Education and Skills Funding Agency (DfE)

Data Capture agile development - User Centered Design and delivery management services

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
12 SME, 3 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Friday 1 February 2019
Deadline for asking questions Friday 8 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Friday 15 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work We are looking for a user researcher,content designer,designer,delivery manager, project support roles to help continue to deliver our data capture digital transformation. This will be a mix of continuous improvement to existing systems and delivery of new systems though GDS phases.
The supplier will work alongside the in-house digital teams
Latest start date Monday 1 April 2019
Expected contract length Two years
Location West Midlands
Organisation the work is for Education and Skills Funding Agency (DfE)
Budget range The budget could range up to a maximum of £3m consisting of multiple SoWs, but that scope could expand or contract. DfE does not commit to any minimum spend at this point. A pricing template will be given at the proposal stage to those suppliers we shortlist.

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The Data capture service is undergoing a digital transformation and is looking for an agile partner to assist in delivering this.

The key challenges are (i) existing technologies to support services are close to end of life (ii) user experience is less than optimal.

The aim is to build an in-house capability across the three service lines (i) Data Collections (ii) Further Education collections (iii) Provider Information management service within Data Capture to address the challenges above.

To do this we envisage some contracts to cover specific projects to support the programme
Problem to be solved The Data Capture service is going through digital transformation to meet the evolving business, policy and user needs as well as meet the interface requirements of other ESFA systems.

To address business and user needs, some GDS agile roles such as user researcher, content designer, designer, delivery manager may be required to either support existing teams or potentially form discrete delivery teams to address a specific need.

We are looking for a partner to transition knowledge, skills and experience to help build this. Specific roles and skills required are detailed in the GDS Service Manual (
Who the users are and what they need to do Users are external (training providers) and internal (business operation,support desk).

As an ESFA training provider I need to tell my learners how to claim funding for their education by completing my submission using guidance to claim correctly. I need to understand how to fix data errors so I claim funding for all eligible learners.

As an ESFA internal user (Support desk) I need training provider submission data to answer queries.

As an ESFA internal user (business operations) I need the training provider submission data to ensure the system calculates funding and passes this information to financial-systems to make provider payments.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done The Data capture has been undergoing a digital transformation for 18 months to support and meet ESFA policy amendments and evolving service needs. We successfully passed GDS alpha assessment and completed alpha phase.

We have built data collection service prototypes and tested with our users (training providers, colleges, local authories) and contiuous design improvements carried with user feedback.
Existing team The existing teams are comprised of multi-disciplinary agile delivery skills. These teams are involved in continual product improvement as well as providing brand new digital services. Typical team size is up to 10 with a skills mix such as product/service managers, delivery managers, business analysts, developers, testing, architecture, user research and design professionals. These teams can have a mix of internal and external staff.

The new supplier will be expected to provide resources across user researcher, contenct designer, designer, delivery manager, project support roles according to the business need for the initiative.
Current phase Beta

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Primary location will be Education and Skills Funding Agency, Cheylesmore House, Coventry CV1 2WT
Working arrangements This will be a 5 day per week (Monday to Friday) commitment and detailed working arrangements, including team location, size and make-up, will be contained within each statement of work. Day to day delivery will be governed by standard agile delivery techniques. These could be either a Kanban or a scrum approach (depending on the work) but the standard agile ceremonies appropriate to those will be undertaken. These will be monitored by the Delivery Manager and the Product Owner will be responsible for prioritising backlogs in refinement sessions.
Security clearance Personnel from the Service provider need to have both BPSS and an enhanced DBS check.

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Additional terms and conditions Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with DfE Travel and Subsistence Policy. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. No parking is available on site.

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 in delivering Data Science products/services within Public Sector
  • Experience in architecture servcies and ensuring new and updated platforms, products, transactions and system architectures are robust, scalable, open and secure
  • Experience in DevOps services including running production applications, optimising existing applications and design new ones
  • Experience in building scalable server-side cloud-based web applications (preferably Microsoft Azure) detailed knowledge of the C#, .NET, ASP.NET MVC programming languages
  • Experience in building front-end web applications (HTML/CSS/JS)
  • Demonstrable experience of working in multi-team agile delivery programmes
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of passing GDS service assessments
  • Experience of Microsoft product suite in the education sector
  • Experience of Cyber Security in the education sector
  • Experience in delivering ESFA's Data Science products/services

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Demonstrate working experience in delivering Data Science products/services within Public Sector
  • Demonstrate experience of development, Architecture and DevOps in the Microsoft platform
  • Demonstrate understanding/ability to deliver digital products/services to government Digital Service standards
  • Experience and methodology in approach to agile project using both Kanban and scrum
  • Demonstrable experience of working alongside clients in co-located, integrated teams, together with representative CVs of key roles
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer
  • Technical competence in the identified technologies and agile practices
  • Ability to scale up team and flex resource when needed on-site
  • Value for money
  • Demonstrate understanding of the challenges of implementing user centred design in a government agile environment
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team – Collaborate, establish good working relationships, generate team spirit
  • Innovate – Act on initiative, drive improvements, balance risks
  • Build capability – Encourage learning, share knowledge, address capability gaps, act on feedback
  • Focus on delivery – Focus on goals, set stretching targets, take responsibility for delivery
  • Approach to developing a "One Team" approach
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




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