Step Up to Social Work support contractor

Step Up to Social Work support contractor

A contractor to provide information, coordination and administrative support to local authorities grouped in regional partnerships to assess and recruit applicants to the third cohort of the Step Up to Social Work programme.

Reference number: 140

Deadline date:25/03/2013

This deadline is for… 12 noon for return of tenders

Contract value:£130,000 – £200,000

Location where the contract is to be carried out: England

Is this suitable for smaller suppliers? Yes

Is this contract suitable for a voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations? Yes

Name of the buying organisation: Department for Education


Description of the contract

A contractor to provide information, coordination and administrative support to local authorities grouped in regional partnerships to assess and recruit applicants to the third cohort of the Step Up to Social Work programme. The contractor will also support these local authorities and partnerships in planning the recruitment of applicants and monitor steps to the successful approval of the academic programme by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the last of which is the responsibility of the Higher Education Institute (HEI) with which they are working. The contractor is expected to liaise with up to 12 regional partnerships across England, likely to consist of over 50 local authorities, as well as the HEIs the partnerships each contract to deliver the programme, in order to coordinate the assessment process and assessment centres and ensure verification of successful applicants’ credentials. There will be a requirement for the contractor to work closely with these regional partnerships and their HEIs to provide on-going support during and after the assessment process. The period from contract award to the assessment centres will involve intense activity to administer and respond to applications accurately and securely and to support the regional partnerships in their planning for assessment. Contractor Specification Requirements The following requirements must be met by successful tendering organisations: • provide participating regional partnerships with one point of contact for the programme • have immediate access to an adequate number of resources to undertake the initial assessment to a demanding timescale • passport applications securely at all stages of the process • take responsibility for accuracy and consistency in the assessment work they undertake • be able to understand and answer straightforward questions about the use of assessment materials at assessment centres • be able to support the use of assessment materials in the assessment centres in order to achieve consistency across centres • have capacity for ongoing liaison with participating local authorities throughout the process, providing support and tracking to ensure they remain on schedule, raising risks and issues with DfE for rapid solution • administer and coordinate the hiring of suitable low/no cost venues in which to undertake the assessment, if regional partnerships cannot supply • ongoing monitoring and quality assurance of the process • ongoing capacity to assist participating local authorities with all stages of the assessment beyond the initial sift, providing input as determined by the regional partnership/local authority • input into the documenting of the assessment materials • liaison with HEIs to determine whether they are on track to develop and deliver a 14 month Post Graduate Diploma course • track all candidate applications accurately, informing successful and unsuccessful applicants at each stage and answering queries. • maintain oversight of regional partnership planning and development to ensure a successful programme launch in January 2014.



Classification of the contract

98111000 Services furnished by business organisations


Additional information

Contract type: Services – Unspecified

Is it a framework agreement? No

Is this contract related to a programme of funding? No

Contract will be awarded based on: Most economically advantageous tender in terms of: The criteria stated in the contract documents

Estimated length of contract: 15/04/2013 – 31/01/2014


Who to contact

Contact name Paul Harper

Organisation name Department for Education

Address Team Leader, Social Work Reform Unit, postcode

Telephone 0161 6001521

Extension number:


Web address


How to apply

Other information Bidders should note that shortlisted organisations may be required to attend an interview in Sheffield between 8 April and 12 April 2013. To request a copy of the tender: To request a copy of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) please send an email to: and include the name of your organisation and the words “Intention to tender for the Step Up to Social Work support Contract” in the title of your email, so that we can ensure that any relevant additional information is emailed to you. Return of tenders: Tenders must be sent electronically via email to the Social Work Reform Unit at: quoting ‘Step Up Support contract tenderer’ in the subject heading. Deadline for receipt of tender: Midday GMT on Monday 25 March 2013. Bids received after this time and date will not be considered.