Awarded to cxpartners

Start date: Tuesday 8 May 2018
Value: £80,000
Company size: large
HM Revenue and Customs

Digital Services User Research Participant Recruitment

0 Incomplete applications

1 Completed application

0 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Friday 9 March 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 16 March 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 23 March 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
HMRC will conduct the research and provide the researchers discussion guides and any research materials needed. The recruitment agency is expected to:

- provide recruitment of users for research
- pay incentives to users taking part in research
- organisation of user participation and attendance on the day
Research dates
Expected start date of contract mid/late April.
Organisation the work is for
HM Revenue and Customs
Budget range

About the work

Early market engagement

About the research

Description of your participants
HMRC wants to do research to find out why some of our users may avoid using digital services or choose non-digital alternatives, particularly within the business sector.

See the Digital Inclusion strategy on GOV.UK

1) HMRC is seeking recruitment methods to be targeted to digitally excluded users.
2) HMRC is seeking to develop a relationship with a range of suppliers on an ongoing basis, not an exclusive relationship.
3) HMRC welcomes interest from any sector of the Digital Marketplace with access to users who will meet our needs, even if recruitment is not your specialism.
4) HMRC would provide detailed briefs for each recruitment specification.

HMRC are looking for people who use or may need to use HMRC services, for example:

-Sole traders
-Limited companies
-Small, medium and large businesses
-Individuals on tax credits
-Individuals with a Personal Tax Account
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements
The following is not an exhaustive list of barriers that face users we want to speak to and a successful supplier must be able to recruit participants that fit these requirements.

● Equipment access: (access and connectivity)
● Low digital skills, lack of confidence in IT
● Unrepresented sole traders with a Digital reluctance or trust barrier
● Accessibility barriers
● English is a second language
● Physical or mental barriers
● Future users - for example school leavers
● Low volume trade sectors
Research plan
HMRC need suppliers to:

● have a process in place to fulfil the brief with a maximum 10 working days notice for recruitment, longer can be arranged with negotiation where the brief is particularly complex
● have the capacity and model to recruit approximately 200 users per year
● evidence the ability to recruit within reasonable distance of one or more of the HMRC locations
Research location
Most of the research will be done in or near the following HMRC locations: Worthing, London, Telford, Manchester, Newcastle and Shipley. Some research may be carried out remotely. Evening reserach will be required with the potential for some weekend research.
Access restrictions at location
Number of research rounds
HMRC requires approximately 200 participants per year
Number of participants per round
Various - number of participants will be agreed as part of the requirements of each round
How often research will happen
HMRC requires participant recruitment for regular user research activities. Participants will take part in research for a number of projects delivering a wide range of services and will therefore need to be representative of the users of such services. For the most part we are looking for ‘assisted digital’ users for research.
Evening or weekend research
  • Weekday evenings
  • Weekends

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
  • Evidenced experience recruiting AD participants with low digital literacy, confidence etc
  • Evidenced experience recruiting participants with specific accessibility needs or requirements.
  • Evidenced experience recruiting people for niche projects
  • Evidenced experience in both digital and non-digital recruitment methods
  • Evidenced experience of recruiting people for research ethically and sensitively
  • Have the ability and capacity to work to short deadlines
  • Evidenced ability to recruit in the above HMRC locations
  • Would agree to fixed charging model across all individual recruitment specs (within these parameters)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Ability to recruit overseas participants, both EU and non-EU
  • Provide 24 hour contact / support

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Your essential skills and experience
  • Your proposed approach and methodology to meet HMRC's requirements.
  • Expertise in relation to maintaining delivery focus and accountability.
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






Questions asked by suppliers

1. In the nice-to-have skills you mention recruiting overseas participants - can you clarify whether you mean recruiting participants that are not British nationals or those in the country on a work visa?
We would like people that are living and working/have a business abroad to take part in research. This research would be done remotely e.g. via GoToMeeting so we wouldn’t expect anyone to travel to the UK.
2. You haven't given a budget range, are you able to provide one so we can assess the scale of the opportunity?
Looking at historical spend, we would estimate that the spend under this agreement would be in the region of £70,000. However, this is only an indicative amount to assist with your question.
3. You have stated " seeking to develop a relationship with a range of suppliers " and that you will evaluate 5 companies. How many are you looking to appoint in total?
We will only be appointing one supplier from this exercise, but we currently have other suppliers for user research which we will use alongside the successful supplier from this exercise to fulfil our needs.
4. How long will the appointment run for? There is no time frame apart from an indicated start date.
We will be looking to put in an arrangement for 24 months from the start date.
5. Is this a contract opportunity or appointment to a roster of agencies?
This will be a contract opportunity.
6. Your technical competence score weighting is 50% but you are also inviting suppliers whose core specialism is not recruitment. If I am in that category how will my score be weighted against a supplier whose core competency is recruitment? I'm assuming we will be marked down?
We are looking for suppliers who can evidence the essential skills requested as part of the requirement and can show previous experience of doing so. Any suppliers, irrespective of their core specialisim, will be scored in exactly the same way.
7. In essential skills you are requiring suppliers to agree to fixed charging model across all recruitment specs. Will you be able to provide full details of all recruitment specs at the start of the initial engagement so the fixed prices can be properly assessed?
Our intention is for suppliers to submit their rates for participants at the next stage of evaluation. This will be broken down into the classification of particpant required, i.e. Assisted digital, standard particpant. We will clarify at this stage the definitions of each classification.
8. What would be the average number of participants needed for an average round of research? You have only stated 200 needed in a year, is this per supplier or in total needed for the HMRC?
The average number of participants needed for a round of research is 5.
The 200 participants a year is per supplier.
9. In the nice to have skills you have listed "Provide 24 hour contact / support", Do you really mean 24hrs per day i.e. at 2.00am? Or is it more likely to be office hours, evenings and some weekends? Can you provide more detail around this level of support?
This is most likely to be office hours, evenings and some weekends.
The level of support would be to provide a contact for the User Researcher if they are carrying out research outside office hours, should they have any questions or problems.
10. Are there any specific incentive methods that need to be addressed or preferred and determine the weightage in the evaluation if suppliers? For example, gift cards or loaded bank cards and so on.
The supplier would be expected to handle incentive payments for participants.
We would normally expect suppliers to pay incentives via BACS or cash and occasionally eVouchers.
The incentives will be included within the cost model which we ask suppliers to complete in the further stage(s) of evaluation. The overall weighting applied to the cost for this exercise is 20%.
11. We have observed that there has been previous publications requesting agencies to supply. So assuming you have current suppliers already, does it mean the new supplier would get to supply all 200 research participants per year exclusively or it is shared between many agencies?
Based on historic volumes we would expect the succesful supplier in this exercise to have the capacity to provide 200 participants per year. These are indicative volumes to assist you to gauge the scope and scale of the requirement.
12. Can the supplier due to their availability demand, take up only recruitment specs when they are available and not take up recruitment specs if they aren't available.
We are prepared to be flexible to some extent but would expect the new supplier to agree to take on a minimum number of recruitment requests per month.
13. We have observed some other agencies specify exactly the incentive amount provided to research participants. For example, £30.00 only. Are their restrictions on incentives?
We don’t specify a fixed amount for incentives, but would normally agree a range with the supplier. Within this range we are happy to be guided on an appropriate incentive for the type of participant requested.
14. How many existing suppliers for recruitment do you have?
We currently have four suppliers, which we are soon expecting to reduce to three.
One of these provides participants predominantly for the North East region of England.
15. You have said in one of your answers that you'd expect the supplier to take on a minimum number of projects per month, what is this minimum number of projects?
The number of projects per month would be by agreement with the supplier, but we’d expect this to be approximately 4 per month.