Guidance

Digital Services framework

About the Digital Marketplace Digital Services framework, which includes specialists for work on specific digital projects.

This guidance was withdrawn on

Buyers can no longer buy digital services using the Digital Services Store. Find specialists for digital projects on the Digital Marketplace.

What frameworks are

Government frameworks are agreements between the government and suppliers. The basic terms of use are agreed by both parties following a formal Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) procurement process. This saves public sector organisations and suppliers the time and cost traditionally associated with individual procurement contracts. Buyers and suppliers still need to sign a ‘call-off contract’ for each service procured through a framework.

Frameworks on the Digital Marketplace

Public sector organisations can use the Digital Marketplace to access services from 3 frameworks:

  • the G-Cloud framework, which includes cloud technology and support (eg web hosting or IT health checks)
  • the Digital Services framework, which includes specialists for work on specific digital projects (eg technical architects and user researchers)
  • the Crown Hosting Data Centres framework, which provides access to physical datacentre space for legacy systems

The Digital Services framework

The Digital Services framework is an agreement between the government and suppliers who provide people for digital projects. Specialties listed under the framework include ‘user research’ and ‘content design and development’.

The basic terms of use are between the government and suppliers following a formal OJEU procurement process.

Suppliers on the Digital Services framework must:

There are over 160 suppliers on the Digital Services framework, who provide all or some of the following roles:

Capabilities Linked roles
Software engineering and ongoing support Developer, technical architect, quality assurance analyst
Agile product design and delivery Delivery manager, product manager, business analyst, performance analyst, portfolio manager, service manager
Front-end design and interaction design Designer
Content design, editorial and development Content designer
System administration and web operations Web operations, security specialist, database specialist, network specialist
User research User researcher
Embedding Agile Agile coach

These roles and capabilities may change from iteration to iteration of the Digital Services framework.

Submit services to the Digital Services framework

You can apply to submit your services to the Digital Services framework when an OJEU is open. On average, an OJEU will be open for 6 weeks, every 6 to 9 months. It will be published on Tenders Electronic Daily.

Suppliers were asked to describe and show evidence of their capabilities when applying for a place on the framework. As part of this process, they demonstrated that their methodology meets the Government Service Design Manual and the Digital by Default Service Standard for new or redesigned digital services.

Applications to the framework were evaluated by Government Digital Service (GDS) subject matter experts covering all 7 digital capabilities.

A place on the framework is no guarantee of business to a supplier. For each digital project request for proposal (RFP) suppliers are invited to respond to, they’ll go through technical, cultural and commercial evaluation.

You can find the Digital Services framework agreement on the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) website.

If you need any more information about frameworks, please email enquiries@digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk

Published 1 April 2015