Awarded to Valtech Ltd.

Start date: Monday 16 July 2018
Value: £207,000
Company size: SME
NHS Business Services Authority

NHS Pension Scheme Digitisation Programme

6 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 3 large

12 Completed applications

6 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Tuesday 22 May 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 29 May 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 5 June 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The NHSBSA requires a Supplier to work with us on the NHS Pensions Scheme Digital Transformation, delivering user need driven outcomes for our members and employers.
Latest start date
Monday 16 July 2018
Expected contract length
2 years
North West England
Organisation the work is for
NHS Business Services Authority
Budget range
The estimated budget for this programme is £2M (ex VAT) per annum but this may increase or decrease as the needs of the programme evolves.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The NHSBSA provides digital services to end users which over the next 2 years will continue to transform as well as create new user services. The NHS Pension Scheme is undergoing a significant period of change and the objective of this programme is to continue development of a digital channel for interactions between the NHS Pension Scheme and its members and between the NHS Pension Scheme and employers that will transform service offerings and also establish new service offerings in line with the Government Digital Service Standards and Technology Code of Practice.
Problem to be solved
Currently NHS Pension members and employers have limited digital capability to actively manage pensions information. The organisation is looking for a digital partner organisation to deliver outcomes that provide a set of pension related services to members and employers. Outcomes would cover all areas of the delivery of digital services in line with GDS design. Specific outcomes will be agreed within each statement of work with the successful supplier during the contract period and the supplier will be expected to work in a blended team model to ensure skills transfer into NHSBSA.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a member of the Pension Scheme I need to be able to access services including: personal information, view my annual pension benefit statement, to apply for pension award, to apply for estimates of my pension at retirement, early retirement forecast, other specific services so that I can manage my NHS Pension.

As an employer I need to be able to access a range of services including: new starters, leavers, financial contribution information, refunds, ill health or redundancy retirement, a number of other specific services so that I can manage employment and NHS Pension details on behalf of members.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
There are a number of in-flight pension digital service developments delivered by a blended team of NHSBSA personnel and the incumbent supplier at different stages of their lifecycle (Discovery, Alpha, Private Beta, Public Beta). The successful supplier will be required to transition the development of these in-flight service developments as well as undertake the full lifecycle of new service developments.
Existing team
The team is currently 25% NHSBSA internal resources with 75% of the team from the incumbent supplier for specific outcome based service deliveries. It is expected that all of our suppliers work in a one team ethos to deliver NHSBSA services.
The current team includes a blend of: Service Managers, User Researchers, User Experience, Front End Developers, Back End Developers, Technical Architects, Delivery Managers, Test, Information Security, DevOps, Data Analysts and the supplier should expect to provide some or all of these roles in different projects as required. Not all roles are Full Time.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Stella House
Tyne and Wear

Hesketh House

Supplier's Site(s)
Working arrangements
The Supplier will work as a part of the teams in place or form full teams, they will be viewed as part of the overall NHSBSA Digital Delivery and Workforce Directorate with a one team ethos. The teams are co located and work following Agile and GDS principles it is expected that the successful supplier's people will work in this way. The supplier's resources will be expected to be on site 5 days per week unless otherwise agreed and will participate in team and organisational activities.

The successful supplier must comply with relevant NHSBSA policies and standards.
Security clearance
Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

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
  • Experience of designing services in line with the Government Digital Service Standards, from initial discovery through alpha, beta and ultimately live. (2%)
  • Demostrate the ability of designing and delivering services which meet ITIL Service Integration and Management standards (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide examples of transitioning from an incumbent supplier on a project of similar scope and complexity to that of the NHS Pensions Digitisation Programme (3%)
  • Experience of working in a Public Sector environment with an understanding of Public Sector directives, including experience of applying the Government Technology Code of Practice (2%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide examples of working in a blended outcome based team consisting of a mix of supplier and NHSBSA team members.(2%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide examples of how, when delivering outcome based projects, you have supported the development of internal capability (leaving a positive legacy) (3%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide examples of delivering digital outcome based delivery in a pensions (or equivalent) environment. (4%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide examples of where you have delivered digital outcomes on services where there are in excess of 2 million users (2%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience and provide examples of delivering services which have resulted in a reduction of the services transactional/unit/running costs (4%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide examples of transitioning services from physical infrastructure to cloud (3%)
  • Demonstrate experience and provide examples of using shared opensource components to design and deliver services (3%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to transitioning from an incumbent supplier ensuring continutiy of development of services whilst maintaining momentum. (10%)
  • Approach to using GDS or other Government re-usable components/platforms and open source technology together with NHSBSA (based on GDS) design patterns. (10%)
  • How the supplier's technical solution will allow new digital services to be added easily with reduced implementation effort. (10%)
  • Ability to scale and provide larger teams in line with the requirements of the programme. (10%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Approach to ensuring a successful transition from an incumbent supplier (5%)
  • Working with NHSBSA's values(5%): Collaborative - work together; Adventurous - try new things; Reliable - do what we say we will; Energetic - give everything do our best.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What are the key dates for this procurement?
Indicative timescales are:

Evaluation of long-listed suppliers completed by NHSBSA on 6 June 2018.

Short-listed suppliers invited to next stage (written response and presentation) via the NHSBSA's e-tendering portal Bravo on 6 June 2018.

Short-listed supplier presentations (Cultural Fit) on 13 June 2018.

Deadline for written response (including price) Noon, 18 June 2018.

Contract Award on or after 7 July 2018.
2. Should all suppliers register on NHSBSA's Bravo solution and if so, how can we do this?
Ideally, suppliers interested in this opportunity should register on Bravo in advance of 5 June 2018. This will ensure that if you are short-listed, the written proposal and cultural fit documentation can be made available in a timely manner on the 6th June via Bravo.

Suppliers can register here:

For the avoidance of doubt, the DOS portal is to be used for suppliers to submit their responses to the Skills and Experience Criteria and Bravo is only for those suppliers that have been short-listed.
3. Where will the cultural fit presentation take place?
Shortlisted suppliers will be required to deliver Cultural Fit presentations which will take place on 13 June 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne.
4. As a mandatory requirement you ask for examples of working in a blended outcome based team consisting of a mix of supplier and NHSBSA team members. We have not worked with NHSBSA but have several examples of similar mixed teams of supplier and in-house staff. Would we be penalised for not having NHSBSA examples?
No you will not be penalised for not having NHSBSA specific examples. You may provide evidence and examples of where you have worked with in-house teams elsewhere.
5. Who is the incumbent supplier and why are you now tendering this work?
The incumbent is Valtech Ltd and our contract with them expires in July 2018. The pensions digitisation programme continues beyond July 2018 and therefore we are looking to put in place a new contract to support us in the delivery of digital outcomes.
6. You mention transitioning from an incumbent supplier; who is the incumbent supplier in this case?
Valtech Ltd.
7. What are the main challenges with this programme and how have you dealt with them so far?
1) The Pension Scheme has been going through change which limited the scope of what has been developed in terms of digital services.
We dealt with this by selecting services for development that had minimal dependency on other areas of the pension scheme.

2) There are 8000+ employers most of whom have a rudimentary online route for submitting information on employees.
We dealt with this by breaking down the overall digital landscape and grouping into services to be delivered for employers and services to be delivered for pension members then further prioritising based on value to the organisation.
8. Will scoring from the evidence stage be taken through to final evaluation scoring? As opposed to being used solely for the purpose of shortlisting.
Yes, scoring from the shortlist stage will form part of the overall score for Technical Competence.
9. Is this opportunity outside of IR35?
Whilst we do not expect IR35 to apply to this engagement, suppliers should seek their own advice on this matter.
10. With no defined scope of work, how will price be compared between suppliers and evaluated?
Price will be evaluated based on day rates for roles we anticipate being central to delivering the outcomes for the programme.
11. "You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement (unless the buyer specifies otherwise)." Can we assume that using plural words such as services and examples, that you would like more than one example if suppliers have them?
You should provide evidence to demonstrate how you meet the criteria. It will be at your discretion if you wish to provide a single or multiple examples.

E.g. providing one highly relevant example which demonstrates how you meet a criterion will score higher than, say, multiple examples that have little or no relevance to that criterion.

E.g. providing multiple, relevant examples for a particular criterion may score higher than providing just one example of equal relevance.
12. You mention 3 locations in the opportunity page. 1) Which is the main address this project will be delivered at? and 2) Can suppliers charge expenses for travel outside of the main location for the project?
Delivery may take place in one or more of the locations and there is flexibility on the mix of locations based on the needs of the project. Travel and subsistence expenses will not be chargeable for delivery in any of the three locations.
13. Could you please let us know your technology stack?
The current stack is:
1. Java8
2. Spring Boot
3. Maven
4. PostgreSQL
5. Liquibase
6. Gitlab
7. Kibana
8. Sonar
9. Selenium
10. Ansible