NHS Business Services Authority

NHS Pensions Digitisation - Alpha & Beta

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications

Completed applications

Completed applications
9 SME, 5 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 17 May 2016
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 24 May 2016 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 31 May 2016 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work NHS Pensions Digitisation - delivery of Alpha and Beta
Latest start date 6 June 2016
Expected contract length 24 months
Location North West England
Organisation the work is for NHS Business Services Authority
Budget range £0 to £1,000,000

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done Alpha Start Date: Mid June 2016

Beta Phase(s): Late 2016

The overall goal is to enable Pension scheme members and employers to self-serve via digital means to improve the service and reduce processes.

NHSBSA completed Discovery in 2014 the scope included: i) identification of the Target Operating Model (TOM); ii) definition of NHS Pensions member's journey; iii) identification of user needs.
The Supplier will be required to refresh this Discovery work during Alpha. The Supplier will deliver Alpha & Beta phases, developing prototypes including examples of: i) member self-service; ii) enhanced employer service; and iii) an enhanced pension modeller.
Problem to be solved There are 1.3m active NHS Pension members and 700,000 deferred members who currently have no direct online access to enable self-service of their pension scheme.

About 9,500 employers currently have restricted (N3 users only) access to some online services to carry out activities such as updating member details. However many employers do not have this access and submit this information to the Pensions Service via spreadsheet.

The focus of this project is to enable NHS Pension scheme users to self-serve via the internet. It is also to enable employers to submit information directly via the internet.
Who the users are and what they need to do As an NHS Pension scheme member I need to have access to my pensions information so that I can make the decisions which are important to me and act upon those decisions.

As an NHS Employee considering joining the pension scheme I need to understand the implications (pros and cons) of becoming a member so that I can make the most informed decision possible.

As an NHS Employer I need the ability to provide information to the NHS Pensions Service and my employees so that I can interact with the Pension scheme in the most efficient manner.
Early market engagement No early market engagement has taken place with suppliers for this requirement.
Any work that’s already been done Discovery was completed in 2014 by Sapient Nitro and an NHS Pensions Digitisation Strategy has since been adopted.
Existing team The following roles as per GDS' description (https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/the-team/recruitment/job-descriptions.html):
Product Owner
Senior Delivery Manager
Delivery Manager
User Researcher

Technical Assurance team that will lead the NHSBSA assurance of any proposals to ensure alignment with the overarching organisations ICT strategy.
Current phase Discovery

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place The Base Location will be the NHSBSA's office in Fleetwood, Lancashire. Some travel will be required to other sites.
Working arrangements The Supplier's core resources are expected to be co-located with the NHSBSA's team on site. However, the Supplier may propose cost effective resource models which, as an example, may include some resources located offshore.
Security clearance All Supplier resources must meet the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS).

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions In providing a single price for evaluation purposes for Alpha, tendering suppliers must include prices for developing a prototype or prototypes which will include:
One pensions member, self-serve feature e.g. request for statement
One employer feature e.g. change of address
One pre scheme membership modeller e.g. new employees benefit calculator

Price is based on a Capped Time and Materials basis and must include, inter alia, a breakdown of roles being proposed, the proposed number of days per role and the day rate for each role. These day rates will be used to agree capped prices for further Statements of Work.

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
  • Must have experience of delivering to Government Digital by Default standard (5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Must have experience of automated testing techniques (5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Must have expertise in DevOps (5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Must have experience of Agile development (5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Must have UX and user testing credentials(5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Must demonstrate experience of delivering service transformation on a service which has more than a million active users (5% weighting out of 55%)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of working in a pensions environment (2.5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Demonstrate experience of using Axure (or equivalent) prototyping tool (2.5% weighting out of 55%)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Proposed methodology and approach to completing the Alpha phase including refresh of Discovery (5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Proposed methodology and approach to delivering Beta (5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Experience identifying and mitigating risk to digital service (5% weighting out of 55%)
  • Proposed cost optimisation models (5% weighting out of 55%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers (2.5% weighting out of 5%)
  • •Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes (2.5% weighting out of 5%)
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Weighting for 'Technical Competence' does not seem to align/add up correctly? Can you confirm the precise weighting criteria? The six Must Haves are 5% each and add up to 30%.
The two Nice to Haves are 2.5% each and add up to 5%.
The four Proposal criteria are 5% each and add up to 20%

All of the above makes up the criteria for Technical Competence and adds up to 55% (30%+5%+20%).

The two criteria for Cultural Fit are 2.5% each and add up to 5%.

Price is 40%.

Technical Competence 55% + Cultural Fit 5% + Price 40% = 100%
2. So that we can ensure we have the right staff available for this project, can you provide any technical information? For example, preferred technology stack, programming language, any common technologies that you specifically do not wish to use? Open source will be utilised so that any development can be published across government. The proposed technology stack for this project is described below; some variations may be explored with the successful supplier.

Programming Language: Java
Dependency Management: Spring IOC
Application Logging: Log4J
Exception Handling: Java
Transaction Management: Spring AOP
Business Process: Spring
Database Integration: Spring DA, Hibernate
Presentation Logic: JSP, Spring MVC
Build & Deploy : Maven
Unit testing: Junit
Continuous Integration: Jenkins
Content Management System: Drupal
Development Server: Tomcat or JBOSS
Production Webserver: Apache
Production Application Server: Tomcat or JBOSS
Development IDE: Eclipse
Reporting: IReport (Jasper)
Repository/Planning: Jira
3. Having applied through this portal and demonstrating our suitability as a partner, what are the next steps? If more than 5 suppliers have said yes to the essential and nice to have criteria, they will be invited to provided evidence against each criteria. This evidence will be evaluated, scored and the top 5 scoring suppliers will progress to the next stage where they will be invited to submit a written proposal, attend the presentation and submit their price.

If 5 suppliers or less have said yes to the shortlist criteria, they will all be invited to the next stage where they will submit their evidence against each criteria, written proposal, price and will attend the presentation.
4. You have mentioned application submission timelines as May 31, 2016 and deadline to ask the questions as May 24th. Since you expect to start the project by mid of June, what is the timeline to submit the response and where supplier should submit the response. I also believe submission of application means slightly different on this framework, It's just an intent which leads to shortlisting process of supplier, who are invited separately to share the proposals. Please clarify If more than 5 suppliers have said yes to all essential and nice to have criteria, they will all be invited (by email) to submit evidence against each criteria. This email may be sent on either 31 May or 1 June with the expected deadline for submitting evidence (by email) being 2 working days from either date.
The 5 shortlisted suppliers from that stage will be invited to: submit their written proposals, price and attend presentations. These suppliers will be given around 5 working days to submit their proposals – the current expected deadline for submission is 13 June.
5. The latest start date is mentioned as 6 June 2016. Do you plan to shortlist the suppliers and then ask of a written response or are you expecting the suppliers to respond with a detailed proposal before 31st May 2016? The latest start date has changed and is now expected to be in or around the week commencing 20 June. Yes, we expect to invite only shortlisted suppliers to submit a detailed proposal.

Shortlisted suppliers will be invited to submit their proposals via our procurement portal. It would be helpful if all interested suppliers can register now or if already registered, ensure your contact details are up to date. You can find out how to register here: https://nhsbsa.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.shtml

Please note that registering on Bravo does not mean that you have been shortlisted.
6. Can I change an answer to a question ? Please state your question.
7. The question was - Has your company worked with Pension systems - answer is YES Our advice to any organisation looking to change their answer to the short-list criteria is to contact the Digital Marketplace at the following email address: enquiries@digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk

This is not something that is in the NHS Business Service Authority's control
8. Important Announcement regarding Supplier Presentations. Supplier presentations will take place on 15 and 16 June at the NHSBSA's office in Newcastle upon Tyne. Each presentation session will last no more than 1 hour and includes time for any clarification questions. Further details will be provided to shortlisted suppliers.