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Department of Health and Social Care

Overseas Healthcare Participant Recruitment for User Experience Discovery and Testing

0 Incomplete applications

2 Completed applications

2 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Monday 5 February 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 12 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 19 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
User research participant recruitment for DHSC Overseas Healthcare Service.

The OHS is a complex service spanning 32 countries within EU/EEA/ Switzerland and other International territories.

This recruitment brief involves participants from within the EU/EEA/Swiss area including UK and is varied for a range of user samples and field work contexts.
North East England
Research dates
February 2018 — July 2018
Organisation the work is for
Department of Health and Social Care
Budget range

About the work

Early market engagement

About the research

Description of your participants
Skills, behaviour or attributes participants should and should not have are described in this overall participant specification. This is intended to cover the range of participants throughout. Each round of recruitment will draw from a subset of these groups.
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements
OHS service design team are committed to design for inclusion and require user research that helps design a service enabling diverse access needs, including one user per week (i.e. 1 in 6) with a disability. We will require one participant with one of the following disabilities:

• Severe Visual Impairment (i.e. uses screen reading software)
• Mild to Moderate Visual Impairment (i.e. uses screen magnifying software)
• Severe dyslexia
• Deafness
• Mild Motor Impairment (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis that affects ability to use computers); Moderate Motor Impairment (e.g. uses one hand)
• Colour Blindness
• Autism
• Mental Health Conditions
Research plan
We want to examine the needs, motivations, attitudes, and behaviours of users of the Overseas Healthcare Service.

We currently have two teams based in Newcastle working in cycles of fortnightly sprints. Typically each team may need one round of 6 users, with an estimated maximum of 18 participants each fortnight.

Occasionally we require more than 6 participants per sprint, and more than one recruitment screener. We need to be able to specify participant specification, venue, and mode of research (labs, site visit, group work) for each round.

Research methods include usability testing, contextual (in-home or in-workplace), remote and telephone interviews.
Research location
Primarily, Newcastle, Tyne & Wear area at a venue provided by the supplier.

On-site visits may be specified per round. Also potentially Leeds, Manchester, Bristol or other locations.
Access restrictions at location
None known, will be supplied on a per-recruit basis.
Number of research rounds
Between 1 - 15
Number of participants per round
Typically 6 - (with two rounds per sprint i.e. 12 per sprint). We may need to vary this.
How often research will happen
Typically fortnightly, two rounds, i.e. for each two-week sprint, two rounds of research.
Evening or weekend research
Weekday evenings

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All vendors are obliged to provide sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects. For further information please see the Information Commissioner's Office website:

We require all incentives (vouchers) for participants to be organised by the supplier at a pre-agreed reasonable rate.

We will not usually require an all day standby.

We require the supplier to provide a screener based on participant criteria OHS provide in good time for each round.

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
  • Recruit for usability/user experience research and testing.
  • Screen participants based on specific criteria and needs.
  • Able to recruit participants for face-to-face research.
  • Able to recruit participants for various modes of research including contextual research, 1-2-1 interviews, groups participation.
  • Able to recruit participants for research at various locations including labs, group session venues, and at participants’ homes or place of work.
  • Able to match a research recruitment brief very closely.
  • Manage participants to ensure quality and attendance.
  • Prepared to recruit people who are not on a database to reach harder to find participants.
  • A short lead time to recruit (e.g. 7-10 days), in some cases for UK research 3 days or as close to 3 days as possible.
  • Will completely handle incentives for participants.
  • Be able to recruit participants with assisted digital needs.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Able to recruit participants or arrange recruitment of participants in countries across EU area.
  • Able to recruit target profiles nationwide around the UK.
  • Ability to provide replacement participants at short notice should someone drop out.
  • Ability to recruit a translator for people with language needs, or enable a participant to bring someone with them.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Ability to perform regular recruitment of new respondents.
  • Suitable lead time for recruitment each month.
  • Ability to provide a variation in respondents per round.
  • Screen to ensure suitable participants.
  • Evidence of ensuring participant attendance.
  • Show an ability to adapt recruitment criteria between rounds with suitable notice from OHS.
  • Provide a suitable external lab if the usual lab is unavailable.
  • Demonstrate a method to identify participants with low-digital confidence. From our experience this will likely require offline communication.
  • Experience recruiting participants with assisted digital needs.
  • Organising and handling incentives for participants at a suitable amount.
  • Provide OHS with profiles and information for selected participants in each round.
  • Providing updates on recruit status to research team.
  • Sensitively relating to participants with various health, ability, age, cultural, racial, economic, national, and immigration status.
  • Total budget includes incentives, lab/venue hire, and incentive handling, taxi fees for people with mobility issues.
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






Questions asked by suppliers

1. Accessing the Participation Specification Document.
Please note the amended link for the Participation Specification is:
2. Are you willing to consider bids where the supplier submitting the bid and managing the work is listed on the framework, and the recruitment is delivered by a third party that is not currently on the framework?
Sub-contractors will be accepted according to the terms of the Digital Outcomes and Specialist 2 Framework Agreement (Section 9.18). Thank you.