Invitation to tender - online application system

14 Dec 2017

Please note, the deadline for submitting tender documents has now passed.

The Chevening Secretariat requires a single contractor to design, build, implement, and maintain an online application system for Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships.

Chevening is HM Government’s largest scholarship scheme, and its prestige means that it generates a high level of interest each year from applicants. Interest has significantly increased in recent years and the new online application system needs to be robust and resilient to deal with increased traffic and inevitable peaks in interest.

The contractor will provide a helpdesk and end-user support service for these, plus liaison with third-party software providers, where relevant. The contractor will also manage the transition from the existing online application system to this new system.

For more details on the contract value, and the specification of requirements, please review the Invitation to Tender.

The deadline for submitting tender documents is now closed.

Additional information for bidders

1. We are not imposing a structure on bidders – you can use your own template for tenders. But each tender submission must ensure that it addresses all the elements of the ITT, in particular the criteria on which the contract will be awarded. In terms of comparing and contrasting different formats, reviewers will be focussing on the content of the tender, and the clarity with which each element is outlined in the tender.

2. ACU currently uses Plagscan.

3. Tenders can include up to five pages of annexes.

4. There is no formal provision for clarifications during the closure period.

5. Shortlisted bidders will be invited to interview at the ACU’s premises in Woburn House. Interviews will take place after Wednesday, 24 January but before Wednesday, 31 January 2018.

Frequently asked questions

Can the ACU please confirm the total value of the contract for the three-year period? Has the ACU budgeted £50,000 - £125,000 for the first year of the project costs (design, build, and implementation) and also £50,000 £90,000 per annum for the ongoing support? Or is the total budget for the three-year contract period between £50,000 - £125,000?

The ACU has included the maximum available current costs for the system. However, with continuing budgets cuts, and innovations in systems development, the ACU is looking for a cost-effective solution for the FCO in providing an Online Application System (OAS), one which is future proof for the life of the contract and is flexible enough not to incur significant increases during the life of the contract for the current specification. Bids will be judged on their value for money so competitive bids, that enable ACU to provide a flexible that brings costs down, are encouraged.


Would the ACU be willing to accept a soft copy (emailed) of tender response?

Yes, s soft copy is sufficient.


Can the ACU please provide more information regarding this specific functional specification?

In the current system, if the Secretariat wants to select 1,000 applications in the OAS based on application id, we need to use the query tool and manually type in each application id, Application ID = 1, or Application ID=5, or Application ID=10, etc. This is not feasible or practical for a high number of records. For example, in SQL, you can write a query which essentially would have the following criteria in the query Application ID in (List of application IDs separated by comma) and it will retrieve the records required.