This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 12 February 2019
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

Lead Solutions Architect - Future Theory Test Services (FTTS)

8 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 0 large

21 Completed applications

19 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Tuesday 5 February 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 7 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 12 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Technical Architect
Summary of the work
Operating client-side within project team, as technical lead for project. You define, realise and manage all functional, non-functional requirements, manage emerging technical debt, ensure prioritisation of solutions technical requirements. You own technical solution, including solutions technical components, code and infrastructure, and third party licenses/services, ensuring the solution's resilience and performance.
Latest start date
Monday 25 February 2019
Expected contract length
Initial 5 weeks possible extension.
East Midlands
Organisation the work is for
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
Maximum day rate
Maximum £800/day

About the work

Early market engagement
No early market engagement has been conducted.
Who the specialist will work with
DVSA have established a team structure for digital projects using a digital partner team to deliver the project who interface and work together with the client-side team, made up of non-technical stakeholders and technical practitioners. The Lead Solution Architect role sits in the client-side team, and will need to interface with the DVSA core architecture team and the architecture governance function.
What the specialist will work on
• Direct security creation/maintenance, solutions and software architectures.
• Reduce technical debt, spend, improve customer service.
• Ensure compliance with security/solutions architecture standards/principles, ensure software architectures deliver VFM.
• Provide application architectural solutions for business requirements. Support for application development/modification.
• Work with architecture governance, developing architectural strategies/guidelines.
• Comply with policies/procedures for operational efficiency.
• Recommend new technologies to develop robust application.
• Review/recommend improvements to existing application architectures.
• Assist application design/development/integration/implementation. Developing architecture documents, functional specifications, design documents, architecture diagrams.
• Analyse/troubleshoot architecture related issues.
• Chair Design Authority.
• Assess architectural support requirement in client-side team.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The role is based in DVSA's office in central Nottingham, with the possibility of travel to other sites within the UK.
Working arrangements
The post holder will be expected to work 5 days each week with at least 3-4 days each week in the central Nottingham office. There may be a requirement to visit other sites in the UK on an ad-hoc basis. Current budget takes the role to the end of the financial year, there is the possibility of extension beyond that.
Security clearance
DBS - BPSS with Basic Disclosure (issued by Disclosure & Barring Service)

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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
  • Comprehensive experience of solution architecture and demonstrable success aligning IT with business, managing the delivery of associated technical services, solutions and architectures, and the associated technologies and architectural artefacts
  • Familiarity of modern open source development tools and languages (e.g: Java / Typescript / .net) running on cloud platforms such as AWS.
  • Recognised skills in software engineering, dev ops, platform engineering and delivering cloud-based services.
  • Thorough understanding of and experience of working within the software development lifecycle using agile delivery techniques
  • Experience of leading teams of developers from a technical and design perspective.
  • Extensive experience with cloud hosting platforms, primarily AWS and Azure.
  • Experience in application of architecture best practice and governance in application rationalisation, application development and integration, as well as the selection and integration of solutions in the process of modernisation.
  • Experience in translating technical concepts between software engineering, delivery management and service management.
  • Extensive knowledge of architectural concepts and methodologies and design standards / patterns
  • Experience making and guiding effective decisions, explaining clearly how the decision has been reached, with the ability to understand and resolve technical disputes across varying levels of complexity and risk
  • Experience working with business and technology stakeholders to translate business problems into technical designs through an iterative process, aligning the user need with the system requirements and organisational objectives.
  • Experience of looking beyond the immediate technical problem and identify the wider implications.
  • Have an awareness of IT security (network, host and application) and implications/application for IT solutions, broader IT market trends and the ability to translate theory into practice.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • TOGAF certification
  • BCS qualifications in Enterprise and Solutions Architecture to Practitioner level.
  • Relevant Agile qualifications e.g. Certified Scrum Master/Product Owner
  • Relevant security qualifications.
  • Understanding of Architectural approaches such as Service Oriented Architecture and approaches espoused in the Government Digital Service Manual.
  • Knowledge of Puppet, Ansible and Terraform and other automation technique and practices.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise
Assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is the IR35 status of the role
The role is outside IR35
2. Is there a current incumbent?
There is not a current incumbent
3. Is there any way the essential/nice-to-have skills can be trimmed for this role? It will be very difficult to get the best possible specialists to complete 1,900 word application for a 5 week role..
It is difficult to do so because the skills and experience are required.
4. Is the rate excluding VAT or inclusive of VAT?
Excluding VAT
5. Is this a new role?
This is a new role required as the project is developing