Published date: 7 January 2020

Last edited date: 8 January 2020

Closed early engagement

Closing date: 8 April 2020

Contract summary


  • IT services: consulting, software development, Internet and support - 72000000

  • Education and training services - 80000000

Location of contract

North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East, South West

Procurement reference


Published date

7 January 2020

Closing date

8 April 2020

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



The purpose of this Prior Information Notice (PIN) is to provide new and updated information on the competition to appoint suppliers to deliver the National Retraining Scheme (NRS) digital roadmap. Please also see the PIN published on 22 August 2019 via Contract Finder 2019/S 163-400609.

This PIN is not a call for competition. This PIN is intended to provide an update to all potential suppliers as follows:

1. Inform potential suppliers of a change to the route to market from OJEU to Digital Outcomes & Specialists (DOS) 4 Framework. The currently planned NRS product pipeline will be spilt into a number of separate packages; each package comprising a set of digital products and phases to be commissioned via the DOS framework. It is expected that contract(s) will be awarded to a single legal entity for the entirety of delivery of each package. A lead supplier will be appointed for each DOS call off contract to deliver specific digital requirements which will be clearly defined in the invitation to tender. Whilst the lead organisation may sub-contract certain elements of its service delivery with the Authority's consent (and consortia bids will be permitted), a single legal entity must execute the contract with the Department.

2. To inform potential suppliers that the DOS advert for the first call off opportunity is estimated to be published via the Digital Marketplace in early/mid-January 2020. The requirement will be to appoint a supplier, who will be responsible for the resource, delivery, management and associated services for the following digital outcomes and products:

a. Get Help to Retrain (Public Beta)
b. An Alpha phase for Find and Apply for a Job
c. A Private Beta phase for Find and apply for a Job; and
d. A Public Beta phase for Find and Apply for a Job

3. The Authority will award a single contract to a lead supplier assessed as having the capability and capacity to deliver all resources, required for the phases and products above within an Agile Service Delivery environment.

4. The opportunities for the remaining NRS products and phases will be advertised at a later stage.

More information


Additional text

1. Background

The National Retraining Scheme is the government's new programme to help adults retrain into better jobs and be ready for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation.

By helping adults to retrain into better jobs, the scheme will also help to meet the needs of businesses for a multi-skilled workforce in the future.

To support the development of the scheme, the Government announced funding of £100 million in the Autumn Budget 2018. This is for the continued testing and development of the scheme, as well as delivering the first parts of the scheme to the public.

This scheme will be available to citizens and businesses in England.

2. Estimated total value

circa. £6m for DOS Package 1 - Get Help to Retrain (GHtR) and Find & Apply for a Job

This is an estimate at this stage and is subject to governance and budget approvals, including future Spending Review processes, as well as changes driven by further iterations to the product roadmap. Please see the ITT for further details.

3. Duration of the framework agreement:  

The term of the contract for delivery of the digital outcomes listed at 2a-d above will be up to 2 years. We estimate that delivery of the first product will be in April/May 2020.

4. Description of the procurement

The bidders will have the capability to research, test, design, build, release, iterate, support or retire a digital service.

Bidders must meet the following outline criteria (further details and specific criteria will be defined at ITT stage):

- Comply with the technology code of practice (

- Work according to the government service design manual (

- Have the experience and capability to work on all or a number of discovery, alpha, beta, live or retirement phases as outlined in the government service design manual (

- Capability and experience of Government digital assessments across all or a number of phases of discovery, alpha, beta and live.

- The ability to work at either of DfE's London or Manchester offices. Other DfE offices may be used to deliver future products if required at the time of bringing products on stream.

About the buyer

Contact name

Jackie Cunliffe


Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street