Department for Education

Department for Education - Content design support for GOV.UK

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
5 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
5 SME, 0 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Friday 14 December 2018
Deadline for asking questions Friday 21 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Friday 28 December 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work DFE require expert content design provision, creating content for the department to be published on the GOV.UK platform. The work will involve working with colleagues across the department to publish content on to GOV.UK in a timely and accurate manner, meeting the needs of the department and our users.
Latest start date Friday 1 February 2019
Expected contract length 12 months, with potential to extend by a further 6 months.
Location London
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range Not to exceed £1.5m across the lifetime of the contract

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done DFE require an expert digital copywriting service, working on digital copywriting and content design for the department in line with the digital communications strategy. Projects involve working with colleagues across the department, publishing content on GOV.UK in a timely and accurate manner, meeting the needs of the department and our users. Provision should cover 4-10 content designers in total to manage this work.
Problem to be solved Provision of a digital content design and editorial service, working with material produced by the department to create accessible, user-focussed content for publication on GOV.UK, including collaborative content production and use of HTML, PDF/A, and other formats as required. Suppliers will have exceptional copywriting experience with superb attention to detail, using Google Analytics, data and user research to create clear, concise and engaging digital content. Suppliers will have substantial experience of working with GOV.UK, collaborating with the Government Digital Service (GDS) to meet departmental needs. We anticipte this work to be done by 4-10 content designers in total.
Who the users are and what they need to do The supplier will work with customers embedded in teams across the department who have a need to publish content to GOV.UK, working with them to develop accessible and engaging content in a way which communicates the department’s objectives, meets the GDS design principles, and puts a focus on users.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team The supplier will be joining an existing civil service team of mixed disciplines, including 8 content designers, working on strategic improvements and developing content with colleagues across the department.
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place London (Sanctuary Building 20 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BT)
Working arrangements Onsite work required, most senior contractor to report in to the Team Leader, Digital Communications Team. Occasional travel to other DFE offices may be required, subject to DFE travel and subsistence policy. Occasional work outside of standard business hours may be required.
Security clearance Successful supplier must be able to demonstrate that all proposed team members have passed standard DFE BSPSS security criteria.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Standard DOS framework and call-off terms and conditions. Day rates should be inclusive of any costs travelling to and working from the base location. The cost of travelling to other locations while performing DFE work will be covered as per the DFE travel and subsistence policy and will need to be invoiced by the suppliers with supporting receipts.

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
  • Extensive copywriting experience
  • Extensive experience of user-focussed content design
  • Extensive experience of working with GOV.UK and the Whitehall publishing platform
  • xtensive understanding of user needs, journeys and behaviour, and experience in applying this expertise within a government department
  • Experience of analytics and evaluation, including the use of Google Analytics and interpreting relevant data
  • Experience of collaborating with the Government Digital Service (GDS)
  • Time management, and experience of working to tight deadlines
  • Understanding of working within a large government department
  • Experience or working in a fast moving political environment, and the ability to make sound judgements and decisions in relation to that setting
  • Knowledge of accessibility requirements in relation to digital publishing
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of wider communications issues, and working in a high-profile communications setting
  • Understanding of the wider digital environment
  • Agile project management skills and experience
  • Experience of paired/collaborative writing
  • An understanding of principles around user research
  • Experience of service design
  • Experience working with Adobe suite, including use of Acrobat for creating accessible PDFs and basic image editing

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Extensive experience in producing high quality, accurate, time-bound copywriting to tight deadlines
  • Extensive experience of working with the GOV.UK website and Whitehall publishing platform, including a comprehensive understanding of content types, formats and GDS style guide and design principles
  • Experience and understanding of working within a government setting, specifically working within a large department
  • Strong understanding of the wider technical competencies involved in working with GOV.UK
  • Ability to work in a fast paced and agile environment, including ability to remain calm under pressure and meet tight deadlines
  • Experience of handling data and analytics, making use of evidence to create compelling and persuasive arguments
Cultural fit criteria
  • Collaborative approach to working, for example seeking understanding, working cooperatively and seeking mutual solutions to conflicts
  • A diplomatic approach to problem solving, using data, evidence and diplomacy to reach desired conclusions
  • Work as part of a large team, delegating work where appropriate and seeking to balance workloads across a wider team to meet deadlines
  • Prioritise and manage large volumes of work, managing varying workflows to meet satisfactory conclusions across varying deadlines
  • Competent and resilient when faced with challenges, showing pragmatism when finding mutually agreeable solutions
Payment approach Time and materials
Assessment methods Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Is there a current supplier in place? There are currently two suppliers in place, working jointly to meet existing contractor needs. Work is split evenly between both suppliers, with each contributing an equal number of contractors to support requirements.
2. Can you tell me if you have:
• a content strategy in place for this, and related, content
• set all the success and value criteria for the content
• insight and research on user journeys and user needs already defined
The department has a digital content strategy in place, this is managed and was created by the Digital Communications Team.

Success criteria vary by project depending on the nature of the work. Evaluation and aims are often set by the civil service team with support from existing suppliers. On occasion, the supplier may be required to play a more significant role in defining these aims.

The department has a newly formed user research team, building on existing user research. Dependent on project, suppliers may be required to gather insight from analytics and work with colleagues to define user research requirements.
3. Please clarify the meaning of 'wider digital environment'? Are you referring to the wider GOV.UK digital landscape or just digital technologies/trends in general? In the context of this work, a knowledge of the cross-government digital environment would be beneficial, particularly in relation to developments on the GOV.UK platform and the wider work of the Government Digital Service (GDS).
4. Please clarify the meaning of 'high-profile communications setting'? Are you referring to direct-to-user communication, public relations, press, internal comms, or other types of comms? The nature of this work requires an understanding of wider government communications (public relations and press/media). As a major communication channel for the department, it is important to understand the role digital content can play in wider communications, and how to work alongside communications teams within the department to achieve mutual aims.
5. The brief states: "The supplier will be joining an existing civil service team of mixed disciplines". Can you clarify what disciplines are involved? Existing civil servants within the team have a mix of content design, digital and communications experience.
6. Is the contract to replace existing 2 supliers or augment the existing suppliers? This work will replace the existing contract provision, there will be no requirement to augment existing suppliers.
7. Who are the existing two suppliers? The current suppliers are Scroll LLP and Content Support Services Ltd