This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 27 February 2017
Department for International Trade (DIT)

Market Access Discovery Team

9 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 2 large

17 Completed applications

12 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Monday 13 February 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 20 February 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 27 February 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
A Discovery, investigating the feasibility of designing a system to manage intelligence on market access barriers. Beyond this, the team will need to investigate which microservices and design patterns can be repurposed to this end, and the likely cost of developing such services.
Latest start date
Expected contract length
4 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Department for International Trade (DIT)
Budget range
We are aiming at no more than £50,000 for the totality of the Discovery, but are open to proposals from suppliers who may feel that extra resources are justifiable given the scope of the task.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Market Access barriers cost businesses money, can damage trading relationships and lead to formal disputes. The market access team does not have a comprehensive view of all the barriers to trade and how these can be reported. The European Commission currently co-ordinates Member States’ approaches to addressing market access barriers. As the UK leaves the EU, the UK government will assume these responsibilities. As such, DIT needs to assess the feasibility of a digital service allowing market access barriers to be reported and a caseworking system for the team managing and triaging these.
Problem to be solved
The department does not know how feasible certain digital services will be as regards market access and the reusability of DIT design patterns and communications services.
Who the users are and what they need to do
We will have both internal and external users. The external users include businesses, trade associations, and colleagues across HMG who will need to be able to input market access issues. The second group will be the officials in the Trade Disputes and Market Access team, and they will need to use the system to identify what course of action to take given certain inputs pertaining to barriers to market access.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The team will function independently, but will need to pro-actively engage with several different policy and digital teams, including LITE and the Trade Disputes and Market Access team.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
This work will be split between offices in 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET and 3 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW
Working arrangements
Monday to Friday onsite (Offices in Westminster). A professional working day, hours and working pattern as needed to deliver the service in an efficient way. Mainly based from our office in Westminster, London. Furthermore, as most of the stakeholders are based in these offices and stakeholder engagement is so crucial to the success of the Discovery, it is even more important that this work is undertaken onsite.
Security clearance
Baseline clearance (BPSS) with the signing of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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
  • Have experience of and be comfortable with delivering to fixed deadlines
  • Have experience delivering professional business analysts, user researchers, designers, delivery managers and technical architects
  • Have extensive experience of working within an agile methodology while retaining the ability to recognise and work with waterfall governance structures.
  • Demonstrate prior experience of enabling business transformation and working closely with subject matter experts to achieve this.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate prior experience working with government
  • Demonstrate experience working with new organisations, in a working environment and subject area that is fresh.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Team structure - provisionally we are looking for a team with a delivery manager, a user researcher, a technical architect and a service designer – this is flexible, however
  • This work must be completed and outcomes delivered by the end of March – there is no flexibility on the timeframe
  • Team should use agile working practices – we will provide a product owner from the relevant team.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be focussed enough to stick to the task at hand and not be side-tracked in a vast and quick-moving field
  • Be committed and hard-working, to deliver under time pressures
  • Be enthused by the prospect of working at the frontline in such an exciting and dynamic area
  • Be committed to the best possible outcome for the United Kingdom following its departure from the European Union
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you confirm that you want a full proposal by the 27th February and not a matrix of evidence (ie 100 words on each of the essential/nice to have criteria describing similar projects).
Yes - we are looking for a full proposal by the 27th February
2. You clarified that "we are looking for a full proposal by the 27th February". Can you please tell us how a supplier should proceed to submit this proposal? The Digital Marketplace only has forms to submit evidence for each essential and nice-to-have skills.
Our apologies - the full proposal is not needed by the 27th February. We will shortlist the suppliers on the 27th and a full proposal from those shortlisted will be expected on the 3rd March.
3. Hi, can you clarify the essential skill: "Have experience delivering professional business analysts, user researchers, designers, delivery managers and technical architects" - is this aimed at agencies supplying/delivering people into roles, or does it mean something different? Thanks.
This is aimed at agencies who have previous experience supplying/delivering people into these roles in the past.
4. Likely cost is a desired outcome. 4 weeks does not allow for an RFP/ITT process, so is there a standard cost model that will be available to determine this?
No – there is no standard cost model. We will be expecting high level costs and delivery plans from the supplier
5. Will the MAD Team identify and organise the availability of external users (if appropriate)? The availability of these users, depending on location and extent will impact the feasibility of a 4 week delivery.
The Market Access team will use trade association contacts existing within the department to recruit users of the service. The Discovery team will be expected to identify all user types, and that may include using recruitment agencies to find other appropriate users.
6. What constitutes a ‘microservice’ – is there a standard definition for this?
A microservice archictecture is one in which components of a service are built, deployed and function independently of each other. These microservices communicate over a network in order to achieve the goal of the service. Existing project teams in DIT using a microservice architecture may have components which are easily repurposed to the ends of new services; the Discovery team will be responsible for investigating this.
7. A case management system has been mooted as the eventual outcome. Does this exist today? If so this feasibility study will be constrained by it (as will the costings).
The current service is handled by the European Union. No case management system is in place within DIT to support Market Access, but the department does have other CMS systems that could be repurposed. The Discovery team will be charged with investigating where these are and the feasibility of reusing them.
8. Could you please provide more detail on your timeframe for the procurement and when work can actually start? You have asked for proposals back by the 3rd March but you have also asked for presentations. How does this fit with the latest start date being the 6th March and the end of March deadline for completion of the work?
We will likely be looking at presentations on Monday 6th with a view to work starting a couple of days after
9. Given your tight timeframe for discovery completion, can you confirm that you already have external users lined up to support this project or are you expecting the winning supplier to both identify users and carry out the research in the 4 week period?
The Market Access team will use trade association contacts existing within the department to recruit users of the service. The Discovery team will be expected to identify all user types, and that may include using recruitment agencies to find other appropriate users.
10. Is DTI currently working with any 3rd party suppliers who will already have a good understanding of the existing microservices and design patterns?
DIT is currently working with external suppliers, and there is a good understanding of microservices and design patterns within the department.
11. Hello, We think we would be great for this opportunity, having the exact experience required and having built systems for BEIS, GDS & HMRC (international trade tools). However we're a SME and the key members of staff that we would propose for this project are away the week of the 6th. Would it be possible to present on the 3rd with a view of starting on the 13th?
DIT will weigh the quality of the proposal against the timeframe before reaching a conclusion on which supplier to choose.