This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 5 May 2022
Department for Education

Digital platforms, Identity and Access Management services (IDAM)

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

17 Completed applications

11 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Thursday 21 April 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 28 April 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 5 May 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


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 needs a supplier to design, build and run high-quality user-centred digital platforms and services, that can improve personalisation and navigation between DfE services and improve user outcomes, including identity and access management solutions.

The supplier will work in blended teams to deliver services that meet the government service standard.
Latest start date
Monday 18 July 2022
Expected contract length
2 years
West Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
These capabilities are to be delivered over a contract period of 2 years and with an indicative contract value of £5M for the full 2-year contract.

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

Each 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.

A pricing template will be provided to shortlisted suppliers at proposal stage.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Department for Education (DfE) is looking for a supplier who can provide capabilities and expertise to research, design, deliver and run digital platforms and services for schools, academy trusts and other educational settings – working in blended teams.

This work is a core pillar of the department’s digital and data strategy to streamline and personalise the services we provide to schools and trusts, to improve user experience and efficiency, and free-up workforce capacity.

Our mission is to improve communication between the department and users, and to improve findability, navigation and personalisation of DfE services so that the department can deliver better outcomes for users and improve the effectiveness of policy and service delivery.

At present, DfE policies and interventions can struggle to reach their audience, limiting the impact of our help for the sector, and reducing insights on how the sector are engaging with policy priorities.

A key enabler to the success of this work is the development and delivery of Identity and Access Management (IDAM) services and solutions for the department’s interactions with the education sector, with citizens and with DfE employees.

Capabilities and roles from across the Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework are required.
Problem to be solved
We are looking for a supplier who can deliver outcomes to government digital service standards, and can drive organisational transformation. They will research, design, test, build and iterate platforms, products and services to deliver user journeys that fit together as coherent, consistent experiences and deliver policy intent.

Our work aims to deliver the following objectives:

• Improve user experience and discoverability and findability of content, and navigation of DfE services

• Provide personalisation of content and experience to users

• Improve user experience around identity management and authentication and reduce the burden of fragmentation of identity management solutions for the sector.

We want to transform the way that the department delivers services in this area so that:

• User satisfaction increases

• We can make better use of data to measure performance of DfE services and target policy interventions

• Services are quicker to deliver and cost less to run (including 3rd party costs)

• We maintain resilience and security of DfE services.

Service delivery will adhere to the technology code of practice, make use of common components, and integrate with a common data approach in the department.

Further information can be found here:;
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users are both external and internal to DfE and come from a range of education settings and organisations. Our users include, but are not limited to:

• Headteachers and School Leadership Teams

• School Business Professionals

• School Business Managers

• School Business Administrators & Office Assistants

• Teachers

• Teaching assistants

• Parents and citizens

• People that deliver services to schools and other education settings

• DfE Staff

• Employees of other Government departments.

User needs include, but are not limited to:

As a user:

• I need to know what DfE offers

• I need to know specifically when and what information (services, content, guidance) has changed, so that I can save time trying to work out what has changed

• I need to be able to find and discover relevant information for my role, tasks, and education setting

• When I access a DfE service I expect to use a single DfE identity, so that I don't have multiple login credentials

• When I register for a DfE service I expect you to know who I am, so that I am not asked for information I have already given you.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We recently completed a:

• Discovery into identity management

• Research phase including testing platform design concepts with users, and defining an architecture approach.

These will form the basis of the delivery activities which are the subject of this procurement.

This programme and portfolio are not the only pieces of work in progress in this space. Work has also been completed in the preceding 3-years to understand cross-cutting user needs and service consolidation options.

This programme extends - and must use knowledge from - existing work, and needs to support other work, objectives, and outcomes across the Department.
Existing team
The successful supplier for this contract will deliver outcomes in relation to all the job families described in the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Profession Capability Framework.

They will work with DfE staff and - where necessary colleagues from other government departments - from a range of disciplines including; product and delivery management, architecture, security, policy, user experience, service design, software development, communications, finance and commercial to deliver the programmes/projects within this portfolio, including working with teams delivering live services.

Where necessary you will be expected to work with other DfE suppliers who are working in this space.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote working with some travel to DfE offices.

All agreements for in-office working will comply with the relevant and prevailing Government guidance on restrictions to movement.

The primary location will be detailed in each Statement of Work (SoW) and expenses will not form part of the cost unless the supplier is asked to work from a secondary location during the execution of the work e.g. If SoW primary base is in London, then no expenses will be paid for London.
Working arrangements
Detailed working arrangements will be described in each Statement of Work, with some requirement for travel to DfE locations, in-line with IR35 designation.

Delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery methods, with appropriate ceremonies to be undertaken.

Scope and prioritisation of work is decided by the Product Manager with input from Policy Team and Senior Responsible Officer.

Separate SOWs 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.
Security clearance
DfE requires all supplier staff to have baseline personnel security standard clearance (BPSS). Any enhanced security requirements (e.g. SC etc) will be detailed in the Statements of Work.

Suppliers will be required to complete a supplier security assurance form to ensure they meet the required standard for DfE.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off T&Cs apply. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE Travel and Subsistence policy.

Primary work location stated in the SoW will not attract expenses.

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

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.

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 building and operating multi-sided platforms and services that meet user needs, that everyone can use, including meeting the GDS/CDDO service standard or equivalent and passing service assessments.
  • Evidence of successfully monitoring and measuring performance analytics across a range of services, user journeys, and content types to create insights, improve service performance, and support prioritisation and decision making.
  • Evidence of planning and delivering user research at all stages of the lifecycle (Discovery through to decommissioning), including with users with a range of different accessibility and assisted digital needs.
  • Evidence of successfully leading research and analysis into problems and opportunities in existing and new services, and analysing information to create recommendations for services with digital and offline experiences.
  • Evidence of successfully working collaboratively in a complex stakeholder and sector environment, to create consensus and transform organisations, including leading stakeholder engagement and communication.
  • Evidence of successfully delivering outcomes in the education sector with schools and other educational settings, and range of users including teachers, school leaders, and school business professionals.
  • Evidence of ability to promptly scale delivery up and down, respond to fast changing requirements, and work flexibly to meet organisational needs without compromising quality.
  • Evidence of successfully designing and delivering cloud-based solutions for digital platforms and web services including serverless technologies, infrastructure-as-code, automation, and deploying applications and backend services to cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Evidence of successfully working with a range of Identity and Access Management (IDAM) products and protocols, for architecting, designing and implementing a solution.
  • Evidence of successfully working across a range of identity personas and segments, including Citizen, Business and Enterprise.
  • Evidence of successfully providing solutions, services, technical architecture and architectural roadmaps in a complex, security critical environment supporting an Agile release cycle and addressing migration considerations.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Evidence of successfully translating complicated technical information and concepts into simple and understandable insights for non-technical audiences.
  • Evidence of successfully supporting customers to develop in-house permanent capabilities through various means, and ensuring effective transfer of knowledge and information to permanent staff at the end of an engagement.
  • Evidence of how you manage and prioritise team health and the wellbeing of colleagues and employees, whilst delivering outcomes at pace.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence of successfully building and operating transformational services at all phases of the lifecycle (Discovery to decommissioning), including defining and building capabilities and features for multi-sided platforms.
  • Evidence of effectively selecting and using a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to gather findings, conduct analysis, and create and communicate actionable insights.
  • Evidence of successfully designing and delivering user journeys and interactions which use the GOV.UK design system across multiple user types including citizen, business and enterprise.
  • Evidence of delivering services that everyone can use, including teams running regular accessibility testing with users with a broad range of different needs, and meeting WCAG 2.1 to AA standard.
  • Evidence of developing and maintaining scalable, resilient, loosely coupled services in C# and Ruby.
  • Evidence of the use of software development libraries and frameworks to increase delivery velocity and increase use of open-source components. Evidence of developing public-facing APIs requiring authentication.
  • Evidence of implementing a sustainable and transferable operational model covering monitoring, alerting, high availability, disaster recovery and other appropriate measures.
  • Evidence of gathering requirements (including security requirements) and conducting analysis to define largescale Identity and Access Management (IDAM) solutions, including examples of recent work.
  • Evidence of working with industry standard authentication and authorisation standards (OIDC, OAUTH) to build and develop IDAM platforms.
  • Evidence of delivering cloud-based IDAM transformation through all phases of the development lifecycle, in a large and complex organisation, including reducing fragmentation of identity management solutions and services.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of successfully leading and supporting flexible, thriving, remote-first agile teams to deliver user-centred outcomes in environments where digital maturity varies.
  • Social Value - Demonstrate action to identify and tackle inequality in employment, skills and pay in the contract workforce.
  • Social Value - Demonstrate action to support educational attainment relevant to the contract, including training schemes that address digital skills gaps and result in recognised qualifications.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you please name the supplier for the discovery for the IDAM project ?
AND Digital conducted the Identity Management discovery.
2. One essential evidence question requires “Evidence of successfully delivering outcomes in the education sector with schools and other educational settings....”. This will limit the number of suppliers who can qualify for this opportunity. Would the department consider evidence from other similar central government departments?
We will consider evidence from other similar central government departments. Where other evidence is provided, please highlight relevant comparisons to the education sector, schools, and other educational settings such as size and scale, delivery model, overcoming systemic challenges etc.
3. CQ001 Can the Authority provide more detail on the programme deliverables that are expected over the 2 year contract period ?
We cannot provide detailed programme deliverables at this stage. We intend to work with the successful supplier to define these. Deliverables will include; defining building and operating digital platforms and services - including development of IDAM solutions, conducting user research and analysis to ensure these meet user need, planning and delivering work, creating documentation, supporting programme governance etc.
4. CQ002 How many SOWs will the Authority be creating to contract for this programme of work ?
We don't think it is possible to estimate this at this stage.
5. CQ003 Can the Authority provide details of the number and types of services and digital platforms that they expect the successful bidder to run ?
We estimate this to be between 2-4 services including a multi-sided digital platform. We intend to work with the successful supplier to define these.
6. CQ004 Can The Authority provide the number of blended teams that they expect the successful supplier toi provide resources into ?
We estimate this to be between 2-4 blended teams. We intend to work with the successful supplier to define this. The make-up of team to deliver the agreed outcomes in each statement of work will be at the discretion of the successful supplier.
7. CQ005 Can the Authority detail if they expect the winning supplier to manage / run any of the blended teams or provide details on who will be running the blended teams ?
This will be determined based on the requirements for each statement of work. We expect the winning supplier to manage / run some of the blended teams, and we expect to be able to provide Delivery Management and Product Management capability to run some of the blended teams (with team members provided by the supplier).
8. CQ006 Can the Authority estimate the total number of resources required, and the resource type in terms of skillsets that are required to satisfy the Authority’s call off contract ?
We estimate the total number of resources required (people) to be 15-20 initially, with potential to grow to 30-40 later in the engagement.

Roles and skillsets from across the Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework are required, including but not limited to Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Business Analyst, User Research, Content Designer, Content Strategist, Interaction Designer, Service Designer, Data Architect, Dev Ops Engineer, Front End Developer, Infrastructure Engineer, Software Developer, Technical Architect, Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Data Scientist, Performance Analyst. "
9. CQ007 What IDAM solutions are in scope that the Authority expects supplier resources to develop or interface with ?
Our IDAM solutions are a mixture of COTS and some in-house developed, so we will not provide a list of all products which the supplier will interact with. All products used by the Department use modern and standard authentication protocol (OIDC, OAUTH, SAML 2.0), therefore the supplier will need to demonstrate competence and experience with authentication protocols and standards, and demonstrable experience with industry standard Identity-as-a-service platforms.
10. Please can you confirm if you are already working with an external party on this project?
We are not working with any other external party on this programme at this time. The purpose of this procurement is to provide a new delivery partner to work with the existing civil servant team to deliver this programme of work.