Office for National Statistics

PU-19-0367 - User Research Contract for the Office for National Statistics

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
3 SME, 0 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
5 SME, 0 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Tuesday 26 March 2019
Deadline for asking questions Tuesday 2 April 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Tuesday 9 April 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work The Office for National Statistics is currently undergoing a major digital transformation.
We need help:
• Identifying, contacting, scheduling, coordination of participants for user/qualitative research activities including (but not limited to) interviewing, focus groups, usability testing and cognitive interviewing.
• Managing and distributing incentives for participants
• Managing participant attendance
Location Wales
Research dates Individual research will be confirmed on a call off basis throughout the period of the contract.
Organisation the work is for Office for National Statistics
Budget range

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Early market engagement

About the research

About the research
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Description of your participants User participants will be defined for each project and a specification of requirements will be sent generally with at least two to three weeks’ notice of a planned research session (although there may be times when shorter notice is given).

We will need participants that represent a varied demography of age, gender, ethnicity and digital capability and may focus on particular types of user for some rounds of research. Participants should be willing to be audio recorded or filmed so the research can be used to improve digital services. The need for recording in this manner will be specified in each round of research.

We are also researching wider topics like education and types of employment so participants representing different levels of education (e.g. school, apprenticeship etc) and types of employment (e.g. employed vs self-employed) will be needed.

They may also be a need for access to large panels of users for specific testing such as tree tests on website redesigns.
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements We would like to the supplier to be able to find participants with a wide range of digital skill levels and accessibility requirements, including those that use screen readers and other specialist assistive equipment and software.

Due to the nature of participants with low digital skills, we would expect the winning bidder to be able to recruit these users in a non-digital format i.e. on street/face to face recruitment.
Research plan This contract will be supplying participants to multiple projects across the Office
Research location Various locations - Research locations will very to fit the requirement. Some research will take place in the ONS Lab located in the ONS Offices in Newport or the ONS Offices at Fareham & London. Other research may be on location in any part of the UK, including Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.
Access restrictions at location
Number of research rounds We need multiple research rounds for several projects at varying stages of delivery
Number of participants per round Participant numbers per round will vary depending on the stage of each project. Likely to be between 5 & 12. For some rounds of research the requirement could be as high as 25 - 30 participants.
How often research will happen We do not have exact dates, but it is likely the research will take place every 2 - 6 weeks. There is a possibility that it could be more frequent than this or there could be a longer period in between the research as well.
Evening or weekend research
  • Weekday evenings
  • Weekends

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
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.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Recruit participants who are representative of desired user groups and screen users based on specific criteria sometimes within short time frames (1-3 week window) using solid screening processes. (5)
  • Have experience recruiting participants from multiple regions across the UK (4)
  • Provide a single point of contact to reliably respond to communications by email or phone within 1 hour to 1 day (depending on the scenario) throughout the engagement (1)
  • Recruit participants at short notice with a short turnaround and ability to replace unsuitable participants (3)
  • Arrange and manage participants, ensuring their attendance at the research (2)
  • Recruit 'Assisted Digital' participants, people who are digitally excluded or have low digital skills including those with accessibility needs. (5)
  • Recruit participants for field (on site workplace) interviews and for in home depth research when required (2)
  • Recruit participants for remote usability testing (including briefing and checking) and phone interviews. (2)
  • Handle research incentives for participants (2)
  • Recruit users for face to face usability testing (2)
  • Recruit users for remote usability testing (including briefing and checking) (2)
  • Recruit users for depth and cognitive interviewing (2)
  • Identify risks you can see and how you propose mitigating against them (1)
Nice-to-have skills and experience Provide evidence of previous experience of working in the public sector (1)

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 5
Proposal criteria
  • Approach to managing and scheduling participants, identifying and managing risks and contingency plans to ensure sufficient recruitment (2)
  • Method for recruiting a representative sample of participants with the demography outlined above (4)
  • Demonstrate a method to identify and recruit participants with low digital literacy and difficult to reach participants (4)
  • Provide profiles and information for selected participants in each round (1)
  • Estimated timeframes for recruitment (2)
  • Breakdown of recruitment costs both in lab, at third party locations, remote testing and in-home inclusive of incentives (2)
  • How will you work with ONS to ensure we have visibility and confidence that we are getting representative participants (1)
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Is there a budget in mind? The anticipated budget for the first year of the contract is £300,000. Subsequent years will be subject to budget approval.

However, there is no guarantee of this spend.