Start date: Wednesday 18 January 2023
Value: £233,975
Company size: SME
The Renfrewshire Council Alpha phase

0 Incomplete applications

7 Completed applications

7 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Thursday 25 August 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 1 September 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 8 September 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Renfrewshire Council wants to conduct an Alpha phase for We are looking for a digital agency to carry out specific research, modelling, and design activities that are aligned with a mobile-first, content-first, and object-first approach.
More details about Alpha:
Latest start date
Monday 12 December 2022
Expected contract length
Up to 6 months
Organisation the work is for
The Renfrewshire Council
Budget range
Up to £235,000 excluding VAT. Ongoing hosting and maintenance (if needed) should not exceed £5,000 a year.

About the work

Why the work is being done
In 2019, we led a Pre-discovery phase to look at the context of our digital experience. Very early in our research, we saw that our digital experience was fractured and inadequately supported by the existing content, design, technology, brands, and ways of working.
Based on our findings, we shaped a vision to develop a successful digital experience that is seamless, integrated, consistent and personalised. This vision requires us to place content at the centre of our digital experience, with being the single source of truth (
In order to inform how we would implement this vision, we carried out a Discovery phase to validate the challenges we previously identified and recommend solutions for and the wider digital experience. (
One of these recommendations is to develop the new based on a structured content model on Drupal CMS – with Acquia – and GatherContent, with the launch of beta planned for the second part of 2023 (
We now want to undertake an Alpha phase to test the solutions we identified in Discovery, build models, design system, and prototypes, and gather further input from users.
Problem to be solved
Overall, we want to simplify our digital experience and support it with a new way of working and a new infrastructure for our content, design, and technology.

In Alpha, we will be looking to carry out research, modelling, and design activities that are aligned with a mobile-first, content-first, and object-first approach. We want to:

• build a domain model of a Scottish Local Authority
• build a content model for Renfrewshire Council
• develop the foundations of an object-oriented design system for Renfrewshire Council’s digital interfaces
• sketch and test mobile-first prototypes for
• test how the Drupal and GatherContent platforms can support our approach and content model
• define Beta phase.

To inform, build, test, and refine the models, design system, IA, and prototypes, we will expect you to reuse our findings from the two services deep-dives we did in Discovery and carry out some service design activities for two or three areas (e.g. school admissions, fostering, employability support, recruitment process, employee induction).

The full brief can be read here:
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a resident of Renfrewshire, I want to be able to locate information effortlessly, in order to do what I need quickly and easily.
As a person affiliated with Renfrewshire, I want to know and feedback about things that affect me or my business - changes, developments, or investments in the area.
As a business, we want to complete business transactions easily, so that we can carry on with day-to-day responsibilities as a business with no fuss or delay.
As a Council, we need to provide clear and concise information, so that our service users find information quickly that is easy to understand.
As a Council employee, I need to know where to go for information about my work, my role and the wider organisation, so that I can get what I need quickly and in a way that suits me.
As a Customer Service Advisor, I want to be able to find information about a specific council service quickly, so that I can help answer the query for the customer who has made contact.
As a Content Editor, I need simple and intuitive tools, so that I can create and manage content that is easy to find and use.
Early market engagement
Not applicable
Any work that’s already been done
A Pre-discovery and Discovery phases have been completed.
To prepare for Alpha, we are:
• carrying out a content audit for – see audit dashboard:
• doing a first revision of our Information Infrastructure based on quantitative findings
• recruiting content and interface design practitioners
• getting training in OOUX.
Existing team
The successful supplier will be part of the Digital Experience (DXP) team and work with other council services including IT and Customer Services.
Digital Experience team members:
• Digital Experience Manager
• Lead Content Designer (currently being recruited)
• 3 x Content Designer (two positions currently being recruited)
• 2 x Content Editor (currently being recruited)
• Senior Interaction Designer (currently being recruited)
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
This work will take place remotely.
Working arrangements
The supplier will integrate with the Digital Experience team, share knowledge and insight, work in an open and transparent way, and lead Alpha activities.
The team will work remotely and communicate via Microsoft Teams. We use other collaboration tools such as Smartsheet, Metro Retro, and Mural. All project ceremonies like stand-ups, sprint planning and show and tells will be held by video conferencing on Microsoft Teams.
Security clearance
Not applicable

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
In line with and detailed in Framework schedule 6 (Order Form) and relevant Call Off Schedules and Joint Schedules, the following additional T&C's are -
JS-3- Motor Vehicle insurance required
CO-19-Scots Law
JS 7 - D&B rating of 20 required
CO 2 (Staff Transfer) Part C and E will apply
Please refer to the Thread for copies of the draft Order Form and relevant Schedules. This is for reference only and will be required to be completed by the successful supplier.
The documents can be read here:

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
  • Experience of forming a blended, multi-disciplinary team with the buying organisation
  • Experience of building and implementing object-oriented domain and content models
  • Experience building and implementing object-oriented design systems
  • Experience of designing and testing mobile-first prototypes
  • Experience of designing digital products that meet accessibility legislation (WCAG 2.1) and best practice
  • Experience of Drupal and Acquia and excellent understanding and experience of building systems based on object-oriented / structured content models
  • Experience of delivering foundational UX research and end-to-end service design activities for local or central government
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of developing and working with omnichannel content strategies
  • Working knowledge of the Structured Content and Object-Oriented UX (OOUX) principles, including the Structured Content Stack approach and ORCA and triple diamond process
  • Experience of GatherContent and integrating it with Drupal or another CMS
  • Working knowledge of atomic design and / or full stack design system principles
  • Working knowledge of GDS and / or Scottish Government Digital principles

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach (including structure of activities and estimated timeframe) to conduct Alpha and achieve the aims set out under Problem to be solved (25%)
  • The team you will provide for Alpha and the skills and expertise they bring (15%)
  • Relevant examples of building and testing domain and content models, design systems, and prototypes that are mobile-first, content-first, and object-first (15%)
  • Relevant examples of delivering end-to-end service design activities for local or central government (5%)
  • Understanding of risks to successful delivery Alpha and how you propose to mitigate them in collaboration with us (5%)
  • Fair Working Practices - questionnaire with proposal template (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • How you will blend and form one team with us and share your knowledge and experience (5%)
  • How you will create understanding and alignment with stakeholders (3%)
  • How your approach will remain flexible and agile over the life of the contract (2%)
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you please confirm that the £5,000 annual support and hosting costs is the correct figure?
The figure of £5,000 is the correct figure for maintenance and hosting costs during Alpha and if required for the design system and prototypes. Hosting and support for Beta will be in the next phase which will be tendered next year.