Awarded to Test Partners Ltd

Start date: Monday 1 January 2018
Value: £50,000
Company size: SME
Her Majesty's Passport Office

User Research Recruitment with Access Needs and Low Internet Skills

3 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 0 large

2 Completed applications

2 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Friday 25 August 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 1 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 8 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Recruitment of users with access needs and low internet skills to participate in user research days for a new digital passport service which allows members of the public to renew their British passport online.
Research dates
Between October 2017 and September 2019. Exact dates to be confirmed
Organisation the work is for
Her Majesty's Passport Office
Budget range

About the work

Early market engagement

About the research

Description of your participants
• All to live in the UK and be British nationals
• All to hold a current British passport
• None to have a lost, stolen or damaged passport
• All to be fluent in English
• None to be dual nationals
• Even split of gender
• All must be 26 years or older
• All must have a way to take a digital photo of themselves
• All must be willing to have their photo taken during the research session
• Nobody to be involved in designing or building websites, or any other digital products or services
• Nobody to work as a photographer or in photographic services.
• All must be willing to have the research sessions recorded on video
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements
To cover all main types of impairment including:
- Physical disability affecting manual dexterity or mobility
- Hearing loss and deafness
- Vision disability
- Cognitive impairments
- Learning difficulty
- Psychological disorders
- Facial disfigurement
Research plan
For every scheduled lab day we will be conducting five usability sessions with users. On each lab day we require that one participant has an access need and one participant is assisted digital (this may also include access needs). We will always schedule our lab days with at least 10 working days notice. We aim to have at least one lab day taking place each week, during busy times this may increase to two lab days per week.
Research location
A London based research lab is expected to be used or the participants home. The exact location to be communicated as each brief is provided
Access restrictions at location
Number of research rounds
A minimum of 10 lab days plus 5 home visits in 24 months. Maximum 100 lab days over 24 months
Number of participants per round
2 participants per day in the lab (at least one with access needs and at least one who is assisted digital), 5 participants per round for home visits
How often research will happen
No set schedule. Flexibility will be required. We will give 10 working days notice. During peak times we may require two rounds of research to be recruited for per week.
Evening or weekend research

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
  • Can recruit for mobility and physical impairments
  • Can recruit for hearing loss and deafness
  • Can recruit for visually impaired and blind
  • Can recruit for cognitive impairments inc. dyslexia
  • Can recruit users of common assistive technologies
  • Can recruit genuine assisted digital users
  • Can produce screener for recruitment
  • Can replace no-shows or wrongly recruited without extra charge
  • Can handle payment of incentives to participants
  • Can recruit target profiles in the London area
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Can check quality of recruits by phone
  • Can confirm attendance prior to each session (e.g. night before or morning before)
  • Can recruit the target profiles nationwide (around the UK)
  • Can provide regular (daily) updates on recruitment progress
  • Can provide a document with participant profiles for review

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Ability to recruit target profiles
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the solution meets user needs
  • Approach to risk management
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






Questions asked by suppliers

1. How much is the incentive you are offering participants?
This varies and is currently being reviewed by the ethics team regarding incentives constituting employment and for different parts of the country e.g. Regions versus London. The average hourly rate for a lab session is around £50.
2. Do you pay travel costs?
Travel costs are not paid.
3. How much are you willing to pay for a person supporting assisted digital participants?
Assisted digital participants can be paid up to £70
4. How long is a session?
This can vary but usually no more than one hour.
5. Do you pay the same for home visits and participants visiting the lab?
This can vary depending on location, duration etc, but generally , yes.
6. Once someone has participated in a user testing session, how long must they wait before being allowed to participate again? Or can they only participate once?
Usually only once a year
7. Does the replacement for a no-show have to be available immediately to fill the same time slot?
No, there are different ways this can work, a standby can be available all day in case of a no-show, or, an extra slot can be scheduled for the end of the day with a participant that understands they may not be needed, but will still be paid.
8. Can you guarantee that the two participants on any day will be given adjacent time slots?
No, this cannot be guaranteed
9. Can you confirm precisely what you mean by “genuine assisted digital users”? Does it mean a participant who requires a support worker such as a BSL signer? Does it include participants who need support (such as a guide or someone to push a wheelchair) in order to attend the premises but do not need any support in order to access and use the website? Does it mean people who require assistive technologies such as screen readers? Or something else?
Assisted digital refers to people who require assistance in completing tasks online or using technology, this may be for a number of reasons, including; limited/no access to the internet, older age, low confidence etc. The examples given in the response above refer to access needs not assisted digital. However, the two can cross over, e.g an assisted digital user may also have an access need.
10. You will have five usability sessions per lab day, of which one participant has an access need and one participant is assisted digital. Can you confirm that it will not be necessary for us to recruit the other three participants?
We would usually expect all participants for a lab to be recruited by one recruiter