Department for Education

Teachers' Payment Service - Beta

Incomplete applications

8
Incomplete applications
7 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

11
Completed applications
7 SME, 4 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Thursday 17 January 2019
Deadline for asking questions Thursday 24 January 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Thursday 31 January 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Overview
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work Beta phase: co-located agile team required to build and implement a Teachers' Payment Service. This will allow eligible teachers to apply for and receive payments and involve admin staff in schools verifying data. The service must meet the digital service standard including the reuse of common platforms.
Latest start date Tuesday 5 March 2019
Expected contract length Estimated 6 months for the beta build.
Location North West England
Organisation the work is for Department for Education
Budget range Estimated budget of up to £1.5m (including VAT).
Bidders must fully detail their resources and charges at the proposal stage.
Travel and Subsistence, along with any research costs, should be included in the proposed charges.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The Department, delivering on a Government manifesto commitment, is developing a service to enable eligible teachers to apply and receive payments aimed at increasing the recruitment and retention of teachers in subjects and areas of most need.
Problem to be solved The new service to enable eligible teachers to apply for a payment and for the department to process applications must be in place by 1st September 2019. Key components of the service include: verify identity; validate eligibility (specific critiera met); notifications; and payment. A payment solution will be procured which the service will need to integrate with.
Who the users are and what they need to do As a teacher I need to confirm my eligibility so that I can apply for and receive a payment I am entitled to.
As a teacher I need to apply for a payment in a simple and easy way to minimise the impact on my time and to receive a payment so that I feel valued in the profession.
As a school I need an easy and secure way to provide the information DfE require to validate the eligibility of teachers so that they can make payments and the impact on my time is minimised.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done A 6 week discovery and 14 week alpha has been completed on Teachers' Student Loan Reimbursement. User Research has been carried out using an end to end prototype with teachers and schools, a beta backlog has been developed to deliver the minimal viable service. The scope was extended during alpha to include additional payments for Maths and Physics teachers. As a result the beta is for a Teachers' Payment Service.
Existing team Senior Responsible Owner
Product Manager
Current phase Beta

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Co-located and working on site at Department for Education, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester. M1 2WD. Some limited travel to other DfE sites may be required.
Working arrangements Operate a standard agile scrum methodology: daily stand-ups, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives, show and tells. Working principally from DfE's Manchester office, maximising opportunity for engagement with policy units and stakeholders. The supplier will lead by being a role model in agile working. They will need to work collaboratively and invest time in knowledge sharing and coaching to increase DfE capability. 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.
Security clearance Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) clearance is required for all team members. This will need to be in place before the start of beta. We will consider suppliers without security clearance, and provide support to gain clearance. The supplier will also need to be compliant with DfE's Departmental Security Standards.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions All expenses, travel and user research incentives must be included in the contract sum. There is no separate budget.
All title to and all rights and interest in the IPR’s in the Services delivered by the Supplier for the Customer under this Call-Off Contract (or by a third party on behalf of the Supplier), and all updates and amendments of these items, shall vest in the Customer unconditionally and immediately upon their creation.

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
  • Proven experience of designing and developing transactional digital services using an agile approach and successfully meeting the Digital Service Standard.
  • Ability to take alpha outputs and build on these to deliver a public beta service that meets user needs and strategic objectives and GOV.UK design patterns and standards.
  • Proven experience of designing and building cloud based web solutions.
  • Demonstrable experience of recruiting user research participants including users with accessibility and assisted digital needs.
  • Significant experience of conducting user research and usability testing sessions (on a range of devices, face to face and remote) based on a robust methodology.
  • Ability to design services to ‘AA’ of the W3C WCAG2.0 accessibility standards (including compatible with the latest Assistive Technologies: JAWS, Zoomtext, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and Dolphin Supernova).
  • Proven experience of assessing and mitigating security and privacy issues and ensuring GDPR compliance.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Recent experience of successfully meeting the Digital Service Standard for a public beta government service.
  • Recent examples of using the styles, components and patterns in the GOV.UK design system.
  • Experience of using common platforms, specifically GOV.UK Notify, Verify, Get Information About Schools and DfE Sign In.
  • Experience of building using Microsoft Azure cloud.
  • Experience of delivering a service integrating with a payment out solution and mitigation of fraud risks.
  • Experience of leading, coaching and upskilling people in agile methods and techniques in order to build internal capability.
  • Experience of analysis of existing research, analytics and insight to ensure good understanding of users and their needs.

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 examples demonstrating experience of working on digital projects to deliver public beta services that met user needs and the Digital Service Standard.
  • Approach and methodology – examples that demonstrate a solid understanding of agile, iterative user-centred delivery and evidence of how these will be applied to deliver this service within timescales.
  • Value for money – examples where the supplier has applied a transparent financial structure and fair pricing for the service.
  • Proposed team structure and members, including expected members from DfE, explaining the justification for each member.
  • Explain your approach to identifying and managing risk within the project to ensure delivery by 1 September 2019.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of working within Government on transactional services with a strong policy component.
  • Evidence of working in a multi-disciplinary agile team within Government.
  • Evidence of working collaboratively with policy colleagues new to agile ways of working to increase internal knowledge and skills and support wider stakeholder engagement.
  • Evidence of how the supplier will on-board team members during beta to ensure no impact to delivery and quickly understand user needs to maintain continuity between alpha and beta.
Payment approach Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Please can you advise which supplier carried out Discovery and Alpha and will they continue for any handover element to a new supplier for Beta? Discovery was carried out by Transform in partnership with Paper. Alpha is being completed by Hippo Digital. There will not be a in-person handover for Beta, but documents from Discovery and Alpha will be handed over.
2. Please could we receive a copy of the core output from the earlier Discovery project and which supplier was successful in delivering this project? Discovery was completed by Transform in partnership with Paper. If you would like to receive the core output please email financial.incentives@education.gov.uk
3. Please could you tell us who carried out the Discovery and Alpha? Discovery was carried out by Transform in partnership with Paper. Alpha is being completed by Hippo Digital.
4. What roles are DfE expecting to provide and will these all be full time? DfE will provide a Senior Responsible Owner who will not work full-time on the Teachers' Payment Service, alongside a Product Manager who will work full-time on the Teachers' Payment Service.
5. Will there be a full time Product Owner provided by DfE to this project? DfE will provide a full-time Product Manager.
6. Does the SRO for this opportunity have the capacity to attend/partake in agile ceremonies? e.g. show and tells, retrospectives etc. Yes, the SRO will endeavour to participate in all agile events where their attendance will be beneficial, including show and tells and retrospectives.
7. Can you provide details of how much of your teams time will be assigned to this project and whether they will be ready to start on the expected start date? DfE will provide a Senior Responsible Owner who will not work full-time on the Teachers' Payment Service, alongside a Product Manager who will work full-time on the Teachers' Payment Service. Both will be ready to start by 5 March.
8. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated? Price will be scored on how close each supplier's quote is to the cheapest supplier's quote.
9. Your budget includes VAT which is different to how DfE have published budgets before, can you confirm this is accurate and if there is a reason for the change? The inclusion of VAT within the budget range is intentional and is the same approach we took for the Alpha stage of Teachers' Student Loan Reimbursement. The reason for this is to ensure the price including VAT does not exceed the available budget.
10. Is there an incumbent external supplier that has delivered any or all of the previous phases? If so, 1) are they able to bid for this work? 2) are they currently working on the project? 3) is there any reason (other than procurement rules) that you're opening this procurement to other suppliers? There is not an incumbent external supplier for the Beta phase, as we are openly procuring for Beta. The Discovery phase has been completed and the Alpha phase will be completed on 29 January. The suppliers who carrried out Discovery and Alpha will be able to bid for Beta, alongside all other suppliers. We are openly procuring for Beta to secure the best possible outcome.
11. Are DfE able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research? DfE will be able to facilitate access to users for the purpose of user research. The Beta team will need to recruit and arrange user research sessions with them.
12. Will DfE be able to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project? DfE will be able to facilitate access to stakeholders but the Beta team will need to arrange calls and meetings as needed.
13. What is your expected timeline for procurement after the first round of scoring (evidence answers)? We expect to shortlist interested suppliers in w/c 4 February, and invite shortlisted suppliers to the assessment stage the same week. The assessment stage is likely to take place between 25 to 27 February.
14. Is there an expectation for how long during a week DfE would like suppliers onsite? We want the supplier to work on site. Remote working will be acceptable as an exception, with prior agreement by the DfE Product Manager, and as long as project outcomes are not affected.
15. Did you work with an external party during the Teachers' Student Loan Reimbursement discovery and alpha? If so, please could you tell us who this was? Discovery was carried out by Transform in partnership with Paper. Alpha is being completed by Hippo Digital.
16. What roles are DfE expecting suppliers to provide? In addition, are you expecting all roles to have the ability to be full time? We are looking for suppliers to propose the approach, including team members, which they consider will be required to deliver the public beta service as detailed; meeting time and cost and ensuring value for money.
17. What do you see as the identified risks around the delivery of this work? We are looking for suppliers to propose the approach for delivering the public beta service and part of this will be identifying and managing the risks associated with the project. This is one of the evaluation criteria.
18. As there are extremely limited suppliers that will have experience of 'Get Information About Schools and DfE Sign In', will you consider evidence of government wide common platforms (ie. Verify and Notify) as valid experience? Yes, this is a nice-to-have skills and experience.
19. Re: Experience of using common platforms, specifically GOV.​UK Notify, Verify, Get Information About Schools and DfE Sign In. – Please can we clarify, is this question around use of, or integration with each platform? This is a nice-to-have skills and experience. The public beta service is expected to use Verify and Notify, therefore experience of building services with these components or other common platforms would be advantageous.
20. What technology stacks (if any) have you decided upon during the Alpha? Are you proposing continuing with the same for Beta? DfE digital services should follow a consistent architectural approach where possible. We prefer Ruby on Rails applications but accept C# or Node.JS. We host on a DfE instance of Azure Cloud Platform using AppService, their PaaS. We store our code on Github and promote builds into Azure using either Travis or Azure Devops. We expect data to be hosted in an Azure managed database such as postgres. We prefer a microservices architecture based on RESTful API's for more complex services.
21. Are there any technologies already select, or are we free to choose our own technology against GDS (Government Digital Standards) DfE digital services should follow a consistent architectural approach where possible. We prefer Ruby on Rails applications but accept C# or Node.JS. We host on a DfE instance of Azure Cloud Platform using AppService, their PaaS. We store our code on Github and promote builds into Azure using either Travis or Azure Devops. We expect data to be hosted in an Azure managed database such as postgres. We prefer a microservices architecture based on RESTful API's for more complex services.
22. As an agile project, has the definition of done been agreed (i.e. how the project will deemed to be completed) The DfE Product Manager and beta team will jointly review and agree the acceptance criteria for the user stories. The overarching success criteria for the project will be the public beta service successfully meeting the Digital Service Standard in order to launch by 1 September 2019.
23. Do the backlog stories have acceptance criteria? Yes, all of the backlog stories have acceptance criteria.
24. Is there an indication of how much travel is anticipate outside the Manchester office? The team is expected to be co-located at the DfE office in Manchester with only limited travel to other DfE offices. However the beta team will be responsible for recruiting users for research and usability testing. In discovery and alpha, this included using a combination of DfE networks/channels and external resource for hard to recruit users. Travel may be needed to complete user research and testing. Suppliers should propose a suitable budget for this, including user research incentives, based on their experience of identifying and recruiting users.
25. Are all SMEs co-located in Manchester? We welcome bids from SMEs. However it is a requirement for the team to be co-located, working out of the DfE Manchester office.
26. We note you are asking for a Fixed Price commercial model – 1) Would you accept proposals of a different commercial model (e.g Capped Time and Materials)? 2) Can you provide shortlisted suppliers a fixed scope and backlog to fix a price against? No, we can only accept a fixed price model. This is to ensure we can compare supplier bids on a like for like basis and ensure value for money. The proposed backlog for beta is available on request, please email Financial.Incentives@education.gov.uk if you would like to receive this. Shortlisted suppliers will be assessed on their proposal for beta, including approach, team members and price.
27. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers? Suppliers will be shortlisted based on the assessment of the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience. Shortlisted suppliers will then be assessed on their written proposal and presentation according to the evaluation criteria listed. Scores are not carried forward.
28. Please confirm who the people on your selection panel are and their individual roles and responsibilities. The assessment panel will be made up of DfE employees who have the relevant skills and experience to evaluate bids for the specified service requirement. Details of the assessment panel will be provided to shortlisted suppliers.
29. Have the outstanding stories been sized? (e.g. Small, Medium, Large T-Shirt sizing, or story pointing)? Yes, the stories have been T-shirt sized, we have a prioritised MVP backlog of user stories and a working alpha prototype based on these.
30. Concerning the beta backlog, can you confirm the volume number of stories outstanding? There are 58 stories in the backlog for beta, some will require breaking down and exploring more in beta.
31. Can you explain the expected integration to Government Gateway and internal DfE school and staff identity management There is no integration into Government Gateway, schools will use DfE sign-in for staff identity management.
32. Is there an existing workflow/case management we are expecting to integrate, or building a new one. The beta build is to develop the public facing front-end and the back-end. The Payment Solution will be separately procured and the service is also expected to integrate with GOV.UK Verify, Notify and DfE sign-in to verify schools.