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CDN issues tender for new Diversity Database



This invitation to tender invites suitably qualified organizations to submit bids to develop a diversity database function for the Creative Diversity Network Ltd (CDN).

CDN is a UK television industry company, largely paid for by its members: BAFTA, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5/Viacom, Creative Skillset, PACT, ITN, ITV, Media Trust, S4C, Sky and Turner Broadcasting. It brings together organizations that broadcast or make programmes with organizations that support excellence, skills and development.

CDN’s role is to inspire, encourage and support the UK television industry to expand diversity and inclusion. A key part of our new strategy is developing and promoting resources that will help companies within the TV industry achieve good diversity practice. One of the resources we want to provide is a database of diverse talent. The aim of the diversity database project is to help production companies that are hiring for shows to identify talented candidates from groups who are under-represented in the industry.

Background to this Invitation to Tender

Broadcasters want the production companies they commission to work with diverse talent, both on and off screen; some broadcasters have set specific diversity targets for indies. Indies want to find the best talent and that often means broadening the talent pool. Talented people from groups that are under-represented in the industry can struggle to get the work that matches their talents unless they are already known to the people who are hiring within indies.

A diversity database could help indies to find more diverse talent and help that talent to secure work, a win/win situation. Working with broadcasters and Pact, CDN has developed a model for how a diversity database function could rapidly be developed by working with an organization that currently offers a hiring database and/or web-based job matching service. The Creative Skillset High-End Drama Council is supporting this initiative in pursuit of its goal of increasing awareness of the availability of diverse talent in its field.

This invitation to tender invites suitably qualified organizations to submit bids to develop a diversity database function. The model we have developed is outlined below.

What We Are Seeking

A number of organizations already provide talent databases and/or job matching services for the TV industry. Typically these services enable companies to search for potential candidates using a combination of search criteria including role type, the genres in which candidates have experience, their availability for work etc. Many gather diversity information from freelancers on their database and some have or are planning the functionality to allow various forms of searches in which diversity characteristics feature.

Most but not all of these services operate on a commercial footing and charge companies to access the service. Charging models vary. Most allow freelancers to register and create a profile without charge.

We want to work with an organization that has an existing talent database/job matching service to generate a diversity database. We envisage this diversity database being a sub-set of the provider’s existing database/talent pool. At present we envisage it would contain profiles for talent who have self-declared as being from an ethnic minority and/or having a disability and/or being LGBT and/or women. Some diversity characteristics, particularly gender, would only be used in this database for particular job roles in which women are under-represented. The diversity database would contain profiles for freelancers who were also included in the provider’s existing service (and whose profiles would remain part of that existing service). It should be capable of being searched by at least the same criteria as can be used to search the provider’s existing database/job match service.

The diversity database would be capable of being accessed independently so companies that do not have an account with the service provider would be able to have an account just with the diversity database. We envisage that access to the diversity database could therefore be free, with the costs of running it being covered by CDN. This arrangement would not be intended to affect whatever account management and charging model the provider operates for its existing service.

The diversity database would need to be branded as a CDN initiative. However, we would look to discuss with shortlisted bidders the extent to which the diversity database would be co-branded with their existing service. Our preference would be for co-branding because we see a range of advantages in combining the brand value of and existing talent database/job match supplier with CDN’s diversity brand value.

The diversity database must:
• Be fully accessible for d/Deaf and disabled users.
• Gather, handle, process and store data in accordance with all relevant legal standards e.g. Data Protection Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010

As part of this diversity database project we want to work with our chosen provider to increase the representation of diverse talent on their database.

Legal Context

The Equality and Human Rights Commission last year issued guidance that confirmed that it is legal to create a talent database that is limited to people with one or more protected characteristics, as defined by the Equality Act 2010. The advice also confirmed that it is lawful to use diversity characteristics as a search criterion when searching a talent database or using a job matching service. What employers must not do (except in limited and very specific circumstances where the law allows it) is to hire people or identify potential candidates using only a diversity database (or a similar mechanism that is limited to people with particular diversity characteristics). Further information about the legal context is available by clicking here.

Requirements of Bidders

Bids are welcome from single companies/organizations or from partnerships or consortia.

Potential bidders must be able to demonstrate:

1. A clear understanding of the key features of the brief
2. A track record in designing and building comparable functionality to that set out in this invitation to tender
3. A clear understanding of relevant legal frameworks (including equality and data protection law) and evidence of their ability to apply them in practice
4. A strong understanding of the importance of diversity in TV and a sound approach to encouraging freelancers to provide diversity monitoring information
5. Experience of working successfully with and for small organizations
6. Evidenced ability to deliver to an agreed schedule and budget
7. Convincing plans for attracting more diverse talent to their database/job matching service
8. Evidence that the bidder’s existing service is sustainable in business terms

All bids must contain:
• A detailed proposal for how the work will be carried out, including details of any proposed sub-contractors
• A proposed methodology.
• Evidence of how the bidder meets the eight criteria above, including relevant experience and qualifications
• A budget. This should include both the costs of creating a diversity database as described above and also the ongoing costs of maintaining it and facilitating access.
• A suggested timetable.
• Details of recent clients, including 2 referees who are previous clients.
• Names and brief CV information for staff who will be working on the project.

Project Timescale

An indicative timescale is set out below.

Call for tenders issued March 24 2016
Deadline for tenders to be submitted 9am on April 27 2016
Meetings with shortlisted bidders Monday May 9 2016
Successful bidder appointed and project starts As soon as possible after interviews

Design and build work Mid May – mid July 2016
Testing Mid July – mid August 2016
Testing complete and diversity database live: target date Late August 2016

It is possible that the diversity database may be launched at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in late August 2016.

Further Information

Bidders who wish to ask questions about the call for tenders should submit them to by no later than April 16 2016.

Tenders should be submitted to by no later than 9am on Wednesday April 27 2016.