Health Research Authority (HRA) - The HRA is an independent arm’s length body of the DHSC.

Develop new website for people involved in or affected by health and social care research

19 Incomplete applications

18 SME, 1 large

2 Completed applications

2 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 15 June 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 22 June 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 29 June 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The HRA is looking for a team to build a new website aimed at the public, patients and health and social care research participants.
Latest start date
Monday 3 October 2022
Expected contract length
12 months, with optional extension of 12 months
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Health Research Authority (HRA) - The HRA is an independent arm’s length body of the DHSC.
Budget range
Development costs of up to £100k plus optional hosting, maintenance and support costs.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The HRA was set up in 2011 with a mission to protect NHS patients, your tissue and your data when you are involved in research. Our new strategy is 'making it easy to do research that people can trust' . To make sure that it delivers the change that we want to see, we need a new website.
The HRA’s current website tells people who we are and what we do, but it also provides guidance and advice for people who are getting ready to apply for approvals to do research, or who need to make changes to research which is already underway. You’ve told us that this doesn’t work for you. It’s not always easy to find information about why the work of the HRA is important and the difference that it makes because this is hidden behind more technical information aimed at people doing research. We have listened to feedback and are going to separate our information across two different websites.
We are already building a new website for researchers to make it easier for them to find the information that they need, and now we are ready to start work on the website for a public audience.
Problem to be solved
The public and people involved in or affected by health and social care research can find information about what high quality research looks like, what the HRA does to make sure all studies are high quality and about the studies that are underway or that have been completed, and what they found.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a person with a health condition, I want to find out what sort of research studies are underway to find out more about my disease. As a person who has been asked to take part in a research study I want to know what sort of assurances there are about how I will be treated. As a carer, I want to find out what trusted research is, and why it matters. As a member of the public I want to find out whether research is for people like me. As a researcher I want to understand how the HRA works with other organisations to approve my study. As a research sponsor I need to find out how the HRA is helping my studies start more quickly.
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
The HRA's new strategy has been developed in partnership with patients and people involved in or affected by health and social care research. The new website will help us to demonstrate progress made against its bold commitments. You can read more on the current (to be retired) HRA website www.hra.nhs.uk.
Existing team
The supplier will work with a website project manager and a product and delivery manager. Both of these individuals are part of the HRA's communications team. They will also work with a panel of public participants who will help make sure the website development meets the needs of those it's intended to serve. This work will be supported by a member of the HRA's public involvement team.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Most of the HRA team are based at the HRA Manchester office: Health Research Authority, Barlow House, 4 Minshull Street, Manchester M1 3DZ
However, most meetings will be done remotely.
Users will be from across England and potentially beyond.
Working arrangements
The supplier will work remotely with the HRA team, using digital communication tools to make sure that everyone is up to date with progress. Whilst some initial meetings and workshops may be possible face to face, it's expected that the vast majority of sessions with HRA staff and public contributors will take place via Zoom so they they are accessible to everyone.
Security clearance
All must have BPSS as a minimum.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All expenses must be pre-agreed between the parties and must comply with the Cabinet Office (CO) Travel and Subsistence (T&S) Policy. All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects. For further information please see the Information Commissioner's Office website https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

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
  • Provide evidence of experience in website development driven by user research.
  • Experience and expertise of working in an agile way, iterative design and prototyping.
  • Provide evidence of designing and building services which meet user needs.
  • Provide evidence of designing and building services which meet GDS requirements for content design.
  • Provide evidence of designing and building services which meet GDS requirements for service design.
  • Provide evidence of designing and building services which meet GDS requirements for accessibility.
  • Provide evidence of your experience with GDS service assessment from discovery and alpha through to live.
  • Provide evidence of designing and integrating website with other systems.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of building services which surface changing information in creative, accessible ways to a non-expert audience.
  • Demonstrate experience of working with users, stakeholders and partners at all levels in a small organisation, where being flexible with timelines and requirements is crucial.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets the HRA's 'Involve' strategic objective (https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/what-we-do/our-strategy/). Note that bidders will be asked to deliver a facilitated workshop with public contributors
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Identification of risks and dependencies and proposed approaches to managing them
  • Team structure
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrably committed to involving people in every stage of the development of digital services to make sure that they meet their needs.
  • Supportive of small organisations with limited in-house digital expertise.
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions.
  • Encourage the team to step outside their comfort zone.
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Do you have a preferred/specified software for this build? Would you be open to Python with a Wagtail CMS?
We don't have a preferred software for this build and are looking to work with the successful supplier to find the best option for the site planned.
2. Do you have any specific technology preferences for frontend and backend website development?
No, we are happy to be advised by the supplier.
3. Do you have a list of must-have or good-to-have features or requirements for the website?
This will be defined during the discovery phase when user needs and requirements are identified however there are some functionality to consider:
Flexible and easy to use CMS with approval workflow to enable control of editing and publishing content
Potential for content review workflow to flag content that requires periodic review by editors
Version history of content to enable clear control and management of deployed content
Smart and intuitive search functionality
API capability to integrate with other systems (later point in the development roadmap)
4. Do you have current website traffic and demographic information? and with the new website launch are you expecting the numbers of visitors to grow significantly? How much time each visitor are likely to spend on a webpage? and finally how many concurrent users we are expecting at any given time?
The demographic information for the current HRA website is not relevant to the new project because the audience is so different. The existing website provides information for researchers looking to make an application for research approval, or an amendment to an existing study, as well as information about the HRA for a public audience. The new website then is likely to have fewer users in the first instance as the current audience will be split across two services.
5. Is this a static or dynamic website? or just for signposting or interaction?
At the moment it is anticipated that the website will primarily be static content which is information based with tech potential for web forms as the only interation.
6. What is the preferred tech stack?
We don't have one and are looking to work with the successful supplier on the best option.
7. Is there a backend content management system or any other system that requires integration?
We need to consider integration with backend system which contain information about research underway or that has been completed, in order to surface this to users. On the current HRA website this is the research summaries database. The backend system is currently being changed/developed.
8. Is there a hosting arrangement already in place? If so, would it be possible to provide any technical details?
There is a hosting arrangement for the current HRA website which we expect to come to an end when the new website goes live, to be replaced by a new contract. The current contract includes ongoing hosting, essential updates and security patching and development on a call-off basis.
9. Is discovery, research, UX and design required for this project? Or is it just development work?
Yes, the project has not yet started so we are looking for a supplier to work with us from discovery to live.
10. Can we please double-check the requirement “Provide evidence of your experience with GDS service assessment from discovery and alpha through to live” is an essential requirement, rather than nice-to-have, since this excludes any supplier from submitting an application for this opportunity if they have not gone through a formal GDS service assessment. We have experience of the GDS Service Standard but have not had the opportinity to do a formal service assessment with any of our government clients.
We would like to work with someone who has either had direct experience of all or some of the service assessments (alpha, beta and/or live), has contributed to a service assessment as part of a wider team or who can evidence a robust understanding of the service standard requirements and how they relate to this project. If the supplier has not had direct experience of being involved in a GDS assessment, we would be keen to see a clear demonstration of the suppliers knowledge and robust understanding of the processes and how they would ensure this project complies with them.
11. One of the essential skills the supplier has to demonstrate is ‘service design’ yet we are in the context of building a website. Do you consider the service being designed to be limited to the user’s experience online or does the supplier need to demonstrate experience of designing offline services as well?
At this stage we consider the 'service design' to be primarily be the user's online experience of the new website however we would also be interested to hear how you believe a user could be supported with the website resources in an offline capacity and take this into consdieration when designing the service.
12. How much do the website aimed at researchers, and the new website, need to have in common? Will the supplier need to use the same content management system? The same design system?
The website aimed at researchers uses a separate brand and visual identity to represent a partnership, so the new HRA website will look and feel different. The website with the researcher audience will be managed on an ongoing basis by a different team to the one managing the HRA website, so whilst using the same CMS for both could be helpful, as there may be some limited staff crossover, it is not essential.
13. Could you please let us know who will be responsible for the content strategy? I.e. Do you expect the supplier to input on content structure (beyond the overall information architecture)?
The HRA will be responsible for content strategy but would expect to work with the supplier to combine knowledge and expertise to make this as effective as possible.
14. Do you have a preferred tech stack and content management system?
No, we are happy to be advised by the supplier.
15. Do you already have a panel of participants to work with or do you need the supplier to help you with recruiting participants?
Yes we have a panel of participants, recruited via our public involvement network. This group will guide the development of the website and is not to be confused with user testers. The arrangement for finding and recruiting user testers will need to be agreed with the succesful supplier.
16. Did you perform any user research beyond devising the overall user objectives cited above under ‘Who the users are and what they need to do’?
If you have, could we please get an idea of how extensive that research was?
We performed some informal user research as part of the development of our new strategy and have planned a public dialogue (separate to this project) to better understand how the new website can help us to achieve our strategy aims. This will be complete in time for discovery.
17. Based on your new strategy, is your aim that the website will be a place to include people in inputting to the HRA (i.e. for your aims to ‘include everyone in research’, ‘Ask you what you want research to look like and act on this’ and ‘involve you in the HRA’
We would like to discuss what's possible, and the impact it might have, with our group of public contributors, but yes it is likely that the website should include a way for users to be able to interact and offer feedback on the work of the HRA.
18. Is there any automation or integration with other systems that we should consider for the site?
We need to consider integration with backend system which contain information about research underway or that has been completed, in order to surface this to users. On the current HRA website this is the research summaries database. The backend system is currently being changed/developed.
19. Will you want to migrate any content from the existing site to the new site?
Given the changing audience (the current site is for a mixed researcher/public audience) it's likely that all content will need to be rewritten.
20. Is the site in English only?
Yes.
21. It is unclear if this project is for solely development work (which the ‘Budget range’ section would suggest) or if the supplier will also be delivering user research and design work also (as the ‘Essential skills and experience’ would seem to suggest). What roles / expertise / high-level deliverables do you expect the supplier to deliver?
We are looking for a supplier to manage the delivery of the new website from discovery to live, including user research and design. This could be delivered partly via sub contracts, subject to prior approval by the HRA in respect of each sub-contractor. If subcontracts are required, details should be set out in your proposal.
22. Are you following the GDS phases (discovery, alpha, beta, live) for this work? If so, what phase(s) does this opportunity cover?
Yes we are covering the GDS phases of delivery and this opportunity covers all stages from discovery through to live
23. Will this project be assessed by GDS?
Yes it will
24. What systems are you expecting the new website to be integrated with? e.g SSO, CRM, Forms, DAM, Events?
At the moment this is not possible to answer - the backend system that the website will eventually integrate with is currently being changed/developed
25. Will the new solution be independently tested for accessibility compliance and if so, to what standard?
Yes the solution will be externally auditted for accessibility compliance and we expect it to met WCAG AA at a minimum with the view that compliance to AAA may be introduced in the future
26. Will the new solution have penetration testing?
Yes - it will be expected that a penetration test will be conducted
27. To what degree do you have access to a pool of users who can participate in user research and testing activities?
We have a panel of participants, recruited via our public involvement network. This group will guide the development of the website however is not to be confused with user testers. The arrangement for finding and recruiting user testers will need to be agreed with the succesful supplier.
28. Are we permitted to run the project with our instance of Jira and Confluence?
We are happy to be advised by the supplier as to the preferred software to run the project
29. The existing website differs from the NHS digital brand. Do you have brand guidelines which convey the HRA digital brand?
As part of the project we are looking to rebrand and therefore do not have any brand guidelines - however as part of that work it will take into consideration NHS digital brand
30. The existing team will also be working with a panel of public participants who will help to ensure the website development meets the needs of those it’s intended to serve. s this activity being completed separately to the development or is the expectation that our team will contribute to and be involved in this process?
This work is expected to be delivered as part of this project and the expectation is that the suppler will be greatly involved in this process
31. Capped time and materials – Please articulate your understanding of this payment approach and how you will balance the priorities of your organisation with a finite budget.
Deliverables under the contract will be paid on a time and materials basis up to a capped amount which is agreed in advance as part of the contract. Where additional time and materials are required to complete an agreed deliverable, this shall be at the Supplier's own cost unless the reason for the additional time and materials is due to a change requested by the HRA or information which could not have reasonably been known to the supplier at the time that the price was tendered, and which could not reasonably have been ascertained by the supplier with due diligence.
32. Understood you are already building a new website for researchers. We assume this service is being delivered as a standalone solution i.e. the technology, hosting and content are separate from the researchers website – please confirm.
We can confirm that this website (HRA) is a separate project to the website being developed for researchers and content, look and feel are very differnt although there will be cross over in terms of content links. Whilst using the same CMS or hosting arrangements etc for both could be helpful, it is not a requirement or essential.
33. Where is the current website hosted? What support SLA level do you require for the new site and do you have requirements for ongoing maintenance?
The current website is hosted in a data centre in London. We require support and ongoing maintance and encourage suppliers to include their offer/SLA terms within the submission
34. We assume the scope is for requirements under www.hra.nhs.uk domain and no other – please confirm.
At the moment it is anticipated the domain will remain the same - however if during the rebrand recommendations are made about the name/domain we will take this into consideration.
35. Please confirm or otherwise, this project is to deliver the “who we are and what we do” and the “apply for approvals to do research, or who need to make changes to research which is already underway” is to be done be the site currently underway.
The content of the website has yet to be decided - this is to be articulated during user research/discovery phase. However, as outlined in the opportunity, the new HRA website is to focus on information about the HRA for a public audience and the information currently on there for researchers looking to make an application for research approval/an amendment to an existing study will transfer to the other website for researcher audience.
36. Will there be an ongoing requirement for forms e.g. https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/committees-and-services/res-and-recs/become-rec-member/request-research-ethics-committee-rec-member-application-form/ and if so where do form submissions go? Is there an integration?
There may be the requirement for webforms going forward but the function and content of these forms has yet to be decided - this is something we want to draw out in the discovery phase. At the moment form submissions are emailed to the relevant departments within the HRA and a small amount of data stored with the database.
37. We assume Media and documents are managed within the CMS and this will continue (you do not have a Digital Asset Management system)?
Yes - we can confirm currently all media files are managed within the CMS
38. Is there a requirement presently or in the future for users to register / be issued with an account so they may access a private area?
This isn't an anticipated requirement for now or in the future
39. How is this calendar of events managed? https://www.hra.nhs.uk/about-us/committees-and-services/res-and-recs/search-research-ethics-committees/. Within the CMS or via integration and if so what system? Is it required for this project?
It is managed within the system and may or may not be required for this project, depending upon user research.
40. Regarding the essential skill ‘Provide evidence of designing and integrating website with other systems’ could you provide some examples of the kinds of systems you’re referring to?
Integrating websites with databases for example, to surface information in creative ways.
41. Do you have any specific hosting requirements?
No - we are happy to be advised by the supplier however being hosted in the UK is preferable
42. You’ve indicated that you don’t have preferred software for this build. Does that cover the entire tech stack OR are there some immovable parts?
Yes this covers the entire tech stack
43. What branding is available to the project, is it up to date, well liked and in use OR does it need extending in some way (e.g. for accessibility)?
As part of the project we are looking to rebrand and therefore do not have any brand guidelines at the moment but it will have to be compliant with accessibility standards to WCAG AA as a minimum.
44. Does the stated budget range cover development of the site or other elements as well (e.g. hosting, support etc)? If so, what period does the budget range need to cover ( 1 or more years)?
The stated £100k capped budget covers development and we anticipate this to take 12 months. Additional funding will be made available for ongoing hosting, support and maintenance for a further 12 months after the website goes live, however we would expect these costs to be very small relative to the development costs and we invite bidders to propose what the appropriate figure should be.
45. You have already developed the ‘researcher’ site. Why are you not working with the developer of that site (it seems a logical continuation of that project)?
The researcher site is part of a wider programme being delivered as part of a partnership arrangement. This development is for our corporate website, therefore the audience, client and brief are all very different.
46. Who has or is developing the ‘researcher’ site?
Big Blue Door
47. Can you give an indication of the current or expected traffic levels (e.g. sessions, page views)?
The demographic information for the current HRA website is not relevant to the new project because the audience is so different. The existing website provides information for researchers looking to make an application for research approval, or an amendment to an existing study, as well as information about the HRA for a public audience. The new website then is likely to have fewer users in the first instance as the current audience will be split across two services. We are unable to give these figures.
48. Are there any multi-lingual requirements?
No - the site will be in English only
49. What do you see as the most complex part of the project – understanding project requirements (for example the extant research and interpreting it), working with a large (or small) team – various HRA stakeholders, project manager and a product and delivery manager and the wider HRA communications team, the panel of public participants, the HRA’s public involvement team etc), the integration requirements?
The project should not be significantly complex. The organisation has a new strategy and a strong mandate to produce a new site to help to deliver against it. It also has an engaged team leading the project, wider organisation and especially publc involvement panel. The most complicated part of the project may be defining and delivering MVP in the face of such enthusiasm and opportunity.
50. The work alludes to integrating with other systems. What other systems are potentially in play (either specific systems or types of system)?
Integrating websites with databases for example, to surface information in creative ways, however the potential system it will integrate with is currently in development.

The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Wednesday 22 June 2022.