This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 10 May 2017
Government Communication Service, Cabinet Office

GCS digital capability assessment

8 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 0 large

12 Completed applications

9 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Wednesday 26 April 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 3 May 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 10 May 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The Government Communication Service requires a departmental audit of digital capability within communications teams. This will be mapped against an existing capability maturity model. This will involve auditing different communications teams in approximately 20 departments and providing recommendations for improvements.
Latest start date
Expected contract length
Organisation the work is for
Government Communication Service, Cabinet Office
Budget range
Below £25k

About the work

Why the work is being done
A digital capability maturity model has been developed to set out a standardised roadmap to improve digital skills for approximately 20 Government departments. The model, based on the 4 main communcations pillars, articulates the skills level teams must have at each stage. Communications teams now need to be assessed against the model. All the assessments need to happen with a two to three week period and we would expect the assessments' conclusion as soon as possible after that.
Problem to be solved
There is no standardised cross-government assessment of comms teams' digital capability and therefore this process will allow teams to understand their development needs and help professional development teams set out what training is needed to bring all staff to the required level of digital effectiveness and capability.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a profession, we need to assess the digital capability of comms teams across government in order to identify skills gaps. This will enable us to provide the correct learning interventions.

As a communications professional, I need to have the necessary digital skills so that I can perform my job more effectively.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have created a digital capability maturity model based on established capability models, which outlines the 5 stages of maturity. Focussing on 4 strands of communication disciplines (Strategic Communications, Strategic Engagement, Media & Campaigns, and Internal Communications), the model was 'road tested' with several communications departments to assess robustness. The model has received endorsement by departments and by Directors of Communications.
Existing team
The current team are all government employees.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
At nominated government departments centred around Whitehall, London.
Working arrangements
An initial meeting to explain the model and the scope of the audit, who will be involved and the outcomes of the process. We would then expect a full breakdown of the audit process, what approach the supplier would take and the timescale of the audit.
We would expect departments to be audited in quick succession and reports to be produced at the conclusion of the audit setting out recommendations for each department and for the profession overall.
Security clearance
No security clearance is required.

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
  • Knowledge of digital capability
  • Knowledge of government communications
  • Experience of auditing large teams
  • Experience of working with government departments
  • Experience of working to a tight deadline
  • Experience of working with senior staff in government
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Value for money
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Rectify mistakes when identified
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you share a copy of your digital capability maturity model with prospective bidders, please?
The full model will not be shared at this stage.
The skill levels of the model are:
early, developing, standardised, mature, innovating

The following areas will be assessed:
Digital communications, strategic engagement, internal communications, media & campaigns, strategic communications
2. Can you confirm the geographic spread of the 20 relevant departments?
Depts are spread around Whitehall, London.
3. Does GCS (or your capability maturity model) require expect face-to-face meetings, remote meetings or online completion of assessment tools?
GCS expect initial meetings to be face to face followed by remote meetings if necessary.
4. Do the approximately 20 departments know that this audit is scheduled for May/June?
Departments have been informed of the audit but the exact timing hasn't been confirmed with them at this stage.
5. Are you looking for an individual or a team?
In order to meet the timescales, we would expect a team to carry out the audit.
6. Will the Maturity Model be shared with the 5 shortlisted suppliers at the next stage? This will allow suppliers to provide a more accurate estimate of costs/quote.
7. Was the maturity model developed in conjunction with an external supplier? If so, are they precluded from bidding on this opportunity?
No, the model was developed internally and was tested for robustness with communications professionals from across the GCS.
8. By 10 May, are you looking for suppliers to fill in the "Apply" questions on the Digital Marketplace only, submit a full proposal only, or do both? If a full proposal is required, will a destination email address be provided?
We require a full proposal by the stated date and a destination email address will be provided.
9. Was the assessment model designed internally or with external support?
The model was designed internally and was tested for robustness with communications professionals from across the GCS.
10. How many personnel from across each of the 20 departments are likely to involved in the assessment process?
We would expect at least one person from each of he communications areas to be involved in the audit. This includes representation from Strategic Communications, Media & Campaigns, Stakeholder Engagement and Internal Communications.
11. Has GCS a set questionnaire as part its maturity model, which we can provide to departments before we interview them?
No, there is no set questionnaire at this stage. We would expect the appointed supplier to develop this as part of the audit.
12. The answer to Q6 (maturity model will be supplied to 5 shortlisted suppliers) contradicts the answer to Q8 (looking for a full proposal by 10 May). Can you please clarify the required response and mechanism as soon as possible? We have already invested time and effort in preparing 6x100 Word Responses, as originally directed.
As the framework provides the detail of the qualities that individuals and teams should be demonstrating, we would expect suppliers to base their responses on how they would approach the task. At this stage suppliers do not need to know the details of the framework in order to develop an audit plan. At this point we are looking at how they would tackle the issue, based on information we have supplied already.
13. Can you confirm that the full proposal would only be required if shortlisted and is not required for the initial application?
We require a full proposal for the audit by the closing date.
14. *Message from GCS*
Please provide proposals to