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
Section I: Contracting authority
I.1)Name and addresses
I.4)Type of the contracting authority
Section II: Object
Professional Skills Tests for Prospective Teachers
II.1.2)Main CPV code
II.1.3)Type of contract
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
II.1.6)Information about lots
II.2.3)Place of performance
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.2.7)Duration of the contract, framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system
Option to extend contract for a further 2 years (1 + 1).
II.2.10)Information about variants
II.2.11)Information about options
II.2.13)Information about European Union funds
Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information
III.1.2)Economic and financial standing
III.1.3)Technical and professional ability
Section IV: Procedure
IV.1.1)Type of procedure
IV.1.8)Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
IV.2.2)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate
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
IV.2.7)Conditions for opening of tenders
Section VI: Complementary information
VI.1)Information about recurrence
Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand
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.5)Date of dispatch of this notice: