Awarded to Kainos Software Ltd

Start date: Monday 20 November 2017
Value: £2,000,000
Company size: large
Civil Service Human Resourcing (CSHR)

Learning Platform for Government Beta

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

8 Completed applications

6 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Friday 8 September 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 15 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 22 September 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Provide web ops, service design, development, testing, user experience and research, business analysis and solutions architecture resource to develop and maintain the Learning Platform for Government. Work with Civil Service Learning website supplier to transition existing service to new platform, including secure migration of data (learner records and training products).
Latest start date
Wednesday 1 November 2017
Expected contract length
2 years
Organisation the work is for
Civil Service Human Resourcing (CSHR)
Budget range
£1.5m to £2m

About the work

Why the work is being done
Replace the Civil Service Learning (CSL) website with a bespoke interface and open standards architecture that integrates with LMS. LPG will be data-driven, utilisiing a Learning Record Store, to enable improved user experience and management information reporting. The objectives of the project are: single, fit-for-purpose Service, providing learning opportunities needed by a ‘Brilliant Civil Service’. A service informed by user-centred design principles ensuring consistent and user-friendly experience for staff in line with GDS Digital Service Standard. A secure service protected against security threats and delivered to NCSC specification. The minimum viable product needs to be completed by end March 2018.
Problem to be solved
Civil Service Learning provides poor user experience and is built on old technology. The new platform will meet the user needs identified in the alpha project and will be compliant with the GDS Digital Service Standard.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users of LPG are Civil Servants. The Learning Platform for Government is an internal-facing service within the Civil Service. The new platform will enable users to access formal and informal learning from a variety of sources, integrating each learning experience into a single learner record. It will also allow users to rate and share their formal and informal learning. As a Civil Servant, I want a single place to manage my learning, so that I can capture and share them with my Line Manager and colleagues.
Early market engagement
Early market engagement has shown that bespoke development and integration with other components is required. No single existing provision meets all the user needs of the project.
Any work that’s already been done
Discovery and alpha phases took place in 2015/2016. The findings of the alpha are being used to inform the development of the LPG project.
Existing team
The existing team comprises Service Manager, Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Content Manager and Business Analyst. This is a small, under-resourced team which will need to maintain Civil Service Learning until LPG is ready to go into public beta. The supplier will also need to work collaboratively with projects within CSHR. The work will involve exploring opportunities to develop common components for the LPG, Fast Track and Early Talent as well as the new Recruitment Platform for Government (RPG).
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF. Although there are some accommodation restrictions and the supplier will need a flexible approach to delivery.
Working arrangements
According to Agile project methodology including relevant ceremonies such as sprints, daily stand ups, retrospectives, sprint planning etc. The core team (see previous comments re: accommodation) will be co-located to optimise collaboration and transparency of working practices. The Supplier will be expected to use appropriate tools to support Agile working. These tools could include Jira, Trello, Confluence, Slack etc. The team will have a strong focus on continuous improvement through regular lessons learned and implementation of recommendations for improved ways of working.
Security clearance
All staff must have BPSS clearance as well as CTC clearance to access Marsham Street. Any staff who access bulk personal data will need to go through additional Security Clearance but we don't anticipate this being required at the outset of the project.

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
  • Willingness to undergo and pass security clearances. (20 points)
  • Experience of successfully delivering 3 or more service transformation projects for high volume, high availability digital services. (20 points)
  • Experience of working in blended, multi-discipline team environments focused on meeting user needs, using agile methodologies and delivering digital improvement outcomes (20 points)
  • Experience of effective service design to inform and drive business change in the context of service transformation for high volume, high availability digital services for the public sector. (20 points)
  • Experience of successfully delivering high volume, high availability digital services in accordance with the Digital Service Standard, including passing appropriate Service Standard assessments (Alpha, Beta and Live). (20 points)
  • Experience of working with cloud vendor technologies and tools to support cloud adoption and secure communication between cloud providers and integration with legacy services. (15 points)
  • Experience of depth of skills and working in a Government Digital technology stack - e.g. AWS, .Net, MongoDB, Google Analytics, JavaScript. (15 points)
  • Experience of supplying team roles to supplement, blend and co-locate with in-house teams to successfully deliver digital improvement outcomes. (20 points)
  • Experience of efficiently and successfully operating distributed Agile delivery teams in the delivery of public sector digital services involving both on-site and off-site teams. (20 points)
  • Experience of working in a multi-vendor model on complex programmes with many dependencies and integrations. (15 points)
  • Demonstrable depth of resource and expertise to supply all team roles as recommended by the Digital Service Standard for each phase of service delivery (Discovery to Live). (15 points)
  • Experience of working in continuous delivery environments enabling and performing frequent releases on complex and scaled out services over a sustained basis. (15 points)
  • Experience of producing and maintaining business continuity and contingency plans to mitigate against the greatest risk to services including downtime. (15 points)
  • The Supplier should demonstrate evidence of effective project management principles, including output based planning (Agile). (15 points)
  • Have demonstrable awareness of the market and emerging technologies. (10 points)
  • Experience of the seamless migration of high volume, high availability services to the cloud and between cloud platforms. (10 points)
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering and maintaining secure APIs in order to facilitate data-driven services. (15 points)
  • Have a robust security management system which addresses physical, personnel, procedural and technical risks and must be willing to acquire Cyber Essential Plus certification within agreed timescales. (20 points)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • ISO27001 certification and Cyber Essentials Plus Certified (5 points)
  • Previous experience of delivering a learning platform (5 points).
  • Experience of learning systems, learner records store, xAPI and SCORM or other relevant learning technologies (5 points).
  • Have evidence of leading and coaching government departments through the digital transformation process aligned to the Digital Service Standard and Service Standard assessments. (5 points).
  • Experience of successfully integrating digital services with Government platforms, such as Verify and Notify (5 points).
  • Have evidence of leading and coaching government departments through the digital transformation process aligned to the Digital Service Standard and Service Standard assessments. (5 points).
  • Have evidence of providing additional and/or value added activities when acting in the role of a partner supplier. (5 points).
  • Have evidence of enablement of government department ‘in-house’ teams, building sustainable in-house capability. (5 points).
  • Experience of delivering to meet ISO27001:2013 (5 points)
  • Demonstrable ability to design secure solutions in accordance with NCSC security design principles (5 points)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Outline how you intend to approach the project and methodology, including providing estimated timeframes for the project and how this will meet the required project outcomes (100 points).
  • Describe how you intend to collaborate and integrate with other project teams (80 points).
  • Outline your proposed delivery team & structure and evidence of how their skills/experience will achieve the required outcomes. Include CVs and demonstrate a strong FTE backbone in critical-roles. (100 points).
  • Outline how you will ensure the skills and knowledge required will be maintained throughout the project and that staff changes will not impact delivery or continuity (80 points).
  • Outline how you will ensure maximum value for money for the Authority (50 points).
  • Provide an example/s of when you have delivered a high volume, high availability secure digital service and state the project outcomes (80 points).
  • Provide evidence of efficiently and successfully operating distributed Agile delivery teams in the delivery of public sector digital services involving both on-site and off-site teams (100 points).
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (20 points)
  • Enablement of digital team and capability (20 points)
  • Delivery and Value For Money Focused (20 points)
  • Innovative and pro-active in promoting ideas and suggestions to continually improve (20 points)
  • Having a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes (20 points)
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions (20 points)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please provide info on Data and User Volumes --No of concurrent users planned at any given point of time --Data Volumes by content –Audios, Videos, images
Peak usage is expected to be in the region of 10,000 concurrent users. However we are looking for a scaling solution that allows for incremental increases based on actual usage. Costs to be provided in rate card.
2. Please provide planned NFR (Non-Functional Requirements) --Target rendering devices with browser versions / OS versions --Availability requirements --Performance requirements --Localization / Globalization, if so how many languages planned for?
The website will adhere to the GDS Digital Service Standard There is a requirement for the Welsh language as well as English. As far as possible the website should take into account the requirement for Common Technology Services. The website is used by Civil Service staff working abroad.
3. Does application should support mobile? if yes, what are the platforms/versions it must support
The website will adhere to the GDS Digital Service Standard. See points 10 and 13 of the Digital Service Standard and
4. Do we need to create the videos / audio training material?
No, this is delivered by a number of suppliers under different contracts.
5. Do we need to integrate with Social media?
No, although we would like to investigate the potential to use social media as a vehicle for learning. The ability to recommend and rate content is required as well as the ability to include links to external resources. The ability to embed YouTube videos is needed.
6. What are the codec formats / video formats the application should support, to play in video player?
Including but not limited to SCORM, YouTube, MP4, e-book formats.
7. What is the version of LCMS player?
This information is pending confirmation from the current supplier.
8. How many users are there in current system?
9. Supporting Video Streaming? (Formats, Frame size, Frames per second)
No streaming within the service currently.
10. Is it Buffered streaming or progressive streaming?
The website currently uses progressive download. Although the potential provider should recommend a solution that will best meet the needs of the organisation going forward.
11. Is Digital rights management applied? If Yes, what is the Authentication & Authorization, User Roles, Content expiry date, Content download rights
Yes. Digital rights apply and user roles are managed by CSL Digital team. Users are authenticated by the log in. Going forward we're looking to move to a model that combines formal training and informal learning. We'll review digital rights management in line with the new approach and existing contracts.
12. Who is providing LMS?
An LMS provider has not been chosen. The potential provider is responsible for suggesting a suitable architecture that they reasonably expect to deliver the requirements, potentially including a LMS.
13. Do we need to migrate data? If yes, what is the size of the data? Which database is used in current system?
Yes, the successful supplier will need to assist with the migration of data from the existing supplier to the new platform including (but not possibly limited to) content and user data. The size of the existing data is pending confirmation from the existing supplier. We do not anticipate that the volume of data will increase significantly, although if there are opportunities to reduce data volumes then these should be investigated.
14. What is current system technology stack?
The current CSL platform is based on Moodle and Drupal, which has been heavily customised to try and meet the needs of the existing service. We are not expecting to retain the current technology stack. The Supplier is expected to collaborate with relevant suppliers to implement a shared infrastructure and micro-services, which will be shared between this and other projects.
15. What are the standards & compliance's current system following?
The current service is informed by the following standards: GDS Digital Service Standard, WCAG 2.0 AA compliance, NCSC Security Design Principles, NCSC Cloud Security Principles
16. Can you please outline steps and dates in the procurement timetable, up until supplier award i.e. Proposal or presentation dates?
Evaluation of initial evidence - w/c 26th Sept
Publish request for proposal to shortlisted suppliers- w/c 26th Sept
Evaluation of proposals - w/c 16th Oct
Supplier presentations - w/c 23rd Oct
Contract award - w/c 30th Oct
17. Can we ask what roles CSHR are expecting the successful supplier to provide?
The potential provider should suggest a suitable team that they expect to successfully deliver the requirements. However we anticipate that the team could include: Delivery Manager, Service Designer, Business Analyst, User Researchers, Developers, Solution/Technical architect, Testers.
18. In section 4, questions 4d and 4f ask the same question. "Evidence of Have evidence of leading and coaching government departments through the digital transformation process aligned to the Digital Service Standard and Service Standard assessments. (5 points). " Can you please confirm if this should be treated as a duplication or if a new question will be provided?
To be treated as duplication. No further questions will be provided.
19. Can you provide a quick overview of what you are trying to do and why?
We are looking to replace the current Civil Service Learning site with a new Learning Platform for Government, which will be based on the user needs identified in the alpha phase. These include: the introduction of formal and informal learning, increased levels of engagement between learners, including rating and recommending learning, data & user-driven service design and improved user authentication.
20. Are there any recommendations from the Alpha assessment?
Further user research is required, focusing on the user needs of line managers.
21. In terms of timescales for Beta, what are the reasons for March?
We are looking to move platforms in 2018/2019 and hope to commence a phased roll out in 2018.
22. Can you provide a list of the known integrations required?
Common services across learning and recruitment (to be determined during development); KPMG, KFHG and Capita back office systems; finance back office system & Worldpay for bookings (although Payment methods could change during development), data access
23. What roles do you currently cover internally?
The team currently consists of the following roles: Service Manager, Product Manager, Delivery Manager, Content Manager, Business Analyst and Technical Architect.
24. What roles do you expect the supplier to provide?
The potential provider should suggest a suitable team that they expect to successfully deliver the requirements. However we anticipate that the team could include: Delivery Manager, Service Designer, Business Analyst, User Researchers, Developers, Solution/Technical architect, Testers.