Awarded to Just After Midnight

Start date: Monday 3 June 2019
Value: £147,000
Company size: SME
Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) - Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

Development of an online electronic Research Application submission and review Portal (eRAP)

22 Incomplete applications

17 SME, 5 large

18 Completed applications

18 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Friday 22 February 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 1 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 8 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
CPRD provides anonymised health care data for the purposes of observational and interventional public health research. CPRD is seeking a supplier for the development / delivery of an online research applications portal, which must integrate with the existing Salesforce CRM.
Latest start date
Monday 3 June 2019
Expected contract length
12 mnths - ALPHA is expected to last 6 months. (BETA is expected to last a further 6 months (tba))
Organisation the work is for
Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) - Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Budget range
To deliver a working version of ALPHA CPRD has a budget of £100,000. ALPHA is expected to be the MVP of an electronic application form allowing user logon, applications drafting and submission and revision / amendment submission with integration to the CPRD CRM (SalesForce). Delivery of BETA (review process) will be subject to the success of ALPHA with a budget of £50,000.

About the work

Why the work is being done
CPRD is digitising many of its existing processes to make them quicker, cheaper, and more efficient. eRAP submission is one such process. CPRD needs a supplier to develop the tool to ALPHA stage (Q2 FY 19/20), then BETA (Q4 FY 19/20), using open source technology, and tried and tested methods, to ensure that an easy to use product is produced which passes all GDS requirements and agency spend control procedures. It is intended that a Statement of Work (SOW) for ALPHA will be issued, with a subsequent decision to progress onwards to BETA with a second SOW.
Problem to be solved
Presently, the overall process, from obtaining the information, to depositing it in a central database, involves a manual process. CPRD wishes to bring the research submission process into one place, in the form of the eRAP online tool. The tool needs to be developed with a focus on user led iteration with document upload functionality. Any development of the tool must therefore follow the GDS principles.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a user of the tool I will be an epidemiologist or researcher who will be applying to CPRD to use the CPRD database for health-related research purposes. The tool must allow me to log onto the system, write my application and make any amendments necessary to it both before and after submission. The tool must be easy to use with quick and simple access to users and integrate with the CPRD CRM system - SalesForce. Internal users will be administrative staff, internal and external submission reviewers (for BETA) and operations staff.
Early market engagement
CPRD has already conducted an extensive discovery on the needs and requirements of the users for the tool. This included engagement of both internal and external users of the proposed tool. The main features found to be essential by external users were:

• An electronic platform for applicants;
• The ability to track progress of an application;
• Ability to create and save profiles;
• A centralised system with client profiles;
• Ability to copy / paste from word documents;
• Ability to save and return to application;
• Ability to download completed application;
• Automated email notifications;
• Ability to contact Secretariat through portal;

Most research applications come from Academia (60%) followed by Pharma companies (30%) Other (10%)
Any work that’s already been done
The discovery phase of this project has been completed by CPRD. Extensive work on the processes involved in the application process has also been conducted by CPRD with process maps available.
Existing team
The existing CPRD project team consists of:
1x Head of Business Operations (Product Owner);
1x Research Applications Manager (Deputy);
1x Senior Software Developer;
1x CPRD Senior Researcher;
1x CPRD Researcher;
1x CPRD Infrastructure Manager;
1x CPRD SalesForce Developer.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
CPRD is based in Canary Wharf, London but proposals of work conducted remotely at a different location would be expected with regular meetings to take place in Canary Wharf.
Working arrangements
The team must work using AGILE methods;
The team must be available during standard working hours;
The team must be able to attend CPRD offices as and when required;
Expenses will be paid in line with the MHRA policy (expenses shall not be paid within the M25).
Security clearance
Not Applicable. However the standard MHRA NDA will be required to be signed.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
This contract would be deemed outside the intermediaries legislation (IR35).

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
  • Proven experience building easy-to-use web-based applications
  • Proven experience building cloud based services
  • Proven experience conducting and documenting user research, and iterating project work accordingly (test driven development)
  • Proven experience delivering projects using the agile project management methodology
  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to deliver digital services/products to the Government Digital Service standards
  • Demonstrate a successful approach to completion of required GDS Service Assessment, Security Health Check, Penetration Testing, Service Readiness, and release reviews as part of quality and acceptance tests
  • Proven ability to support and improve the solution once live
  • Development solely using Open Source products or products which IPR will vest with CPRD upon delivery
  • Experience of developing web based application portal solutions
  • Have availability of resources to be able to start as soon as possible
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Previous successful experience delivering digital services within Government
  • Proven track record of building services with robust disaster recovery plans in place
  • Proven track record of building services with automated testing procedures
  • A track record of successfully delivering IT projects within public sector organisations
  • Experience of Application Forms (example: )
  • Demonstrate knowledge of working with 3rd parties to develop standard interfaces and data exchange portals
  • Have experience of successfully transitioning projects into a live service environment within a government department within the last 12 months
  • Experience of developing web based application portal solutions for UK Government
  • Experience of building easy-to-use-web-based responsive design and progressive enhancement to delivering a good experience on mobile devices

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the Approach or solution meets CPRD policies and goals
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Identification of risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Experience working with public sector organisations
  • Work collaboratively with key contacts in CPRD
  • Transparency in decision-making
  • Strong pro-active approach to incident and problem management
  • Working in an Agile environment
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. 1. Please would you confirm if any suppliers were used during the Discovery phase?
I can confirm that no contracts were issued for the Discovery phase.
2. 2. Can you confirm that the total budget for Alpha & Beta is £150,000?
I can confirm that the total budget is £150k, but the allocations for ALPHA and BETA are as detailed in the documentation.
3. One of the essential skills listed is: "Development solely using Open Source products or products which IPR will vest with CPRD upon delivery". We would propose using a SaaS product that is not open source to implement the forms however it should deliver significant savings to MHRA. Would this be acceptable?
The CPRD require the eRAP to be developed using Open Source products, or products where the IPR will vest with the CPRD. Use of a SaaS product would not be acceptable for eRAP.
4. What are the metrics used (and percentage breakdown of the point-system) used to award points for the Technical Competence criteria? It is not clear whether this relates just to the skillset or to the (non-technical or semi-technical) issues detailed on the criteria section such as approach and methodology, timeframes, team structure and value for money.
The CPRD will use the following scoring methodology against each criteria. We shall exclude suppliers who get less than 2 for any essential skills or experience criteria.

Score Description
0 Not met or no evidence
1 Partially met
2 Met
3 Exceeded

Weightings are
40% technical competence
20% cultural fit
40% price
5. Will not having worked collaboratively before for CPRD key contacts be penalised in the assessment used? If so by how much?
I can confirm that the assessment criteria will not penalise suppliers that have not previously worked with CPRD.
6. Was the Discovery phase completed entirely and exclusively with an internal team?
I can confirm that no contracts were issued for the Discovery phase.
7. Will your in-house Salesforce developer do the actual integration? Or at least be on hand to provide Salesforce development expertise?
A Salesforce developer will be a member of the CPRD Project Team and will be on-hand throughout the project.
8. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. deadlines for the written proposal/presentation?
The closing date for applications is Friday 8 March 2019 at 11.59pm GMT. The panel will commence their evaluation upon receipt of the initial responses on 11th March and intends to notify the 3 shortlisted suppliers by 22nd March with a proposed return date for written proposals by 5th April. We currently have a placeholder of 18th April for supplier presentations. These dates are indicative and may be subject to change.
9. Can you host a call with suppliers about this opportunity where we can have a live Q&A and the discussion notes are shared on this tender ad? This has proven helpful on other DM opportunities.
It is not the agency’s intention to hold a live Q&A session. All supplier questions will be answered through the Digital Marketplace.
10. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Head of Business Operations;
Research Applications Manager;
Senior Software Developers;
Senior Researchers;
Salesforce Developer.
11. Are you working with any existing suppliers in relation to this tender opportunity? If you are, who are they?
12. Will the users consulted in discovery be contactable for user testing through Alpha and Beta?
Users consulted in Discovery will be contactable for testing in Alpha and Beta.
13. Do you have any preferred technology platforms for Alpha?
The current CPRD website is based on Drupal however CPRD have no preferences outside of the criteria stated in the opportunity.
14. What would the average number of users be for this platform daily, monthly ?
It is difficult to predict the number of users at this stage, however CPRD currently receives just under 1000 new research applications, resubmissions and amendment requests per year.
15. Do you provide necessary hardware or do you intend to be hosted on cloud?
The intention would be cloud hosting.
16. You ask for “Proven experience conducting and documenting user research, and iterating project work accordingly (test driven development)” Can you clarify your interpretation of “test driven development” in this context?
Iterative development based upon the outcomes of user research and testing.