This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 4 May 2022
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP Digital Services: Product Design (Retirement, Bereavement and Care)

6 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 3 large

35 Completed applications

23 SME, 12 large

Important dates

Wednesday 20 April 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 27 April 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 4 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 Provider must be able to deliver user centred design outcomes that meet Government Digital Standards, enabling DWP to introduce and iterate digital services, that meet Citizen and DWP user needs to Plan for Retirement, Get and Manage Retirement Income, and obtain support for Bereavement or Care.
Latest start date
Monday 1 August 2022
Expected contract length
An anticipated duration of two years, with option to extend by up to a further 6 months.
North East England
Organisation the work is for
Department for Work and Pensions
Budget range
The budget is up to a maximum value of £9.9m. This is not a commitment to spend up to this value and the Authority reserves the right to consume at its discretion. Further SoWs to be agreed as the digital pipeline materialises (subject to approval).
We anticipate the successful supplier will have sufficient capacity in the following digital capabilities to deliver the required outcomes, and we anticipate the team to have the appropriate level of skills to independently deliver the service outcomes required
User Researchers
Interaction Designers
Content Designers
Front End Developers
Product Owners
Business Analysts
Service Designer
Data Analyst

About the work

Why the work is being done
Across Retirement, Bereavement & Care our services are working towards a common set of strategic outcomes to simplify and transform the Citizen and DWP user experience through service modernisation:

Each service will be user centre designed, to provide the best experience for all users, whilst realising significant business efficiencies for DWP, enabling a solid foundation to strive towards DWP future aspirations, to join up service delivery in alignment with Government Digital Standards (GDS).

We require a Service provider who can add value to this development through provisioning Lot 1 services capabilities, working with existing DWP capabilities and other suppliers
Problem to be solved
The contract will support delivery of the following outcomes:
- Get Your Retirement Service: Accessibility compliance, Pension Dashboard data-feed,. Optimisation of channels.
- Get Your State Pension (GYSP) - 90% of online new claims remain/maintained in GYSP. All new claims remain/maintained in GYSP digital service. Introduce online Change of Circumstances (CoC).
- Pension Credit: Start to pay/retain online claims in service, fully automate online claims, Introduce online CoC.
- Seasonal Payments: maximise automation to enable the decommissioning of Winter Fuel Computer System.
- Carers Allowance: Introduce eligibility processing efficiencies for online new claims. Start to retain and maintain online new claims in service
- Attendance Allowance: Introduce online new claim journeys for both "simple" and "complex" claims
- Bereavement: Fully digitalised service, online Bereavement Support Payment.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Every citizen in the UK is a potential user for one or more of our digital services. Other user groups include, DWP internal agents and trusted helpers.

As a citizen:
I need to be able to easily access the appropriate on-line service(s) so that I can plan for retirement, claim benefit and understand my entitlement (Retirement - State Pension, Bereavement and Care)

As an organisation:
I need to ensure that digital services are built and iterated on real user needs, underpinned by trustworthy data and high quality user research.
Early market engagement
No early market engagement has taken place with suppliers for this requirement.
Any work that’s already been done
The status of work so far:

Plan Your Retirement : Pre retirement service is live, work needed around accessibility and linking to the Pension Dashboard
Get and Manage Your Retirement Income: GYSP and Pension Credit both in Beta. Upcoming work is to migrate caseload from legacy sytems, and introduce online change of circumstances.
Support for Bereaved: Bereavement Support Payments is in Beta, Tell us Once is Live.
Support for Care: Attendance Allowance is in Alpha , focus is on online claim process, Carers Allowance is in Beta , CACS R is live ongoing work to support new devolved Scottish benefits
Existing team
There are currently a number of teams working on these services predominantly delivering using agile methodology, with experience to deliver to waterfall methods when required. The teams have detailed knowledge and experience in the Retirement / Bereavement and Care arenas. The successful supplier team will work with these existing capabilities (from other suppliers as well as DWP staff). A part of the role of the supplier will be to assist DWP in growing its own capability across the design job families and we will expect a level of support for our staff with a view to contributing and sharing knowledge.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
DWP Digital Hubs are at the following hub locations
Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Manchester, Blackpool
Working arrangements
Currently, due to the Covid19 pandemic and for the foreseeable future, hybrid working arrangements are preferred across DWP with a proportion of activity to be office based as part of co-located collaborative teams in the locations defined above. This is subject to change.
Security clearance
Your proposed delivery team members must have completed the HM Government Baseline Personal Security Standard check and be eligible and prepared to undergo the clearance process to at least BPSS

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
DWP is not seeking for bidders to propose changes to the Supplementary T&Cs as part of the bid process.

In reference to pricing - suppliers must provide a Rate Card for all of the defined roles. Bids must be on a T&M basis, however different pricing models ranging from Fixed Price, T&M and Capped T&M may be used for SoW's.

All expenses must be pre-agreed between the parties and must comply with DWP's Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy.

TUPE may apply to this contract - should this be the case, DWP will seek to share this information with shortlisted suppliers.

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
  • Have experience and expertise in providing digital capabilities and capacity to support the development and delivery of a digital product / service
  • Evidence your delivery team roles will be available at the Customer’s required location(s) and subject to BPSS clearance from 1 August 2022.
  • Have immediate capacity to supply suitably skilled, experienced resource to provide the following capabilities: User Research Interaction Design Content Design Front-End Development Product Ownership Business Analysis Service Design Data Analyst
  • Have immediate capacity to supply resource to quickly develop recommendations based on quantitative and qualitative evidence, to evaluate and solve problems creatively, inform product decisions and effect positive outcomes.
  • Have experience of working with incumbent suppliers to transition knowledge of our systems and takeover responsibilities within demanding timescales (~2 months)
  • Have immediate capacity to supply resource that have a deep understanding and experience of using product management techniques
  • Have immediate capacity to supply resource that can provide business analysis capabilities who are key to delivering Project change, experienced in elicitation methods including running workshops, interviews, focus groups, etc
  • Have immediate capacity to supply resource to design, conduct and analyse user research using a range of techniques, for example one-to-one interviews or usability tests
  • Supplier would have experience of delivering digital solutions to GDS service standards (or similar), working in the public sector and working within DWP or comparable organisation within last 3 years
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Evidence of resources that have existing SC clearance that will support the speeding up of on-boarding teams
  • Experience of assisting and mentoring less experienced resources on project teams

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
To be set out in the request for proposal
Cultural fit criteria
To be set out in the Request for Proposal
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. We note that this contract was previously awarded with a start date of February 2021. Is there a particular reason that this contract is coming to market again, at this stage of the contract cycle?
While we anticipated a contract term of 2 years, a decision has been made to award a replacement contract from August 2022, allowing for a transition period.
2. Do you have any external suppliers already providing the required services? If so, who are they, and how long have they been providing the services to you please?
Yes, Scrumconnnect Ltd is currently contracted for a broadly equivalent service.
3. Who will evaluate tenders please (names, job titles etc.)?
Applications will be assessed by subject matter experts from DWP Digital with support from Commercial Directorate.
4. Please confirm which framework(s) and lot(s) you are using.

We ask because we received your recent email advising that it would be via single-stage further competition under Lot 2 of the DSP Framework RM6263; however your publication on Marketplace appears to be the first of a 2-stage process, and makes reference to ‘Lot 1’ in the ‘Why the work is being done’ section.
·        Digital Outcomes and Specialists 5 (DOS5) RM1043.7 – Lot 1

DWP RB&C have 2 contract opportunities available. This one which is a service outcomes contract being run under DOS and another one which is augmented resource and being tendered under the DSP framework
5. You mention that TUPE may apply to this contract, can you clarify more around this please? for example is this from the incumbent to a potential new supplier? or the winning supplier to the Department in the future?
Anticipated to be incumbent to winning supplier - IF it does apply
6. Next to ‘Security clearance’ BPSS is the only level of clearance referenced, whilst Nice-to-have Q1 implies that SC clearance may be required to speed up onboarding. Could you please clarify?
Certain "Data" roles require Security Clearance. Please work on the assumption that any Data Roles need SC
7. On hybrid working, is there an exception for a set amount of days per week/month or is this as and when as directed by the team/s?
Hybrid working in DWP is 40% time in the office per month. How this is achieved can be flexible as agreed within teams.
8. At this stage of a DOS opportunity, bidders are asked to provide ‘evidence’ of key skills using the format ‘what the situation was, what the team did and what the results were’. Many of the skills you have asked about are asking about our immediate capacity to supply different resource types. We do have the capacity but are not sure how you expect bidders to demonstrate this. Please can you clarify what you are looking for in the responses to confirm immediate capacity to supply the various resources?
In the supplier response, we would expect confirmation of the immediate capacity to provide the capability, together with a suitable example of successful delivery.
9. Question 3 specifies the roles required from the 1st of August. Is there a view on the count of each of these or is it just one of each role specified for day 1?
This is a service outcome based contract it is for the bidder to propose how they will deliver the service as part of their proposal. The roles mentioned in the requirements are examples of roles currently engaged in delivering the service.
10. Question 2 requests evidence roles will be available at the locations from the 1st August. Is there an expectation that the first team should be co located to one location? Or that they can access any of the specified locations from the 1st?
We would expect the delivery team to be available to work from any of the 4 DWP hub locations, as set out in this opportunity. Hybrid working in DWP is 40% time in the office per month. How this is achieved can be flexible as agreed within teams.
11. On SC clearance, are there any roles in particular that will require this?
Certain "Data" roles require SC. Please work on the assumption that any Data Roles need SC.
12. Regarding questions 4-8. How will answers be assessed towards technical competence and immediate capacity within the same question? Will the answer for question 3 cover the immediate capacity aspect of the following questions?
In the supplier response, we would expect confirmation of the immediate capacity to provide the capability, together with a suitable example of successful delivery
13. Please can you confirm if there is an incumbent supplier providing this service to the DWP at this time, and if so, is it possible to name the supplier?
Yes, Scrumconnnect Ltd is currently contracted for a broadly equivalent service
14. Please can you explain the likely size of TUPE in scope and the skill sets involved.
We cannot provide exact details at present. Estimate is around 30 people across all of the job roles stated in requirements. We do not know whether the people in the roles have "employee" status or are contractors/self employed
15. Within the context of Q1, are you looking for examples of how we’ve supported a service from Discovery through to Live or can we show experience of supporting services in shorter engagements?
We would accept both
16. What is the make-up of roles within your internal teams and how many suppliers will we be expected to working alongside?
Team make up varies - but we generally follow the normal scrum team model Product ownerm delivery manager, developers testers, supported by other roles , User researcher, BA etc at various stages in the lifecycle. In addition to DWP digital employees we are currently working with 4 suppliers (including the current incumbent for this contract)
17. Can you please clarify scope of front-end development? DDaT role description
18. Please can you define your definition between products and services within the context of your questions?
In RBC it is as follows, a product may be a single component that we develop which can then be consumed and reused. As an example we do have some shared components work on our portfolio where we will produce a "product" that is consumed by one or more of our services and services from other parts of DWP. A service is where we assemble multiple products to deliver an end to end service that can be consumed by citizens and DWP employees for example The Pension Credit Service