This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Wednesday 27 July 2016
Skills Funding Agency (SFA) on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Interaction designers for digital apprenticeship service (SFADAS05)

0 Incomplete applications

11 Completed applications

10 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Wednesday 13 July 2016
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 20 July 2016 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 27 July 2016 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
A flexible team of interaction designers (2 to 5) to work in fast-paced agile delivery teams. The successful supplier will be able to demonstrate that the individuals they put forward for work have the essential experience, knowledge and technical skills set out in this proposal.
Latest start date
Expected contract length
2 years but may be shorter depending on progress towards delivering the strands of work.
West Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Skills Funding Agency (SFA) on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
BIS and the SFA are delivering a new digital apprenticeship service. The service vision is “Empowering employers to build skills through quality apprenticeships”. Currently apprenticeship funding is allocated and paid directly to training providers. Therefore employers will take control of government funding for apprenticeships. The policy intent is to drive up the quality and quantity of apprenticeships. We have completed a number of discovery and alpha stages for some components the service. The first strand will go live in August 2016. The services being procured are expected to deliver the remaining strands of work by April 2017.
Problem to be solved
Often employers don't know they have the option to choose from a range of providers, or that government will fund training for their apprentices. Employers need to be able to: 1) hire apprentices; 2) choose the right type of training for their apprentices; 3) find a suitable training provider; 4) understand what funding is available, including the apprenticeship levy, where that applies to them; and 5) manage their training costs.
Who the users are and what they need to do
1) As a citizen I need to improve my employment prospects so that I can start a career and earn money. 2) As an employer I need to employ an apprentice so I can improve the skills of my workforce, and get support for my business. 3) As a training provider for apprenticeships I need to ensure employers choose my services so my business is viable. 4) As SFA I need to manage levy payment and funding to training providers and ensure growth in apprenticeships for the benefit of the economy.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have completed a series of discovery and alpha phases for the various strands of work within the service. Two strands of work are currently in the beta phase.
Existing team
The supplier will be working with civil servants and multiple suppliers across various strands of work for delivery of the service.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Skills Funding Agency, Cheylesmore House, 5 Quinton Road, Coventry CV1 2WT, with occasional travel to other locations nationwide.
Working arrangements
Onsite full-time 5 days a week co-located with the rest of the team at the SFA offices in Coventry. Occasional travel to other BIS or SFA (or partner organisation) offices may be required, subject to SFA travel and subsistence policy. This programme is being delivered using agile methodologies. Successful application of agile principles and techniques requires that the teams are co-located and able to work directly with colleagues representing digital delivery, operational and policy requirements.
Security clearance
The successful supplier must be able to demonstrate that all proposed team members have been subject to Baseline Personnel Security Standards checks as set out in the SFA Baseline Security Policy 2014.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard DOS framework and call-off terms and conditions. Day rates should be inclusive of any costs of travelling to and working from the base location. The cost of travel to other locations while performing SFA work will be covered as per the SFA travel and subsistence policy and will need to be invoiced by the supplier with supporting receipts.

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
  • Significant design experience on projects developing digital products or services for the web: the ability to envisage, then iteratively sketch, mock up, and/or rapidly prototype.
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering user-centred designs based on user research, user feedback, analytics, etc.
  • Able to evidence a strong understanding of the relationship between interaction design and usability: a thorough grasp of how people perceive and engage with user interfaces.
  • Demonstrate previous experience of designing to a style guide, pattern library, or other set of standards.
  • Experience working within an agile, multi-disciplinary team environment, and ability to deliver iterative design components (including user journeys) to the development team.
  • Evidence commitment to and understanding of accessible design standards for digital products or services
  • Evidence strong consulting skills: able to upskill those less experienced in agile delivery and user-centred design, show what good looks like, and mentor less experienced designers
  • Have experience of working in a culture of continuous delivery and improvement
  • Have experience balancing changing priorities and dealing with ambiguity
  • Have experience of being part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Able to coach the delivery team, product owners and business stakeholders on agile practices
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working on UK Government digital services
  • Have previous experience of organisational transformation through delivery
  • Basic knowledge of HTML & CSS
  • Basic knowledge of Javascript

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate commitment to lean UI design and rapid iteration of visuals such as user journey illustrations: show how you work through inception, sketching, mocking up, and rapidly prototyping.
  • Describe how you will work with user researchers, analysts, and subject matter experts to absorb information effectively, and translate it into the right user interfaces
  • Demonstrate excellent understanding of how interaction design affects usability, and of accessible design standards — and how you will use your knowledge to communicate design decisions to the team
  • Outline your proposed approach to working to established GOV.UK style guidelines and design patterns, while remaining flexible in your thinking and comfortable with ambiguity
  • Explain how you will deliver UI designs within an agile, multi-disciplinary team environment, in a culture of continuous delivery and improvement
  • Outline how you propose to mentor, upskill and demonstrate ‘what good looks like’ in an organisation still learning to accommodate user-centred design and agile delivery
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate commitment to excellence and improvement, for example through seeking actionable feedback, setting targets etc.
  • Show commitment to ensuring that the team understands user needs over simply delivering work
  • Transparent and collaborative when making decisions and recommendations
  • Uphold a no-blame culture, and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Demonstrate courage (for example, express controversial views, confront reality, make tough decisions, question actions inconsistent with group behaviours, be candid about progress/estimates)
  • Demonstrate vulnerability (for example, declare uncertainty, fear, recognise mistakes, apologise, acknowledge weaknesses)
  • Demonstrate responsibility (for example, act like a leader, serve your team, provide solutions to problems, engage in external/internal environments, seek the best for the organisation beyond your team)
  • Demonstrate simplicity (for example, take simple steps to goals, do less but better, mitigate failures, talk straight with respect)
  • Demonstrate excellence (for example, seek actionable feedback, set challenging targets,)
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm (for example, bring whole self to work, celebrate success, share passion and energy with others, optimistic)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could you please provide some guidance as to the budget for this particular opportunity?
We are looking for competitive day rates for 2 - 5 interaction designers. A budget amount will not be provided.
2. Do you expect this opportunity to fall under the proposed changes to off payroll working within the Public Sector, and will you be deducting tax at source?
Apologies, but we have not been able to obtain a definitive answer to this. It is a consultation. We would expect to comply with legislation, should it lead to such an outcome.