Awarded to Digital Accessibility Centre Ltd

Start date: Friday 21 December 2018
Value: £60,000
Company size: SME
Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency

Accessibility Audit & Testing of DVLA Digital Services

19 Incomplete applications

16 SME, 3 large

11 Completed applications

10 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Thursday 18 October 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 25 October 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 1 November 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
DVLA need to ensure that digital services have been tested with users who have access needs, as well as them being compliant with WCAG standards.
Latest start date
Saturday 1 December 2018
Expected contract length
12 months with an option to extend by a further 12 months
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency
Budget range
Up to £1400 per day, including provision of user testing participants with access needs, WCAG audit report and summary of findings from user tests.

About the work

Why the work is being done
DVLA must ensure that digital services work for those who have specific needs or use assistive technology and ensure compliance (to minimum Accessible AA level) within WCAG2.0 web content accessibility guidelines. It is also essential that DVLA test digital services with users who have access needs to ensure that those services are not only WCAG compliant but usable.
Problem to be solved
In order for DVLA services to be accessed via GOV.UK, they must meet the minimum usability and accessibility criteria set out by Government Digital Services (GDS). The GDS standards can be found on the GOV.UK pages.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are citizens and users within businesses with specific needs or using assistive technology who consume DVLA digital services. These services need to be designed in a way that enables the different user segments to conduct their business with DVLA and are relevant, accessible and ultimately useable.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The supplier will work alongside the DVLA qualitative research and usability testing team, as well as DVLA interaction designers and Front-End Developers.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Off site
Working arrangements
Participants with accessibility needs would be expected to work from their own premises rather than coming on site to carry out the testing.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
DVLA expect a report within 5 days of audit completion, unless otherwise stated and against an agreed timeline for each service.
Report outputs must contain details around any elements of any of the pages within the service that have defects when accessed via assistive technology.
These outputs must stipulate the platform (i.e. desktop, mobile etc.) and software (e.g. JAWS) affected by each defect.
Report outputs must identify lines of code at the root of these defects, and suggested fixes.

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
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of assessing pages for usability through assistive technology and software to include at least 1 detailed example.
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of assessing pages for accessibility to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of providing designers and developers with accessibility advice to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of undertaking wireframe reviews to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of conducting audits to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Evidence and experience over a period of 2 or more years of WCAG 2.0 Accreditation to include at least 1 detailed example
  • Robust evidence and experience of undertaking assessments covering disabilities including Blindness, Low Vision, Colour Blindness, Dyslexia, Deafness, Limited Limb mobility, Learning Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
  • Evidence and experience over a 2 years period or more of testing services on all or any combination of Mobile Phones, Desktops, Laptops and Smart TV’s to include detailed examples
  • Evidence and experience of providing coding support to customers design teams to include at least 1 detailed example
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets our organisation’s policy or goal
  • Value for money
  • Team structure
Cultural fit criteria
Provide at least 1 example of working collaboratively with customers’ research and interaction design teams providing support during build phases.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there an incumbent supplier of accessibility testing services?
We currently have a contract for accessibility testing with Digital Accessibility Centre which expires imminently.
2. Will there be an opportunity to ask further questions if we are shortlisted?
Yes, once the initial shortlisting process has been completed suppliers may ask further questions up until the application process closes. Please note that any questions and their subsequent answers must be shared with all shortlisted suppliers.
3. Does this assignment sit in-scope or out of scope of IR35?
The intermediaries legislation doesn't apply to this engagement.
4. When you say "The supplier will work alongside the DVLA team", can this be by means of remote mechanisms such as screen sharing? Or does it require our physical presence on site? If the latter, where are your offices?
While we would be happy to invite any company that wins the contract onto site as an introduction, occasional screen sharing could be useful but this would definitely NOT be the norm and their physical presence would absolutely NOT be required at DVLA during any testing.
5. GDS now require testing for compliance with WCAG 2.1 rather than 2.0. Will you require testing for compliance with WCAG 2.1 on this project?
YES absolutely we should be testing in compliance with 2.1.
6. Do you require live streaming of the user testing?
While live streaming of a test could be useful on occasion we would not consider it a requirement of ours and it would not be the norm.
7. Will you want to observe the user testing locally in a UX lab in London?
A one-off visit to the suppliers premises COULD be handy by way of introductions but we would absolutely not be travelling to the suppliers premises every time a test takes place, this would be totally impractical.
8. Can you confirm that you require a best practice approach to the user testing i.e. moderated sessions with participants who have not taken part in a user test in the previous 6 months?
While this would be ideal we recognise the difficulties in recruiting certain demographics. A common sense approach should be adopted, so we would not want the same group of participants every time however, we would not consider it a deal breaker if on occasion our requirements for participants meant we would have to use someone who was inside the 6 month period.
9. Given their is a word limit and you require a number of detailed examples, please advise the level of detail needed to comply within the word limitation?
The word count is there to ensure suppliers do not over elaborate on responses thus making evaluation complicated. We must leave it to the suppliers judgement as to how detailed the response is in line with the word count.
10. Your requirements include providing accessibility advice to designers and developers. Please elaborate on what you expect?
Provide support/advice to developers in order for them to comply with WCAG 2.1 also possible suggestions to assist with rectifying any issues.
11. You refer to a 12 month contract. How many round of audit/testing do you envisage during this time?
There are 13 identified services that will require at least 1 audit over the contract period.
12. Where do you expect testing with participants to take place?
NOT at DVLA, testing would be expected to take place at the suppliers premises or a lab of their choosing.
13. You mention a budget of £1,400 per day – is this exclusive of VAT?
£1400 a day is exclusive of VAT.
14. What is the maximum total budget over 12 months?
Up to £30,000 per annum.
15. In your Q&A responses you've identified 13 identified services that will require at least 1 audit – can you advise on the scope/scale of these?
Also, are you looking to carry our testing with participants with diverse access needs as part of this procurement?
The tests will be in compliance with WCAG 2.1 as per GDS guidelines and the services themselves will vary in size/complexity.

We would expect testing to be carried out on a range of accessibility issues and software. E.g.
screen reader users (Jaws and NVDA)
magnification user (ZoomText)
voice activation users (e.g. Dragon)
keyboard only user (doesn’t use a mouse)
colour blind users
dyslexic users
user with Asperger’s syndrome (ASD)
user with a learning disability
user with an anxiety/panic disorder
16. With reference to the skills and experience criteria, please can you advise what the difference between an accessibility audit and an accessibility assessment is?
The ‘Audit’ would be the technical minimum required to get the service through WCAG 2.1 to AA or AAA standard as required whereas the ‘Assessment’ would be a combination of the audit and a wider usability experience test providing a more rounded ‘overall’ view of the service. The service could be technically compliant with WCAG but still not provide a good user friendly experience, we would expect this to be fed back in an assessment.
17. Are there any bespoke components e.g. not a part of the GDS design system?
Yes, there will be some bespoke components.
18. Are any of the 13 identified services not on
They are a mixture of services currently on and services in various stages of development.
19. What is the SDLC approach for this project? Will the testing be delivered iteratively or sequentially?
The services are developed iteratively but accessibility testing will be one-off sessions at key stages through the development.
20. How many days do you envisage each service to take throughout the year?
1-2 days testing (depending on complexity of individual services) per service per GDS assessment
21. Will any of the service testing be concurrent or will it be sequential? (eg one audit after another)
Most likely to be sequential, even in the event of conflicting priorities, as the testing is planned in advance.
22. Will the DVLA provide any of the mobile testing devices?
DVLA will not provide any of the mobile testing devices.
23. Is there a deadline for this project? Is it 23 September 2020?
This is a call off contract – there isn’t a single project, but numerous workstreams and new/changing services that will need accessibility tests.
24. Is there any compatibility testing required across a range of web browsers?
25. Scale of project. This is key to understand the scope of the work.
o Volume of pages
o Volume of user journeys
o Does this cover responsive website, mobile apps, or both
Volume of pages and volume of user journeys will heavily depend on the size and complexity of the service being tested ranging from 4 to 5 pages up to 20 pages with a similar number of user journeys. This covers both responsive website and mobile apps.
26. Support assistive technologies? e.g. screenreader version (JAWS, VoiceOver, TalkBack, NVDA), Voice recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking).
Yes all of those assistive software’s would need supporting.
27. If there are any requirements when recruiting users: should have had previous experience of the DVLA website, or is this not a concern. Are there particular user groups sought? (e.g. blind\vision impaired users, d\Deaf, cognitive disabilities)
Previous experience of is not a requirement in fact in some cases it could provide additional insight.
Users with a range of abilities would be required for instance but not limited to;
screen reader users (Jaws and NVDA)
magnification user (ZoomText)
voice activation users (e.g. Dragon)
keyboard only user (doesn’t use a mouse)
colour blind users
dyslexic users
user with Asperger’s syndrome (ASD)
user with a learning disability
user with an anxiety/panic disorder
28. Who will be responsible to bear the costs associated with licenses for software and other commercial assistive tools mentioned? e.g. JAWS reader
The supplier. It is expected that a supplier applying for a contract to test assistive software would have the software in place.
29. Do you expect the actual testers deployed for testing be persons with accessibility needs covering all accessibility needs listed in the response number 15?
From a technical audit point of view NO, however for usability we would expect participants to have a level of understanding of the specific assistive software that tends to only come from personal experience.
30. Do you expect testing to cover WCAG2.1 AAA level?
The request mentions that compliance required is at a minimum of AA level, that implies AAA level testing may be in scope.
AA would be the minimum standard to ‘pass’ however if while testing they find that certain aspects of the service actually comply with AAA then we would want those aspects identified in any report out.
31. When responding to the application as a company, if we include experience/skills of employees who are currently employed with us that have acquired the experience in the course of their employment prior to joining the company submitting the response, will such experience be considered as acceptable?
As far as we would be concerned if the supplier have employed people based on training/quals they received prior to joining the company then that is perfectly acceptable. I’m assuming that they (employee) have passed an interview to join the company and proven their skills. We recognise degrees achieved at university prior to joining the workforce.