Published date: 9 April 2021

Closed opportunity - This means that the contract is currently closed. The buying department may be considering suppliers that have already applied, or no suitable offers were made.

Closing: 10 May 2021, 1pm

Contract summary


  • Education and training services - 80000000

Location of contract


Value of contract

£50,000 to £150,000

Procurement reference


Published date

9 April 2021

Closing date

10 May 2021

Closing time


Contract start date

12 July 2021

Contract end date

31 March 2022

Contract type

Service contract

Procedure type

Open procedure

Any interested supplier may submit a tender in response to an opportunity notice.

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



Following on from the context set out within the tender documentation and based on current projections, the national Talent for Care team estimates that approximately 15,000 NHS apprentices may be struggling with functional skills. It must be noted, however, that this is an estimation, and the actual figure may be higher. When we extend the lens to also include social care, the number may reach double this.

We have heard from employers in every region of England that they are still struggling to access exam provision - particularly "exam-only" provision, where the learner has not studied with the college or provider who would assess them. This is further exacerbated by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic because some providers are not meeting the challenge of providing Covid-safe assessments. This results in learners reaching a competence of level 2 in terms of knowledge but lacking the evidence to prove it, and therefore are unable to progress to positions where it is a requirement. We hope to be able to provide access to exams for at least 5,000 learners during this contract, but the exact number depends on employer uptake. The winning provider must be able to provide to at least double number this if that situation arises.

We are looking to procure the most competitive national solution to the above problem i.e. the most Covid-19 safe and if/where applicable 100% digitally secure functional skills' assessments for the cost outlined. The winning assessment provider must be able to offer remote invigilation and meet the requirements of employers from across England (from Penzance to Penrith) and from across the entire health and social care sector. This means large-scale employers i.e. NHS Trusts where they may be cohorts of learners to GP surgeries and care homes where there is likely to be only 1 or 2, and everything in between these two examples. The number of learners (employees) with each employer will vary according to the local skills, mix and need. Capacity to support this must be outlined in the tender response. We believe that by procuring at this scale we can achieve a level of competitive pricing that is not possible for individual employers and that we can achieve greater national coverage.

More information


About the buyer

Contact name

Leila Hodson


1st Floor, Blenheim House
Duncombe Street
United Kingdom