DfE Professional Skills Tests for Prospective Teachers

DfE Professional Skills Tests for Prospective Teachers

The Department for Education wishes to procure a test delivery service and associated development processes to support the professional skills tests for prospective teachers. 

United Kingdom-Coventry: Education and training services

2018/S 004-005037

Contract notice


Directive 2014/24/EU

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name and addresses

Department for Education
Cheylesmore House, Quinton Road
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 8450194170
E-mail: sourcing.HELP@education.gov.uk
Fax: +44 2476823675
NUTS code: UKInternet address(es):Main address: https://www.gov.uk/Department-for-Education

I.2)Joint procurement

The contract is awarded by a central purchasing body


The procurement documents are available for unrestricted and full direct access, free of charge, at: https://education.bravosolution.co.uk
Additional information can be obtained from the abovementioned address
Tenders or requests to participate must be submitted electronically via: https://education.bravosolution.co.uk
Tenders or requests to participate must be submitted to the abovementioned address

I.4)Type of the contracting authority

Body governed by public law

I.5)Main activity


Section II: Object

II.1)Scope of the procurement


Professional Skills Tests for Prospective Teachers

II.1.2)Main CPV code


II.1.3)Type of contract


II.1.4)Short description:

The department for education wishes to procure a test delivery service and associated development processes to support the professional skills tests for prospective teachers. The service will incorporate delivering the skills tests at a network of test centres, supporting the delivery of test content and analysing and delivering reports required by the department other external stakeholders. The tests play a vital role in ensuring the government’s commitment to the recruitment of capable, high quality teachers and they are required to be accessible to prospective teachers on a continual basis.

II.1.5)Estimated total value

Value excluding VAT: 15 000 000.00 GBP

II.1.6)Information about lots

This contract is divided into lots: no
II.2.2)Additional CPV code(s)

II.2.3)Place of performance

NUTS code: UK

II.2.4)Description of the procurement:

The procured service will incorporate delivering the professional skills test for prospective teachers at a network of test centres, supporting the delivery of test content and analysing and delivering reports required by the department and other external stakeholders.

Candidates are required to pass a literacy test and a numeracy test.

Approximately 110 000 tests are delivered in each recruitment cycle which runs from 1 October to 30 September each year. In total, approximately 130 000 tests are billable each recruitment cycle.

It is a requirement for any candidate to pass the skills test before embarking on Initial Teacher Training and subsequently gaining qualified teacher status. Candidates can take the skills tests up to a maximum of 3 times per subject, before being locked out for a period of 2 years. The numeracy and literacy skills tests:

— cover the core skills that teachers need to fulfil their professional role in schools. This is to ensure all teachers are competent in numeracy and literacy, regardless of their specialism.

— do not replace the GCSE grade C or grade 4 equivalence entry requirement but ensure that the skills are current for those wishing to enter the profession.

— are set in the context of the professional role of a teacher; all questions are based upon scenarios which teachers are likely to encounter.

— are computerised (although each year a total of approximately 450 tests are delivered as paper based tests, for candidates requiring reasonable adjustments).

The literacy skills test is a computerised test divided into 4 sections: spelling, punctuation, grammar and comprehension. Candidates are allocated 45 minutes to complete the test, unless special arrangements have been granted.

The numeracy skills test is a computerised test covering 3 areas in 2 sections: mental arithmetic; interpreting and using written data; and solving written arithmetic problems. Candidates are allocated 48 minutes to complete the test, unless special arrangements have been granted. The first section is strictly timed.

The Authority will be responsible for devising the content of all tests and analysing aspects of test and item level data. The intellectual property rights vested in the tests rest with the Authority.

There is currently a network of over 40 test centres (a mix of prime supplier and third party sites) mainly in England. Testing also takes place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All tests take place in a test centre environment. Tests are also currently delivered at three European Test Centres, located in Frankfurt, Madrid and Paris. The Authority wish testing to continue in Europe as part of the new service requirements, but have no constraints with regard to specified location(s). The possibility of testing in locations outside of Europe will also be required and suggested locations from the Supplier would be required. There is no requirement for the supplier to reimburse travel and subsistence to candidates unless there is a test delivery issue that affects the candidate, for example, a test system failure requiring tests to be cancelled at short notice.

There shall be a requirement to refresh the test content during the life of the contract, usually on an annual basis. User acceptance testing processes will need to be in place to ensure the new/refreshed tests work on the successful supplier’s systems. This may include a refresh of the practice tests.

II.2.5)Award criteria

Price is not the only award criterion and all criteria are stated only in the procurement documents
II.2.6)Estimated value

II.2.7)Duration of the contract, framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system

Duration in months: 36
This contract is subject to renewal: yes
Description of renewals:

Option to extend contract for a further 2 years (1 + 1).

II.2.10)Information about variants

Variants will be accepted: no

II.2.11)Information about options

Options: no
II.2.12)Information about electronic catalogues

II.2.13)Information about European Union funds

The procurement is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no
II.2.14)Additional information

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions for participation
III.1.1)Suitability to pursue the professional activity, including requirements relating to enrolment on professional or trade registers

III.1.2)Economic and financial standing

Selection criteria as stated in the procurement documents

III.1.3)Technical and professional ability

Selection criteria as stated in the procurement documents
III.1.5)Information about reserved contracts
III.2)Conditions related to the contract
III.2.1)Information about a particular profession
III.2.2)Contract performance conditions:
III.2.3)Information about staff responsible for the performance of the contract

Section IV: Procedure


IV.1.1)Type of procedure

Open procedure
IV.1.3)Information about a framework agreement or a dynamic purchasing system
IV.1.4)Information about reduction of the number of solutions or tenders during negotiation or dialogue
IV.1.6)Information about electronic auction

IV.1.8)Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)

The procurement is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement: yes
IV.2)Administrative information
IV.2.1)Previous publication concerning this procedure

IV.2.2)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate

Date: 09/02/2018
Local time: 12:00
IV.2.3)Estimated date of dispatch of invitations to tender or to participate to selected candidates

IV.2.4)Languages in which tenders or requests to participate may be submitted:


IV.2.6)Minimum time frame during which the tenderer must maintain the tender

Tender must be valid until: 04/05/2018

IV.2.7)Conditions for opening of tenders

Date: 09/02/2018
Local time: 12:00

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about recurrence

This is a recurrent procurement: no
VI.2)Information about electronic workflows
VI.3)Additional information:
VI.4)Procedures for review

VI.4.1)Review body

High Court
Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand
United Kingdom
VI.4.2)Body responsible for mediation procedures

VI.4.3)Review procedure

Precise information on deadline(s) for review procedures:

The Contracting Authority will incorporate a minimum 10 calendar days standstill period at the point information on the award of the contracts is communicated to suppliers. Suppliers who are unsuccessful shall be informed by the Contracting Authority as soon as possible after the decision has been made as to the reasons why they were unsuccessful. If an appeal regarding the award of the contract has not been successfully resolved, The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 nº 102) provide for aggrieved parties who have been harmed or are at risk of harm by breach of the rules to take legal action. Any such action must be brought within the applicable limitation period. Where a contract has not been entered into, the Court may order the setting aside of the award decision or order the Contracting Authority to amend any document and may award damages. If the contract has been entered into the Court may, depending on the circumstances, award damages, make a declaration of ineffectiveness, order the Contracting Authority to pay a fine, and/or order that the duration of the contract be shortened. The purpose of the standstill period referred to above is to allow the parties to apply to the Courts to set aside the award decision before the contract is entered into.

VI.4.4)Service from which information about the review procedure may be obtained

VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice:



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