This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 3 May 2022
Ministry of Justice

HMPPS - Approved Premises Beta

5 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 0 large

8 Completed applications

7 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Tuesday 19 April 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 26 April 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 3 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The MoJ is seeking a managed service provider for the beta phase of a project to deliver a digital service for Approved Premises. We require a multi-disciplinary team to take an alpha prototype and findings and build, test and iterate to deliver a public beta service by January 2023.
Latest start date
Friday 22 July 2022
Expected contract length
Up to 31 March 2023
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Justice
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Accommodation is an enduring issue that impacts on re-offending and public protection. HMPPS has a Community Accommodation Service (CAS) to meet the specific accommodation need of individuals. Approved Premises (CAS - tier 1) provides residential placements for high-risk offenders in a structured environment to support rehabilitation and resettlement in the community.

We’re in alpha, and have a working prototype of a digital referral platform which will allow users to:
● Request an Approved Premises (AP) placement
● Assess a request for an AP placement
● Decide on AP suitability and
● Support the onward journey of arranging and matching a person to a bed in a specific AP.

The current team is exploring opportunities for building or buying a solution for centralised bed management. By the end of the alpha in June they will have prototyped product features such as matching to suitable beds and maintaining occupancy data.

The managed service provider is required to continue the work, completing the build and testing, in order to launch a minimal viable product (MVP) digital referral platform as a public beta in January 2023 and for bed management to launch an MVP as a public beta by, at the latest, March 2023.
Problem to be solved
The following problems have been identified in the current process and can be addressed through a digital service:
Inconsistent decision-making and local approaches - without a national structured approach, there is the potential for inconsistency in decision making.
Unclear expectations - Probation Practitioners are repeatedly having referrals returned for more information, creating uncertainty about securing a bed
Fragmented communication - communication is not consistent between user groups, often using emails and manually checking for updates
Re-keying information - standalone processes mean information is copied from one system and pasted into others
Wasteful duplication - a referral can be assessed by up to 10 AP Managers.
Missing data - incomplete and inaccurate information on referrals and bed management make it difficult to target improvements.

The digital service will need to be built in line with MOJ’s technology standards:
front-end server-side applications in Typescript/Node.js using the GOV.UK Design System
back-end services in kotlin/java (integrated with authority systems via existing internal APIs)
Use of AWS service i.e RDS (postgres), S3 and SQS
Github to store and manage our code and CircleCI to build our software
Kubernetes and Docker to schedule and run our services hosted in MoJ Cloud platform (built on AWS).
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users are:
● Probation Practitioners – making referrals
● Central Referral Unit staff – screening/checking referrals, and managing bookings and occupancy
● Referral Assessors / AP Managers – Completing suitability assessments and viewing bookings and occupancy
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
A managed service team has completed a discovery and alpha phase researching user needs and developing a working prototype. The findings from this team and the prototype will be available to the new team in order to progress the beta.

At the end of the contract it is expected that the new provider will share knowledge and handover to an internal team
Existing team
See above
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Working remotely although occasional travel may be required to either:
- MoJ Digital Studio, 32 Scotland Street, Sheffield, S3 7BS
- MoJ, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ
Working arrangements
The majority of work can be completed remotely i.e. homeworking. However there may be a requirement to work with MoJ Digital or business stakeholders who are predominantly based in London and Sheffield or to visit users at HMPPS locations.
Security clearance
A minimum of Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) standard is required. Where access to live production data is necessary, Security Check (SC) clearance is also required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The format of the supplier presentations will be a 30 minute presentation followed by a 20 minute clarification session

Additional terms and conditions – changes to the DOS framework

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 designing and developing beta services that meet both user needs and strategic business objectives and adhere to the Digital Service Standard.
  • Demonstrate and evidence an ability and capability to successfully deliver outcomes using agile methodology in environments where digital maturity varies.
  • Proven experience of collaborating and knowledge sharing across teams and taking ownership for a product where the design and development was commenced by a different team.
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate with a range of stakeholders, managing expectations and conflicting views, recognising where the approach needs to be adapted.
  • Evidence of an ability to promptly scale up, respond to fluctuating requirements, and be flexible in deploying to meet organisational needs without compromising adherence to service standards.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience with the probation and prison environment
  • Experience of successfully developing products and services that adhere to robust standards when buying and building, such as the Technology Code of Practise, GDS Service Standards, HMPPS and MoJ requirements.
  • Experience of designing, developing, and delivering referral, assessment and booking management solutions.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Describe your approach and methodology for taking the alpha and delivering a MVP public beta service within the timescales, referencing your previous experience and how this adds value. (10%)
  • Provide a proposed team structure including skills, experience, responsibilities and relevance of individuals, and explain how you will ensure the team successfully delivers the required outcomes. (10%)
  • Provide examples of how you have identified and taken ownership of risks, issues, and dependencies and how you have managed their mitigation and resolution. (10%)
  • Explain how you’ll ensure collaboration at all levels of the project between users, stakeholders, digital in-house and managed service teams. Give examples of where you have successfully applied this approach(10%)
  • Demonstrate how you will deliver value for money throughout this contract. (10%)
  • Explain your exit strategy to successfully handover to an internal team at the end of the contract. (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe your approach to working with multidisciplinary, mixed civil servant and managed service teams of specialists working to common service outcomes. (5%)
  • Demonstrate your ability to work with a range of stakeholders with varying understanding of agile methodologies. (5%)
  • Evidence how your organisation encourages new entrees to the digital professions and up-skills, develops its workforce. (5%)
  • Evidence how your organisation encourages diverse representation in its workforce. (5%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please could MOJ confirm whether any incumbent supplier would be precluded from bidding for this Beta phase?
No suppliers registered on the Digital Marketplace are precluded from bidding for this opportunity.
2. Can you confirm the name of the supplier who conducted the Discovery and Alpha?
Details of the discovery and alpha procurement can be found here including who the contract was awarded to:
3. Will the incumbent Discovery/Alpha team be tendering for the beta?
This is up to the incumbent supplier to decide whether they want to tender.
4. Could you please explain – The current team is exploring opportunities for building or buying a solution for centralised bed management? Are you open for SaaS solutions and technologies that are not on MOJ’s technology standards already?
The current team is researching whether our needs can be met by a COTS product and whether this is a better option than build. We do not as yet know the outcome but expect to be able to provide additional information at the second stage to enable short-list suppliers to complete their written proposal.
5. Will the Alpha report be shared with down-selected suppliers for the proposal stage? If the report is not to be shared, how will the authority ensure that the incumbent does not have an unfair advantage?
We will provide additional briefing to short-listed suppliers for the second stage. This will ensure suppliers have the same information to support them in completing their written proposal
6. Can you please advise whether the referral service for Approved Premises will share any components with the referral element in the Community Accommodation Service recently awarded?
Yes, we anticipate that there will be components of Approved Premises that could be reused for CAS3.
7. Can you please advise who the current provider is for the Discovery and Alpha?
Details of the discovery and alpha procurement can be found here including who the contract was awarded to: