https://digitalmarketplace.blog.gov.uk/2015/11/12/digital-outcomes-and-specialists-suitable-suppliers-and-services/

Digital Outcomes and Specialists: Suitable suppliers and services

Government departments and wider public sector organisations use the Digital Marketplace to find and compare suppliers who can help them deliver world-class digital services. If you’re a supplier and want to sell to government through Digital Outcomes and Specialists, your services must fit into one of the following 4 categories of service.

  1. Digital outcomes
    Suppliers who can help research, test, design, build, release, iterate, support or retire a digital service.
  2. Digital specialists
    Suppliers who can provide specialists to work on a service, programme or project.
  3. User research studios
    Suppliers who can provide space and facilities to carry out interviews, usability tests and focus groups; where it’s possible to watch and record people as they engage with designs, prototypes and live public sector services.
  4. User research participants
    Suppliers who can provide access to a diverse range of user research participants including people who are digitally excluded, as well as those who have low literacy or digital skills, and those who need assisted digital support.

If your services are a good fit, you can apply through the Digital Marketplace when applications open later this month. Our recent post Digital Outcomes and Specialists: An overview gives a more detailed breakdown of the outcomes, roles and user research services.

Opening up the market

With organisations of all sizes in mind, we’ve simplified the application process and reduced the volume and complexity of the legal documents.

Digital Outcomes and Specialists opens up the opportunity to smaller suppliers. Previously, they may have found it difficult to invest their time and resources in a lengthy application process. This creates a fairer and more competitive marketplace.

We’ve published the draft guidance and documentation so you can get an overview of the process and prepare your applications before Digital Outcomes and Specialists opens. Please note that these are draft documents and there is no guarantee that the final documents will be exactly the same.

Suppliers can collaborate by subcontracting or forming consortia. The call-off and framework agreement cover information on subcontracting and the Invitation to Tender (ITT) provides guidance on forming consortia.

Digital Outcomes and Specialists is not an employment framework

Digital specialists who win work through Digital Outcomes and Specialists won’t be placed in permanent or interim roles. Specialists will remain employed by the supplier and the supplier maintains all responsibility and liability for the work carried out by their specialists. Any work carried out must have deliverables and a defined scope.

These are important differences for employment agencies and recruiters to be aware of. Employment agencies find people for roles where the person enters into a contract directly with a government body. However, for Digital Outcomes and Specialists the contract is between the supplier and government body, as legally it’s the supplier who’s accountable for the specialist’s defined scope of work.

If you’re not accountable for the work done by the specialists you provide, then this framework’s not for you.

Alternative frameworks for digital contractors

Employment agencies and recruiters who are looking to place temporary staff into digital roles in government can look at sub-contracting through Contingent Labour ONE, Consultancy ONE and Non Medical Non Clinical. You can find opportunities across the entire public sector on Contracts Finder.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own dedicated public sector procurement websites. These are: