Awarded to Web Usability

Start date: Monday 10 July 2023
Value: £14,575
Company size: SME
Belfast City Council

Manual accessibility audit and remedial recommendations on Belfast City Council’s websites

8 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 1 large

14 Completed applications

13 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Wednesday 22 February 2023
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 1 March 2023 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 8 March 2023 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Manual web accessibility audit on specific areas on Belfast City Council’s websites to ensure compliance with WCAG 2.1 standards (and 2.2 draft standards).

Provide report identifying accessibility issues, with recommendations, remedial implementation plan and a retest.

To include a face-to-face debrief to transfer knowledge and facilitate Q and A.
Latest start date
Monday 20 March 2023
Expected contract length
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Belfast City Council
Budget range
£15, 000

About the work

Why the work is being done
Belfast City Council aims to make its websites accessible, easy to understand and use, to enable our visitors to carry out transactions and fulfil their communications needs.

When we relaunched in 2020, accessibility was one of our main objectives. Our sites fall under the main domain with some vanity urls, eg is

We use automated tools to carry out our own daily manual checks on the websites, but this work is being done to assess how real users with disabilities interact with our websites.

We would like to eliminate any barriers to people getting access to our information, regardless of ability and device used.

We also need to comply with the PSBAR legislation 2018. The supplier should highlight what we need to look out for in the draft WCAG 2.2 standards.

As well as improving accessibility on our sites, we want to increase our internal teams' knowledge and understanding.

We estimate the work should take three weeks. It needs to be completed by the end of April.
Problem to be solved
We want to ensure all users to our website and third-party applications have equal access, no matter what their ability is.

Our automated testing tools will not flag all accessibility issues.

We need a team to engage with users with varying disabilities, to carry out user testing on a range of devices. This testing must highlight any issues and the supplier must provide best practice recommendations and solutions to fix these. With the supplier's knowledge transfer and support, we will make the fixes.

Audits should be carried out on specific templates, pages, customer journeys and forms. Our CMS is Kentico and forms are developed in-house.

- Test five core templates
- Test 10 customer journeys
- Test five online forms with their journeys on:
Street cleansing, Buy a bin, Find my bin collection day, Report a missed bin, Book a bulky waste collection.

- Test five core templates to include landing page
- Test Buy tickets form and customer journey

- Test two core templates

- Test two core templates and navigation to and from

We will supply you with a url list and analytics. You may find this useful:
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our audience comprises residents, visitors, councillors, staff, businesses and partners. Users may have visual, motor, auditory or cognitive disabilities. We also want to make it easy for older people to get the information they need.

Examples are:

A sight impaired user may use a screen magnifier to enlarge text or a screen reader to navigate the site. They need sufficient contrast between foreground and background colour, text alternatives to images, controls, or other structural elements.

A user with physical or motor disabilities needs to navigate a webpage without the use of a mouse or trackpad and enough time to complete a webform.

A deaf user needs to read captions on a video.

A user with speech disabilities needs to communicate without voice interaction.

A user with cognitive, learning, or neurological disabilities needs navigation mechanisms and page layouts that are easy to understand and use.

All residents regardless of ability should be able to find their bin collection day or pay a fine and licence. They should be able to navigate and complete buying tickets at the zoo. They should be able to read and find our holiday arrangements.

Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We completed a manual accessibility audit in 2021 and implemented the recommendations. We carry out automated testing on the site regularly using Silktide and can give the successful supplier all necessary reports. We were audited by the Cabinet Office in February 2022, with no further action required. We want to maintain high accessibility standards.
Existing team
The Online Customer Experience Team consists of an Online Customer Experience Manager, a Marketing and Communications Coordinator, and three Web Editors. While we are not a technical team, we have a basic knowledge of HTML , CSS and accessibility issues.

We are based in City Hall, Belfast. You will also have access to our in-house developers for queries on webforms.

We will share findings with our website supplier and in-house teams.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
You can work remotely.
Working arrangements
Most work can be carried out remotely with regular contact points during the duration of the contract.
Security clearance

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 carrying out manual accessibility audits on large-sized websites for organisations who are subject to The Public Sector Bodies (Website and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
  • Have experience of engaging with a range of testers with differing disabilities.
  • Have the skills to manually test with and without assistive technology and across different devices.
  • Have experience of providing a comprehensive written report, in plain English, detailing all areas non-compliant with WCAG 2.1 Level AA and recommendations for future proofing to 2.2.
  • Be skilful in providing clear recommendations and solutions on how to fix all issues, how to avoid these and maintain an accessible website.
  • Have experience of providing a retest of the websites once recommendations have been implemented and provide a report on any issues not resolved.
  • Demonstrate how you have transfered all knowledge from the audit to the teams (eg through meetings, presentations and how-to guides).
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • demonstrate evidence of audits carried out in the last 12 months with a similar-sized organisation.
  • have experience of working alongside additional suppliers and in-house teams to deliver accessibility improvements.
  • show evidence of audits carried out within a prescribed timeframe.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • approach and methodology, demonstrating an overall understanding of the brief
  • how the approach or solution meets our needs
  • estimated timeframes for the work
Cultural fit criteria
  • work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. just checking to see how long the expected time the contract is due to take?
Thanks for your question. Contract length is 6 months (with an optional extension of 6 weeks).
2. Is it possible to provide the URL list so we can review these to provide a quote?
Thanks for your question. Hopefully this helps:

Core templates

Customer journeys

BCC forms
Please note this is a prototype.

Belfast Zoo

Core templates

Buy zoo tickets

Invest in Belfast -

Core templates
• Landing page template

• Content page template

Belfast Stories -

Core templates
• Homepage

• Content page with left-hand navigation
3. Who carried out the audit in 2021? Are they still an existing supplier?
The audit in 2021 was carried out by Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC). We currently don’t have an existing supplier.
4. Is there a specific list of devices that have to be considered during testing?
The sites must be reviewed across different devices:
• mobile,
• desktop or laptop, and
• tablet.

You may find this useful - GOV.UK’s service manual guidance on designing for different browsers and devices

This lists browsers to test in (from June 2022), and includes the link to testing with assistive technologies