Department for Education

Teachers' Student Loan Reimbursement: Alpha

Incomplete applications

3
Incomplete applications
2 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

12
Completed applications
11 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 7 August 2018
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 14 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 21 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work A team required to: develop prototypes and test them with users; conduct additional user research where necessary; and demostrate technical feasibility.
Latest start date Monday 24 September 2018
Expected contract length 10-12 weeks
Location North West England
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range Estimated Budget of £350,000 (including VAT).
Bidders must fully detail their resources and charges at the proposal stage.
Travel and Subsistence should be included in the proposed charges.
Please provide costs for both 10 week and 12 week Alpha

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The Department, delivering on a manifesto commitment, is developing a service to enable eligible teachers to apply for student loan reimbursements to help increase recruitment and retention in areas of most need.
Problem to be solved By 1st September 2019, we need a business solution and operating system that allows us to verify and process claims, so that we are able to pay teachers in a timely and (potentially) automated way on a yearly basis for at least 10 years.
Who the users are and what they need to do As a teacher I need to feel valued for the effort I out into teaching, so that I can motivate myself to continue teaching.

As a potentially eligible teacher hearing about TSLR for the first time,I need to know why the service is being offered, so that I feel like it 'get it'.

As an eligble teacher, I need to know how the 'money stuff' works, so that I'm clear on what I will get and when.
Early market engagement N/A
Any work that’s already been done We have completed a 6 week discovery phase on this project and have developed a number of user stories and personas to help further work in Alpha. Details of this work will be provided on request.
Existing team Product Owner (who was also PO during Discovery)
SRO
Current phase Alpha

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Co-located at: Department for Education, Picadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester. M1 2WD
Working arrangements Working principally from DfE's Manchester office, maximising opportunity for engagement with policy units and stakeholders. Some travel to other DfE sites, and to meet users is expected. Expenses must be included in the contract sum, there is no separate budget for this. Operate a standard agile scrum methodology: daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives, show and tells. Supplier will lead by being a role model in agile working. They will need to collaborate with our team and invest time in knowledge sharing and coaching to increase DfE staff capability. Product owner works part-time, 4 days a week.
Security clearance BPSS clearance is required for all team members. This will need to be in place before the start of the discovery. We will consider suppliers without security clearance, and provide support to gain clearance.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions N/A

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of working to GDS service standards including using Agile methodologies.
  • Have experience of rapid prototype iteration based on ongoing user research.
  • Have experience of testing technical feasibility of prototypes in Alpha
  • Have experience of delivering high quality content and information architecture design for complex user journeys across multiple touchpoints, that meets user needs.
  • Have significant experience of conducting user research & usability testing based on a robust methodology. Have experience of recruiting user research participants (including users with accessibility and assisted digital needs)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Show evidence in leading, coaching, mentoring and upskilling people in agile techniques and user centred design to build capability within existing teams.
  • Experience in taking services successfully through the GDS Service Assessment.
  • Experience of using the gov.uk design system.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Design solution – recent example of experience working on digital projects that have met user needs and can demonstrate sound knowledge of GDS Digital Service Standards
  • Approach and methodology – examples that demonstrate a solid understanding of Agile core principles and how these were applied.
  • How the approach meets user needs: An example of where the supplier has tested design hypotheses through prototyping in Alpha and iterated these designs to develop a user needs service.
  • Value for money - provide evidence of how you will ensure value for money for this project
  • Alpha plan: This should detail a proposed team structure, explaining the justification for each member; an activity timeline; plan for GDS assessment; including attendance and success criteria; and key deliverables.
  • Explain your approach to identifying and managing risk within the project
Cultural fit criteria
  • Provide an example where the supplier has worked collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team with other organisations, e.g other goverment organisations.
  • There is a need to be transparent and collaborative when making decisions. Explain your understanding of a transparent and collaborative environment.
  • Provide an example of where applying agile ways of working has enabled timely delivery of a product.
  • Provide an example of how you would quickly join the team and understand user needs, to maintain continuity between existing discovery work and alpha.
  • Provide an example of how you have worked with exisiting systems, including government platforms to develop new services
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Can we see the outputs from discovery? Yes, please see the Prioritised Alpha Hypothesis: A push service meets user needs:

For teachers
Who are eligible for student loan reimbursement
We believe that proactively informing teachers that they are eligible for student loan reimbursement meets their needs
We will know this is true if user research in Alpha show this meets user needs.

If you require the full outputs, please email financial.incentives@education.gov.uk
2. please can you confirm if the Disocvery Phase was done internally or externally? If externally please can you confirm teh supplier? Discovery was completed externally by Transform in partnership with Paper
3. If Discovery was done externally, please can you confirm if you were satisified with the proejct and outcomes? Discovery was completed externally and we were satisfied with the project and the outcomes.
4. Can we please request the outputs and was there another supplier involved in the creation of these? Yes, please see the Prioritised Alpha Hypothesis: A push service meets user needs:

For teachers
Who are eligible for student loan reimbursement
We believe that proactively informing teachers that they are eligible for student loan reimbursement meets their needs
We will know this is true if user research in Alpha show this meets user needs.

If you require the full outputs pack, please email financial.incentives@education.gov.uk

The Discovery phase was completed by Transform in partnership with Paper
5. Can you confirm if you would expect the supplier to work on-site from your manchester office? Yes, it is expected that the supplier works on-site in the Manchester office
6. Please confirm the Regulations and Standards the service needs to adhere to? We would expect the service to meet the GDS standard for the Alpha prototyping phase.
7. Please confirm any preferences and constraints around using Public Cloud platforms? There are no preferences. Depending on the use of the public clouds and the information held, there may be constraints.
8. Will authentication be handled by the Government Gateway (or other such service) or does this need to be maintained by the application itself? We are looking for a delivery partner in the alpha phase. In this phase, we are not expecting to build a working product. This phase should focus on prototyping and understanding which design best fits user needs.
9. Please confirm that external API's, such as those required to interact with the Student Loans company, are documented? It has not been confirmed which API's we might be working with.
10. Please confirm any preference on the language (such as Java, Scala, C#) used to write the application in? Currently there are no preferences on the language. However, we expect there will be disposable prototypes during the alpha phase.
11. Please confirm that business rules around Eligibility, Fraud handling and Repayments are already documented? Eligibility has been established, however fraud handling and repayments have been touched upon in discovery but require further investigation during alpha.
12. Could you please provide details on the Users stories and personas developed during the Discovery work. Please see the Prioritised Alpha Hypothesis: A push service meets user needs:

For teachers
Who are eligible for student loan reimbursement
We believe that proactively informing teachers that they are eligible for student loan reimbursement meets their needs
We will know this is true if user research in Alpha show this meets user needs.

If you require the full outputs with user stories and personas, please email financial.incentives@education.gov.uk