Home Office Secure English Language Testing Tender 

Home Office Secure English Language Testing Tender

The delivery of Secure English Language Testing both within the UK and the Rest of the World.

United Kingdom-London: Test and evaluation

2018/S 222-508177

Contract notice

Services

Legal Basis:

Directive 2014/24/EU

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name and addresses

Home Office
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF
United Kingdom
Contact person: STS Procurement Team
E-mail: UKVIProcurementTeamSecureTestingServices@homeoffice.gov.uk
NUTS code: UK
Internet address(es):Main address: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office

Address of the buyer profile: https://gpsesourcing.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/

I.2)Information about joint procurement

I.3)Communication

The procurement documents are available for unrestricted and full direct access, free of charge, at: https://gpsesourcing.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sso/jsp/login.jsp
Additional information can be obtained from the abovementioned address
Tenders or requests to participate must be submitted electronically via: https://gpsesourcing.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sso/jsp/login.jsp
Tenders or requests to participate must be submitted to the abovementioned address
Electronic communication requires the use of tools and devices that are not generally available. Unrestricted and full direct access to these tools and devices is possible, free of charge, at: https://gpsesourcing.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sso/jsp/login.jsp

I.4)Type of the contracting authority

Ministry or any other national or federal authority, including their regional or local subdivisions

I.5)Main activity

Public order and safety

Section II: Object

II.1)Scope of the procurement

II.1.1)Title:

HO UKVI Secure Testing Services

Reference number: HO/18/02/OJEU

II.1.2)Main CPV code

73430000

II.1.3)Type of contract

Services

II.1.4)Short description:

The home office plans to procure secure testing services for persons seeking to enter the UK, apply for settlement and/or apply for UK citizenship through:

— the delivery of Secure English Language Testing (SELT) both within the UK and the Rest of the World (ROW) and

— the delivery of Life in the UK Testing (LitUK) within the UK.

A single procurement is being undertaken for all Services, using the “Open Procedure” under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Award will be based on the following:

— Secure English Language Testing (SELT) Concession contracts to be awarded under the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 and

— Life in the UK Testing (LitUK) A services contract to be awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

II.1.5)Estimated total value

Value excluding VAT: 380 000 000.00 GBP

II.1.6)Information about lots

This contract is divided into lots: yes
Tenders may be submitted for all lots
The contracting authority reserves the right to award contracts combining the following lots or groups of lots:

Lot 1: Secure English Language Testing (SELT) UK;

Lot 2: Secure English Language Testing (SELT) ROW;

Lot 3: Life in the UK Testing (LitUK).

II.2)Description

II.2.1)Title:

Secure English Language Testing (SELT) UK

Lot No: 1

II.2.2)Additional CPV code(s)

75100000
75130000
72590000

II.2.3)Place of performance

NUTS code: UK

II.2.4)Description of the procurement:

A single procurement is being undertaken for all lots, using the “Open Procedure” under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Award for lot 1 will be based on the following:

Secure English Language Testing (SELT) concession contracts to be awarded under the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 and the home office UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is seeking suppliers to enter into a concession arrangement for the provision of Secure English Language Tests (SELT):

Home office immigration policy establishes an English language requirement that customers are required to evidence. One way to satisfy the English language requirement is to demonstrate language skills through evidence of an approved language test as assessed by a Home Office approved provider (Secure English Language Test).

SELTs are taken by individuals before applying for entry clearance from outside the UK, to enter the UK, or leave to remain to extend their stay in the UK, or for settlement in the UK or for naturalisation as a British Citizen, where evidence of English language ability is a requirement.

Approved language tests enable a customer to demonstrate competency in reading, writing, listening and spoken English at the level set out in home office policy (in reference to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in accordance to the route in which they are applying.

The scope of the requirement is to provide a test(s) that enable assessment of language proficiency to levels required by the Home Office (in reference to CEFR) within a wider service that ensures integrity for approximately 280 000 customers per annum within the UK.

The concession arrangement will be for a maximum 5 year period.

The concession services include but are not limited to:

— make available English tests that are assessed as mapping to the CEFR and to ensure the viability of the test throughout the life of the agreement with the Home Office,

— the secure/assured provision of facilities for the delivery of tests, ensuring they are delivered safely and securely in terms of both test environment and test result,

— undertaking rigorous analysis and assurance measures to identify risks/issues and reporting these to the home office and

— providing a high level of customer experience to those taking the tests.

Prospective suppliers should note that they will be required to evidence as part of their bid that they hold/or will have accreditation by OFQUAL to deliver secure testing services.

Furthermore, any English language test proposed by prospective suppliers as part of their bid must be submitted alongside independent assessment by the UK government’s designated authority, known as the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) or other equivalent NARIC body, of the mapping of their tests to Council of Europe’s CEFR’s proficiency levels. Participants should allow sufficient time from their expression of interest to the bid closing date to obtain this assessment.

The new concession agreements are expected to come into operation on expiry of the current agreements, in the autumn of 2019.

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

Value excluding VAT: 89 000 000.00 GBP

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:

The contract can be extended on any number of occasions, of up to two (2) years, subject to a minimum extension period of three (3) months, giving a maximum duration of 5 years.

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

The authority is not responsible for any bidding costs incurred by participants in respect of this procurement. The authority reserves the right to:

— abandon the competitive process and not award any concession,

— make any changes it sees as reasonable to the competition,

— remove and/or amend element(s) from the scope of the requirements and

— accept or reject any tender.

II.2)Description

II.2.1)Title:

Secure English language Testing (SELT) ROW

Lot No: 2

II.2.2)Additional CPV code(s)

75100000
75130000
72590000

II.2.3)Place of performance

NUTS code: UK
Main site or place of performance:

Worldwide (Excluding the UK)

II.2.4)Description of the procurement:

A single procurement is being undertaken for all lots, using the “Open Procedure” under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Award for lot 2 will be based on the following:

Secure English Language Testing (SELT) Concession contracts to be awarded under the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016.

The home office UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is seeking suppliers to enter into a concession arrangement for the provision of Secure English Language Tests (SELT):

Home Office immigration policy establishes an English language requirement that customers are required to evidence. One way to satisfy the English language requirement is to demonstrate language skills through evidence of an approved language test as assessed by a home office approved provider (Secure English Language Test).

SELTs are taken by individuals before applying for entry clearance from outside the UK, to enter the UK, or leave to remain to extend their stay in the UK, or for settlement in the UK or for naturalisation as a British Citizen, where evidence of English language ability is a requirement.

Approved language tests enable a customer to demonstrate competency in reading, writing, listening and spoken English at the level set out in home office policy (in reference to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in accordance to the route in which they are applying.

The scope of the requirement is to provide a test(s) that enable assessment of language proficiency to levels required by the home office (in reference to CEFR) within a wider service that ensures integrity for approximately 340 000 customers per annum worldwide (excl the UK).

The concession arrangement will be for a maximum 5 year period.

The concession services include but are not limited to:

— make available English tests that are assessed as mapping to the CEFR and to ensure the viability of the test throughout the life of the agreement with the home office,

— the secure/assured provision of facilities for the delivery of tests, ensuring they are delivered safely and securely in terms of both test environment and test result,

— undertaking rigorous analysis and assurance measures to identify risks/issues and reporting these to the home office and

— providing a high level of customer experience to those taking the tests.

Prospective suppliers should note that they will be required to evidence as part of their bid that they hold/or will have accreditation by OFQUAL to deliver secure testing services.

Furthermore, any English language test proposed by prospective suppliers as part of their bid must be submitted alongside independent assessment by the UK government’s designated authority, known as the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) or other equivalent NARIC body, of the mapping of their tests to Council of Europe’s CEFR’s proficiency levels. Participants should allow sufficient time from their expression of interest to the bid closing date to obtain this assessment.

The new concession agreements are expected to come into operation on expiry of the current agreements, in the autumn of 2019.

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

Value excluding VAT: 276 000 000.00 GBP

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:

The contract can be extended on any number of occasions, of up to two (2) years, subject to a minimum extension period of three (3) months, giving a maximum duration of 5 years.

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

The authority is not responsible for any bidding costs incurred by participants in respect of this procurement. The authority reserves the right to abandon the competitive process and not award any concession; make any changes it sees as reasonable to the competition; remove and/or amend element(s) from the scope of the requirements and accept or reject any tender.

II.2)Description

II.2.1)Title:

Life in the UK Testing (LitUK)

Lot No: 3

II.2.2)Additional CPV code(s)

72590000
75100000
75130000

II.2.3)Place of performance

NUTS code: UK

II.2.4)Description of the procurement:

A single procurement is being undertaken for all lots, using the “Open Procedure” under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Award will be based on the following:

— Life in the UK Testing (LitUK) A services contract to be awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

The LitUK test is designed to test an individual’s knowledge of life in the UK (based on content of “Life in the United Kingdom; a guide for new residents” handbook). The test is taken as part of an application for settlement in the UK or naturalisation as a British citizen.

LitUK is currently a computer based multiple choice test containing 24 questions, taken under secure conditions. The supplier will be responsible for ensuring the availability of a LitUK test developed in collaboration with UKVI;

The scope of the requirement is to provide a service for approximately 170 000 customers per year within the UK, over a maximum 5 years.

The service will include the delivery of tests to a customer approved tester to locations that are not managed by the service provider, including the provision of test question updates, the necessary software, separate administration system and support desk.

General.

These services include but are not limited to:

— the secure/assured provision of facilities for the delivery of tests, ensuring they are delivered safely and securely in terms of both test environment and test result,

— undertaking rigorous analysis and assurance measures to identify risks/issues and reporting these to the home office and

— providing a high level of customer experience to those taking the tests.

The new service contract and concession agreements are expected to come into operation on expiry of the current agreements, in the autumn of 2019.

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

Value excluding VAT: 17 000 000.00 GBP

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:

The contract can be extended on any number of occasions, of up to two (2) years, subject to a minimum extension period of three (3) months, giving a maximum duration of 5 years.

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

The authority is not responsible for any bidding costs incurred by participants in respect of this procurement. The authority reserves the right to abandon the competitive process and not award any contract; make any changes it sees as reasonable to the competition; remove and/or amend element(s) from the scope of the requirements and accept or reject any tender.

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)Description

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

Notice number in the OJ S: 2018/S 154-353331

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

Date: 08/01/2019
Local time: 13:00
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:

English

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

Duration in months: 7 (from the date stated for receipt of tender)

IV.2.7)Conditions for opening of tenders

Date: 11/01/2019
Local time: 13:00

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:

A single procurement is being undertaken for all lots, using the “Open Procedure” under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Award will be based on the following:

— Secure English Language Testing (SELT) Concession contracts to be awarded under the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 and

— Life in the UK Testing (LitUK) A services contract to be awarded under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

The process for submission of expressions of interest and requesting further information is set out below.

Please note that participants are required to express an interest separately for this competition regardless of any involvement in previous market engagement activities for this project. Any such involvement does not constitute an expression of interest for the competition advertised in this notice.

The home office uses an eSourcing toolkit to enable its sourcing activities to be conducted over the internet.

The procurement will be managed electronically via the Crown Commercial Service’s e-Sourcing Suite. To participate in this procurement, participants must first be registered on the e-Sourcing Suite. If you have not yet registered, this can be done online at https://gpsesourcing.cabinetoffice.gov.uk by following the link “Register for CCS e-Sourcing”. To register, you must have a valid DUNS number (provided by Dun and Bradstreet) for the organisation being registered and who will be entering into a commercial agreement if invited to do so. Full instructions for registration and use of the system can be found at http://gps.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/i-am.

Once registered, organisations wishing to participate in the tender must send an email to: UKVIProcurementTeamSecureTestingServices@homeoffice.gov.uk. The email should be entitled “HO UKVI STS Procurement — Expression of Interest” and contain the following details: your organisation’s name, your contact name, e-mail address and telephone number. Any expressions of interest not submitted in the required form (or not containing the requested information) may be rejected. Further information will be available in the procurement documentation.

The authority requires participants to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in order to be invited to participate in the competition for this project.

On receipt of an email detailed above, the authority will provide access to the NDA through the eSourcing portal, for Participants who have not previously signed an NDA. Further instructions for the completion of the NDA can be obtained once access to the eSourcing portal NDA event is granted by the authority.

Once a correctly signed NDA is received by the authority, Participants will be invited to the Invitation To Tender (ITT) event and will be able to access all of the project documentation.

Participants should note that the authority will be hosting a bidder event on 20.11.2019. The purpose of this event is to explain how the procurement is being managed and facilitate clarification questions from attendees. Important – participants should when submitting an expression of interest in the tender process, confirm whether they will be attending the bidder event and request information about the location/timing of the event. Attendance will be subject to a Non-Disclosure Agreement having been signed.

Outside of the bidder event, participants will be able to ask questions of the authority by submitting a clarification question request. Clarification requests must be submitted no later than 19.12.2018 (15:00 hours, local time) to allow the authority to publish responses within a reasonable period before the ITT closing date.

Any expressions of interest not submitted in the required form (or containing the requested information) may be rejected.

For technical assistance on use of the e-Sourcing Suite contact; Crown Commercial Service Help-desk: Freephone: +44 3450103503 or email: supplier@ccs.gsi.gov.uk.

VI.4)Procedures for review

VI.4.1)Review body

Not Applicable
Not Applicable
United Kingdom
VI.4.2)Body responsible for mediation procedures
VI.4.3)Review procedure
VI.4.4)Service from which information about the review procedure may be obtained

VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice:

15/11/2018

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