we are likely to require a Service Designer, Interaction Designer, Developer, User Researcher. The adjustments or exact profile would be made by proposing a WP deliverable and agreeing team against the call-off.
9. Can you confirm that a presentation will not be part of the stage 2 evaluation
We can confirm a presentation will not be required as part of the evaluation process at stage 2.
10. Are you able to clarify what kind of financial capability evidence you would like to see?
Evidence could include recent credit rating; standard metrics like Turnover ratio and operating margin (e.g. Operating Profit / Revenue). e.g. Turnover ratio is the Bidder's Annual/Revenue vs our Expected Annual Contract value (in year) - in this case approx 1.5M per year. For a company with £3M turnover, this would be "2". You may answer with any information you feel is relevant.
11. Can you confirm the planned procurement timelines beyond stage 1.
The timeline is indicative and is subject to change.

28 February 2022 - Publication of the stage 2 Further Competition invitation by midday.

16 March 2022 - Clarification period closes, all questions from suppliers to be submitted by 5:00PM.

17 March 2022 - Deadline for the publication of responses to clarification questions. Questions will be responded to by 5:00PM.

21 March 2022 - Deadline for proposal submission by 12 Noon.

W/C 11 April - Notification to successful supplier.

End of April - Anticipated contract start.
12. You request experience in developing and configuring resources within the MS Power Platform. Is this a requirement to develop services which integrate with Power Platform or is there an explicit need to Power Fx skills to develop within the platform?
MS Power forms part of our standard low-code toolset and services may either integrate or be developed within the power or D365 environment. Therefore, there is an explicit need for there to be access to some resources who are able to work with the platform in some work packages.
13. With regards to Q14. 'Experience of working with the Government prototyping system' are you referring to GDS prototyping or specifically something else?
We are referring to the &/or using the with other forms of prototpying (Figma etc)
14. For Q11, can you clarify what type of evidence is required to support financial capability?
Please refer to the answer at line 10 above.
15. For Q8, Is a single example or multiple examples required to demonstrate proficiency with Infrastructure and Software management ?
A single good example of sufficient detail would be sufficient. It is up to the bidder to decide within a word limit what evidence to provide.
16. For Q10, could you clarify if cross teams and departments refers to those within a single organisation or multiple organisations?
Within a single organisation (e.g. departments of a single body) is fine. If you wish to provide examples that show work across organisations that will also be acceptable.
17. For Q13, can you clarify what is meant by service environment?
By service environment we are referring to the supporting elements or links between products in a busy organisation; i.e. different product owners, teams providing development and teams providing support - e.g. operations teams / product teams - whilst offering a service to end users.
18. Can you please advise if NodeJs is being used to develop frontend or backend applications?
Internally node is used at both front and back end, but the use depends on the service involved.
19. What are the 'appropriate frameworks' referred to?
We are not being specific; but code frameworks generally are used with front end development; e.g. ExpressJS or angular - essentially, some experience with a development framework or library (that might be to have assisted you in MVC or API development). You should demonstrate some experience of using a framework for development.
20. What are the 'appropriate frameworks' referred to?
As previous question
21. You refer to additional assessment methods inc. Case study, work history and reference – do you expect a written submission to include these areas or we could use ppt to showcase the above mentioned as well as the approach?
This is for the stage 2 process. At stage 2, we require written submissions to answer the questions (shown for information here). Any supplementary information is requested at this stage (and things like any CVs, Case study or reference can be in a PPT or similar format). For clarity, these are not required at stage 1.
22. Are you able at this stage to provide an outline of the outputs, planned or delivered already, of the Discovery phase?
Not at this stage. Further information would be provided to shortlisted bidders.
23. Are you able at this stage to provide an outline of the outputs, planned or delivered already, of the Discovery phase?
Not at this stage. Further information would be provided to shortlisted bidders.
24. Is there an expectation that some of the previous functionality should be retained or is it expected that this will be an implementation based on user needs rather than historical process?
There is likely to a compromise between following previous functionality and process and a revaluation based on needs. There are statutory and other policy considerations that are unlikely to change. The historical (processes) provide a foundation for evaluation with our users.
25. Are you able to provide an example of how a user problem or assumption is shared between the Discovery and Alpha phases?
There is generally a Discovery report and sets of materials to evidence. Some of the internal team and resources will move between phases. General resources or boards (backlogs) from earlier phases are available to the team.
26. Will the discovery phase also provide insight into go-live and operational (people and skills, process and workflows, technology and data) considerations?
Some resources from discovery have insight into processes, people (User groups), data. However, additional work and development would be required through Alpha and beta development - we assume a gradual build of people, process as work continues
27. While it states that the key user requirements are understood, as this is an Agile project is there an expectation that as part of this process that the user needs are validated and that an outcome could be that the requirements change?
Yes; there should be an on-going refinement of needs and prioritisation of features. Our high level requirements and capabilities are known, but iterative development is likely to mean change.
28. Can you share the current know requirements and proposed architecture?
"Not at this stage. Further information would be provided to shortlisted bidders. In a general sense we have done 2 x 6 weeks of discovery, where we mapped out the high level end-to-end regulatory journey via blueprinting sessions (every regulatory role was represented).​

We’ve conducted 1:1 research sessions with a number of regulatory roles."
29. To inform our success tracking through alpha and into beta: beyond the core Gov wide KPIs (cost-per-transaction; user satisfaction; completion rate; digital take-up) do you have a sense yet on either additional KPIs or prioritisation criteria?
The majority of the service outlined (Regulatory services) are internally focussed, so whilst we would support tracking and monitoring S/S KPIs there is some flexibility. Additional KPIs will relate to availability, sub-elements of process tracking, user feedback, ToT and similar.
30. You mentioned high level technical plans for key elements of the work have been developed. Apart from the Data Foundations (Cosmos based central datastore), are there any other modular components that form part of this plan which will be required as a data source?
Our architecture is based around data and interfaces, so the majority of interactions are through a Common Data Platform - data from a Scheduling service, data from public facing services provide data to the data source, but generally, these are decoupled - there is not an ambition for point-point integrations.
31. For Q6, can you clarify the meaning of “Resources”
In the context of the Azure question; resources are things like AppService plans or components that are deployed into an Azure resource group / sub. i.e. you deploy the component resources to support a solution. In other contexts, resources are staff who can work with Ofsted; e.g. human resources who you are able to call on or deploy.