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
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
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: https://dfe-digital.github.io/architecture/#dfe-architecture; https://dfe-digital.github.io/technical-guidance/
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
• 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
- 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.
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
- Case study
- Work history