This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 20 September 2022
Nursing and Midwifery Council

Procurement for redevelopment of the NMC website (Ref C1076)

10 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 1 large

16 Completed applications

16 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 6 September 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 13 September 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 20 September 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
We’re looking to partner with an experienced agency specialising in developing websites and content design to deliver a greatly improved user experience for the NMC’s audiences.

Initially this includes helping review our current platform to understand which content management system would work best for the future needs of our organisation.
Latest start date
Monday 21 November 2022
Expected contract length
Organisation the work is for
Nursing and Midwifery Council
Budget range
Approximate budget range £150,000 to £250,000 including VAT and expenses related to user research (expenses must be pre-agreed with the buyer and comply with NMC expenses policy). This budget covers both phase one (discovery) and phase two of the project. Phases are described below under ‘terms and conditions’.

About the work

Why the work is being done
We manage and maintain the professional register for over 758,000 nurses, midwives, and nursing associates. These professionals and other audiences (including employers, students and members of the public) visit our public-facing website to find out more information about our standards and processes, such as how to join the register. We have several sub-domains, such as NMC Online, where they will carry out functions such as paying their annual fee.

Each year our website is visited by around 5 million users. As the primary place for our users to find information and access our services, our website plays a vital role.

We want to completely rebuild our content and create user-centered journeys that enable our audiences to have meaningful and efficient interactions with us.

In addition to this, the successful supplier will help us put in place effective systems to help with the administration of the website.

This work is for our main public-facing website: Our sub-domains are not in scope for this work; however, we would expect the successful supplier to be able to consider these off-site user journeys in their work.
Problem to be solved
Our website was last redesigned in 2015. Since then, we’ve made limited improvements to some designs and templates to accommodate new organisational priorities, but this has led to an inconsistent look and feel and an inadequate experience for certain audiences.

A user experience research exercise (carried out in May 2022) found failings in:

• Information architecture – users found our hierarchies of information very confusing with users ending up at incorrect or inappropriate information.
• Navigation - The primary navigation bar and other navigation elements did not effectively guide users.
• On-site search - our search tool is consistently underperforming
• Inconsistent quality of user journeys – some user journeys on the website are more developed than others.
• Quality and depth of information – while users found our information useful, it’s often too long and too detailed, leading users to opt for more resource intensive means of finding what they need such as contacting us via the phone.

Full research report:

Google Studio Dashboard:

We need to create a website informed by the needs of our users that allows them to easily find what they’re looking for and carry out their duties they have with us.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our website serves a diverse range of users with different needs. Through our UX research, we’ve been able to identify our main user groups and their needs and construct personas and journey maps for each. In the main, these groups include:

•Professionals (nurses, midwives, and nursing associates)
•Employers (NHS trusts, doctors’ surgeries etc.)
•Applicants to the register
•Members of the public
•Other stakeholders (this is a wide-ranging group and so wasn’t included in the UX research)

You can read more on these personas and journey maps (page 60-71) in our UX report. We’re looking for a supplier who is used to working with a diverse range of audiences and can guide us on how to manage overlapping and complex messaging.

We carried out user testing and interviews across these user groups to gain an understanding of where the website is failing to meet users' needs. While the research was extensive, further research may be needed on each of the individual content areas and processes that are to be redesigned on the new website.

We want to create content that is truly informed by user needs and helps them effectively and efficiently carry out their regulatory duties with us.
Early market engagement
We have an incumbent website development supplier who takes care of ongoing improvements and bug fixes on our website. They have not been given any exclusive information that is not already contained within this tender.

We’re able to facilitate meetings and collaboration with the incumbent should it be useful within this programme.
Any work that’s already been done
•2022 UX discovery research
•2022 website survey
•2022 accessibility audit
•2020 accessibility audit (a more thorough audit carried out in preparation for Accessibility Regulations 2018)

We're currently in the planning phase for radical changes to the legislative framework that underpins most of our processes, which will impact our website processes and content.

The programme will happen alongside website development. The supplier will be expected to factor changes to processes, into the work on the website. While we don’t expect significant changes until Summer 2024, we’d need to make sure we’re scheduling improvements to the website in line with that programme.
Existing team
You will be working members of the Digital Communications Team which sit in the Communications and Engagement department. This includes:

Digital Communications Manager (principal contact)
Senior Digital Content Officer x 2
Senior Digital Content Officers x 2 (FTCs) (budgeted but not yet recruited)

Meetings can be arranged with any other relevant parties throughout our organisation and can be facilitated by the Digital Communications Manager.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Our head office is located at 23 Portland Place, Marylebone, London.

We have open access to our offices in Marylebone and Stratford (East London) to facilitate meetings. We can also attend meetings at the agency’s offices.
Working arrangements
The organisation is currently working in a hybrid model.

We’d like to carry out full day in-person workshops to kick off the work. We’re open to suggestions. We expect the kick-off meetings to include all members of the Digital Communications team.

Regular catch ups – once the work has kicked off, regular weekly catch ups with the Digital Communications team.

We’d expect the successful supplier to host and organise frequent in-person collaboration days (in addition to the weekly catch ups). Day-to-day work can be carried out remotely, but we’d like to benefit from face-to-face work as part of this programme.
Security clearance
The work is for our publicly available website.

When carrying out user testing and further user research we don’t expect you to need security clearance as consent will be obtained from anyone taking part in the research.

You may need security clearance to access test environments of some website services.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Phase one: From November 22 to March 23 - further discovery includes:

•In-depth planning of the programme including internal stakeholder resource requirements
•Visual site mapping and content audits
•A review of the current and available platforms

You’ll be required to quote separately for this phase. After phase one is complete, we’ll report to an internal quality assurance board who’ll review the plans and approve the rest of the programme. We reserve the right to delay or halt phase two of the programme if planning is deemed inadequate.

Phase two: (April 2023-March 2025) – substantial part of the programme and build.

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
  • Ability to effectively project manage large scale website content programmes providing detailed timetabling which considers internal resource (subject matter experts) requirements.
  • Significant experience in the technical and design elements of website design for very large websites, such as API integrations, forms and automated tools.
  • Ability to create evidenced and robust information architecture and navigation solutions for large websites with overlapping and complex information.
  • Significant experience in using Government Design Principles in carrying out user needs research to create fully informed user journeys.
  • Experience of working with similar bodies within similar sectors who have to deal to deal with wide-ranging and disparate audience needs.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Knowledge and expertise of numerous content management systems including Optimizely (formerly EPiServer).

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Ability to establish and project manage a wide-ranging programme, including detailed timetabling that considers busy subject matter experts/content owners throughout our business and identifies gaps in our approach.
  • Ability to carry out further user research and co-design each major content area and organise post development UAT ensuring the new website is truly informed by user needs.
  • Ability to map our internal business processes and translate it into easily understood, helpful, user-informed content.
  • Ability to carry out a review of our Content Management System and other available systems
  • Ability to set in place a team with significant experience with a clear team structure, roles and responsibilities.
  • Ability to help us organise, archive, and migrate our current site, prioritising user journeys in most need of attention.
  • Significant experience in creating fully accessible, inclusive, legible, and readable websites complaint with WCAG 2.1 level AA design principles.
  • In house technical capabilities to develop back-end systems within the CMS including API integrations, forms, and automated tools.
  • Significant experience in front-end design for up to 30-page templates.
  • Ability to put in place a full evaluation model for on-going tracking and effectiveness of the new website.
  • Ability to design website maintenance and governance processes such as digital style guides, content development workflows and content owner workflows to effectively manage content going forward.
  • Shortlisted suppliers are required to provide a written proposal and presentation demonstrating their ability to meet the requirements set out below. Proposals will be evaluated using the published Evaluation criteria.
  • The technical competence section contributes to 70% of your overall score. Each of the criteria below will be equally weighted at 5.5%.
  • You will be provided with a template to help you write your proposal. There will be a further 9.5% from the technical competence section awarded to your presentation.
  • During the application and proposal development we’re looking for suppliers to thoroughly understand issues with current website and put forward a thoughtful strategy to help solve the problems with it.
  • We’ll pay close attention to how well you’ve understood these issues in your answers to questions, proposals, and presentation.
  • We’re also looking for suppliers who can identify gaps in our requirements and put forward a sensible approach to address those gaps.
  • Shortlisted suppliers will be asked to provide work histories for the whole team working on the project. Your score on price will be calculated based on the Framework guidance
  • We require detailed price estimations. Shortlisted suppliers must include pricing for phase one and phase two separately with a final total and include a rate card.
  • Shortlisted suppliers will be invited to present their proposal at our London office. Dates TBC, although it’s provisionally expected to take place on WC 24 Oct 2022
Cultural fit criteria
  • We are looking for suppliers who have similar values and can reflect and relate these values to their work within this programme and how they work with us.
  • Within the proposal we will expect you to carefully consider these values will affect this programme. We expect suppliers to:
  • Be fair, Be transparent , Be collaborative, Be kind. Show an understanding and practical knowledge of how equality, diversity and inclusion considerations will impact and shape the work
  • Your written response on the cultural fit criteria will form 8% of the overall score.
  • A further 2% will be available for how well you demonstrate your understanding of these values during your presentation.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is the solution required to use Optimizely (formerly EPiServer), or are you open to other technologies?
Yes we are. As part of the work we’ll be asking the successful supplier to carry out a review of our current and other available platforms. This review will be informed by the future technology needs of our organisation. We want them to make a recommendation on a platform that best suits us. This recommendation may be to stay with our current platform but we are also open to looking at other platforms should they be more suitable for us.
2. Is Optimizely (formerly EPiServer) your preferred technology, and how much weighting will this have over other CMS options we might choose to propose?
It is not. There are number of factors we’ll wish to consider in our platform review. For instance cost of switching, ease of migration, opportunity cost etc.
3. You mention Opimizely (EpiServer) in the requirements – do you have a technical preference for the new CMS?
No we do not. Knowledge of Optimizely is mentioned in the requirements as a ‘nice-to-have’ as it is assumed some knowledge of that platform would help with carrying out the platform review as the successful supplier would be able to make better informed comparisons. We appreciate you wouldn’t need to be an Optimezely expert in order to do this.
4. Where do you expect the new website to be hosted? Are there, for example, any preferences for a particular cloud provider (e.g. AWS, Azure, GCP)?
We’re currently hosted on NMC servers. We are open to suggestions on better hosting as part of our platform review. We want to explore the benefits and potential costs for other hosting methods.
5. Can you confirm if there is any hosting requirement to be included in the budget?
Hosting of the website is covered by a separate budget.
6. Can you advise if the budget is to cover both phases of the project, in light of the requirement to quote for Phase 1 & 2 separately (as detailed in the Additional Info section)
Yes it is.
7. Do you have any tech preference for the CMS to be used.
No we do not. Knowledge of Optimizely is mentioned in the requirements as a ‘nice-to-have’ as it is assumed some knowledge of the platform would help with carrying out the platform review as the successful supplier would be able to make better informed comparisons. We appreciate you wouldn’t need to be an Optimezely expert in order to do this.
8. Can you provide more detail on the content creation elements of the requirement.
We’re looking for a supplier who would be able to help us set up all the elements of a content development from further user research and design to copyediting and publication on the new website. We have some ideas on how to do this, but during this tender we’ll be looking for suppliers to make suggestions on how best to put in place that workflow.
9. The invitation to tender places this work in the Discovery phase. CIVIC has completed significant Discovery research. We understand from your post that the budget will cover any additional Discovery work, Alpha research, information architecture, content strategy, prototyping with usability tests and qualification of the CMS choice. Also, the website development with CMS templates and content publishing guidelines for administrators through to Beta production. Please confirm this assumption is valid and comment on whether the budget is flexible to meet all mentioned above. Or if it’s a budget for Alpha progress only. Thank you for posting this invitation to tender.
The budget is to cover both phases. However, the first phase is only to cover:

•In-depth planning of the programme including internal stakeholder resource requirements
•Visual site mapping and content audits
•A review of the current and available platforms

If suppliers feel it’s important to explore information architecture, content strategy and prototyping with usability tests in order to help with timetabling of the programme then we’d be interested to hear why in their proposals
10. Optimizely/episerver is mentioned. Is the current website on Optimizely? And if so, which version are you currently on?
Yes our current platform is Optimezely (Episerver). Our current version is 11.14.2.
11. Assuming that your current website is on Episerver/Optimizely, what type of license do you own?
Yes our current platform is Optimezely (Episerver). We currently have an on-premise perpetual licence.
12. Are you looking to solely use Optimizely? Can we offer a different CMS?
No we are not. As part of the work we’ll be asking the successful supplier to carry out a review of our current and other available platforms. This review will be informed by the future technology needs of our organisation. We want them to make a recommendation on a platform that best suits us. This recommendation may be to stay with our current platform but we are also open to looking at other platforms should they be more suitable for us.
13. Does NMC use any of the Optimizely plug-ins currently?
Does NMC have any plans to use any of the following facilities – experimentation (A/B & MVT testing), Marketing Orchestration and Campaign Management, Personalization facilities, Customer Data Platform facilities and 360 stats analysis, and Optimization as a Service?
We currently use Episerver Find and Episerver forms. We have a number of custom developed functionalities that our developers have put in place on top of the out-of-the-box functionality available on the platform.
We would be very keen to explore many of the other facilities you mention to understand how they may help us to meet our objectives. We would rely on suppliers to bring to our attention and help us prioritise functionality that would be most beneficial to us.
14. Thank you for providing a guide on the available budgets for the two phases. Would you be able to provide visibility on the assumptions that have informed the proposed level of investment for the next circa 2 years?
The main assumption we’re making is that the cost for a potential platform switch and/or switch to cloud hosting will not be prohibitive. While licences and hosting for the website comes from a separate budget, the platform review will help us decide if switching to a new platform is beneficial and economical.
We believe the budget allocated to the rest of the programme is sufficient to carry out the work we’re trying to do.
15. Regarding the Phase 2 requirement, can you please confirm what you mean by ‘substantial’? Is there an expectation for suppliers to build a site up to a specific phase, for example, private beta?
Substantial here means taking the programme through to completion. The expectation is phase 2 will take the project through to public launch.
16. As part of the next procurement phase, you have requested suppliers provide detailed price estimations for phase one and phase two. Until we have completed phase one and understand the outcomes and recommendations, phase two will be very difficult to price with any degree of accuracy. Can you please confirm how you would like suppliers to approach this?
We appreciate phase 1 may uncover extra requirements. We’d be able to control the scope by re-prioritising certain elements of the programme should that be needed after phase 1.

However, suppliers have our main user journeys and personas from our UX discovery, access to analytics and the ability to view the current site. We believe this should provide potential suppliers with enough information to make a reasonable estimation on the scope and price of both phases. When pricing phase 2, suppliers will be able to flag potential gaps and assumptions they’d like us to be aware of.
17. The description of work already been done suggests that the changes to the legislative framework that underpins your processes may have a big impact on user journeys, the site structure and page content. Please could you confirm this assumption? If so, would the team get information on these upcoming changes from the beginning of the project in 2022?
By early 2023 we should have a clearer idea on the timeframes for these changes.

It might be the case that certain changes will not come into effect for a few years and we can begin developing associated user journeys, ‘as is’ and then look to address those changes after the new site has been launched. It might be the case that some changes are imminent and so it makes sense to hold off on redeveloping certain user journeys until later in the programme.

When timetabling the programme, we’ll work closely with the chosen supplier to make those prioritisation decisions.