Scottish Government

Discovery Phase for Disability Benefits

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
6 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
13 SME, 8 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 27 June 2017
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 4 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 11 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work The scope of this contract is to deliver a Discovery for Disability Benefits (Personal Independence Payment, Redetermination and Appeals, and Assessments, Severe Disablement Allowance and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit) to inform the future direction of Disability Benefits from both an end user (citizens and internal SG) and technology perspective.
Latest start date Thursday 7 September 2017
Expected contract length 6 months with the option to extend by up to 25% of the original contract length
Location Scotland
Organisation the work is for Scottish Government
Budget range The estimated contract value is between £350,000 and £500,000 including VAT for a 6 month period. There is an option to extend the contract by up to 20% of the original contract value.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The Social Security Programme within Scottish Government (SG) is charged with taking forward the Scotland Act 2016 powers on devolved benefits. The Programme has been established to provide the governance and structure for delivering the required capabilities. SG requires a Service Provider to carry out a Discovery exercise for Disability Benefits. SG wishes to build as comprehensive a picture as possible of the user needs of disabled people, and ensure the safe and secure transition of some existing services. The output of Discovery will inform policy decisions, and feed directly into the future design of user-centred services.
Problem to be solved 1) To build a comprehensive picture of the current ‘as is’ situation regarding existing disability benefits and processes, and in turn identify the greatest opportunities for delivering cultural change. This will require interrogation of the most controversial elements of the current UK welfare system which are being devolved to Scotland, namely PIP and associated processes for redetermination and appeals, and assessments. It will include substantial bespoke research activity 2) To investigate the current ways in which existing benefits are delivered, build a full understanding of business processes and technical complexity, and provide options for future service delivery.
Who the users are and what they need to do Users will be a mix of applicants for services, internal system users and third parties involved in service delivery. Example user stories from a previous phase include: As a potential applicant I want to be given advice that’s tailored to my circumstances; I want to know what I’m entitled to. As an applicant I want to know what is expected of me and by when; I want to know the status of my application at any time.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done This work is informed by earlier developments in the form of one Discovery phase, and two Alphas covering other benefits within the remit of the Social Security Agency, which helped shape strategic thinking and prototype technological functions. The Discovery provided a high-level understanding of the service required to administer devolved benefits, and the processes, systems and technologies required to support that service. Alpha 1 developed the case management element – looking at the generic and benefit-specific processes required. Alpha 2 extended Alpha 1, prototyping the components of an end-to-end service for two benefits: Best Start Grant and Funeral Payment.
Existing team Working as part of a multidisciplinary team, the Service Provider will provide specialist resources and expertise to support the delivery of the Discovery exercise, working alongside existing roles within SG including Product Owner, Transformation Manager, Business Analyst, Service Designer, User Researcher, Service Designer, Content Designer and Enterprise Architect.
Current phase Not started

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The team will be required to co-locate and embed with the Chief Digital Office, Digital Ecosystem Unit and Social Security team at Scottish Government's office, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, and work in Atlantic Quay, Glasgow as required.
Working arrangements Work onsite at Scottish Government offices in Edinburgh with attendance in Glasgow when required. 5 days a week, full-time (9-5), throughout the contract to ensure full immersion in the project and allow for knowledge transfer.
Security clearance All Supplier resources must meet the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) and have Basic Disclosure by the start of the contract.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Please note that additional bespoke Scottish Government Terms and Conditions will apply to this requirement and will be issued at the technical proposal stage to short listed suppliers. New Intellectual Property Rights created by or on behalf of the Service Provider exclusively for the Purchaser as part of the performance by the Service Provider of its obligations under this Contract will belong to the Purchaser.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Co-locate at SG offices in Edinburgh with attendance in Glasgow when required for the duration of the contract yes/no
  • Be able to deliver the project within the six month timescale yes/no
  • Have demonstrable experience of using agile techniques to design services and develop them through Discovery, Alpha, Beta to Live (15%)
  • Have demonstrable experience of undertaking research with a diverse mix of users including those with low digital literacy and assisted digital needs (15%)
  • Have demonstrable experience of field research, desk research, and co-design/ collaborative sensemaking with service users, staff, and other stakeholders (15%)
  • Have demonstrable experience of delivering successful Discovery outcomes to support and shape complex digital transformation (10%)
  • Have demonstrable experience of complex technical investigation to inform future project stages (10%)
  • Be familiar with the SG Digital First Service Standard, or relevant assurance process such as GDS’s Digital Service Standard, and undertake an assessment at the end of Discovery (10%)
  • Have demonstrable experience of shared delivery responsibilities and matrix management with an internal team (5%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of conducting user research with users of public services, particularly social security and/or health disabled people and their advocates (5%)
  • Have experience of co-locating to deliver agile projects (5%)
  • Have experience of delivering at scale on high-profile public sector digital projects (5%)
  • Have experience of using service design to transform public services (5%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 6
Proposal criteria
  • User research approach 20%
  • Project delivery approach 20%
  • Understanding of requirements including approach to cyber security 15%
  • Team roles and responsibilities and capability 15%
  • Approach to business analysis and technical investigation 15%
  • Schedule of Work 5%
  • Continuity of Service 5%
  • Risk management 5%
  • Community benefit(s) you will deliver as part of this Contract (not scored)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Engage and work with users in a sensitive and inclusive manner 46%
  • Meet the co-location requirements of this contract 22%
  • Share knowledge and experience 22%
  • Commit to fair work practices for workers 10%
Payment approach Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Further information. A DRAFT Statement of Requirements is available at the following link. It is provided at this stage FOR INFORMATION ONLY at this stage to enable potential suppliers to make an informed decision of whether or not to respond to the contract notice.
2. Can you clarify whether expenses may be claimed for travel and/or accommodation. Do you envisage a total cap on said expenses? This will be a fixed price contract. Any expenses including but not limited to travel and accommodation must be built into the fixed price.
3. Can we ask if this project is completely independent from the 'Scottish Social Security Technical Delivery Support' posted on DOS on the 24th May? - This project is specifically for a Discovery Phase for Disability Benefits and is a separate requirement from the 'Scottish Social Security Technical Delivery Support'. Both projects support delivery of the Social Security Programme which is charged with taking forward the Scotland Act 2016 powers on devolved benefits.
4. Who supported SG in carrying out the Discovery Phase and two Alphas? Discovery - Methods Group
Alpha 1 – Methods Group
Alpha 2 – PA Consulting Services Limited
5. To be clear, is the core objective: A) To understand the current end user experience and replicate it, or B) To understand the current end user experience and recommend a new digital experience that better improves it? The Scottish Government intends to put dignity and respect at the heart of a new social security system. An improved end to end user experience, including digital and assisted digital, will be expected as part of that whilst also guaranteeing a safe and secure transition from the current system.
6. For the purposes of estimating the effort, can we assume that the resources already assigned to the team (for example Service Designer and User Researcher) will be at our disposal five days a week? With activity being carried out across the Social Security Programme resources are being shared across teams and therefore the supplier will be expected to provide additional resource in the area of user research and service design.
7. Does SG have a transcription service that can be used for transcribing qualitative interviews, or should this be factored into our quote? This should be factored into your quote if you are selected to respond to the next stage of the procurement.
8. Will you undertake recruitment using the Experience panel, or do you anticipate that the supplier will do this? SG will support recruitment through experience panels. If an alternative route is required the supplier will take responsibility to manage this with sign off from SG user research lead to assure: alignment with panels lead, ethics and informed consent, conform to SG procedures, alignment with SG communications team for Social Security.
9. Alternative recruitment – additional information in relation to the above question. Alternative recruitment will be required if:
• Experience panel recruitment is not possible or not acceptable to the Experience Panels Steering Group (SG User Research Lead will direct partners appropriately),
• less than 6 week recruitment lead time,
• recruitment includes individuals currently not using existing services, people who support them officially/unofficially (i.e. carers/ support workers), internal users (people who deliver the service/components of the service) or any other group not represented by the panel membership.