AN INVITATION TO TENDER – 2008/10
Background to the British Council
The British Council (or 'Council') whose principal offices are in 10 Spring Gardens, London SW1 2BN and
Bridgewater House, 58 Whitworth Street, Manchester M1 6BB, invites offers to provide volunteer training in the UK.
The British Council was established by the Government in 1934. It was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1940 and
granted a Supplemental Charter in 1993. The British Council is a registered charity (no. 209131). The council’s
purpose is to build mutually beneficial relationships between people in the United Kingdom and other countries and to
increase appreciation of the United Kingdom’s creative ideas and achievements.
Specific background information for the tender
The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States of the European Union, have agreed
to establish the Youth in Action Programme, which puts into effect the legal framework to support non-formal
learning activities for young people.
The British Council is the National Agency for the Youth in Action Programme from 2007 to 2013. The Youth in
Action programme is funded by the European Commission. The European Commission is ultimately responsible for
the management of the Youth in Action together with the relevant National Authority which in the UK is DIUS.
The role of the National Agency is to promote, develop and deliver the Youth in Action programme at national level.
The programme is structured in five actions:
Action one - Youth for Europe
Action two- European Voluntary Service (EVS)
Action three - Youth in the World
Action four – Youth Support Systems
Action five – Support for European Co-operation in the Youth Field
Under action two of the programme, our present contract for the supply of training to volunteers arriving to or
departing form the UK is due for renewal by September 2008. We are taking this opportunity to make the contract
compliant to our operational needs.
How does EVS work?
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) supports trans-national voluntary service. EVS is a ’learning service’:
throughout non-formal learning experiences young volunteers improve and/or acquire competences for their
personal education and professional development. The UK National Agency is hoping to host over 600 volunteers
and to send over 200 overseas.
EVS is a partnership between three bodies: the volunteer, approved sending and the hosting organisation. The
roles of each body and main principles and quality standards of EVS are set up under the European Voluntary
Service Charter as follows:
A solid partnership between EVS Sending, Host, Coordinating Organisations and the volunteer is the basis of every EVS Activity.
Adequate matching between the volunteer profile and the tasks has to be in place. An Activity Agreement is signed by all the
partners before the beginning of the Activity.
The Sending Organisation is in charge of the preparation and support of the volunteers before, during and after the EVS
The Host Organisation has to ensure safe and decent living and working conditions for the volunteer throughout the
entire Activity period. It has to provide adequate personal, linguistic and task-related support, including the identification
of a mentor for the volunteer.
The Coordinating Organisation (applicant) has the role of facilitating the implementation of the project by offering
administrative and quality support to all project partners and enabling their networking.
EVS principles to be ensured
The non-formal learning and intercultural dimension is delivered through a clear and defined learning plan for the
The service dimension through a clear definition of the non-profit-making character of the project and the volunteer
tasks. Full-time service and active role of the volunteer in implementing the activities have to be ensured. EVS volunteer
activities must not replace any employment.
The benefit to, and the contact with, the local community.
EVS is free of charge for the volunteers.
Accessibility and Inclusion: when recruiting EVS volunteers, the organisations maintain the overall accessibility of EVS for
all young people, without prejudice related to ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion, etc. If the
project targets volunteers with fewer opportunities, facilities and capacity in providing tailor-made preparation, and
support have to be in place.
EVS quality standards to be ensured
Support to the volunteer
before, during and after the EVS activities, in particular in crisis prevention and management;
for insurance, visa, residence permit, travel arrangements and all the EVS administrative procedures;
by facilitating the volunteer’s participation in the EVS training cycle (pre-departure training, on-arrival training, mid-term
evaluation and evaluation of the Activity);
By foreseeing proper evaluation measures.
All EVS partners have the right to receive complete information on the Activity and agree on all aspects.
Visibility, dissemination and publicity measures have to be in place.
Each EVS volunteer is entitle to receive a Youthpass
Terms of Reference
EVS places emphasis on there being training and preparation for the volunteers. It is envisaged that the training
will be provided at three junctures:-
Volunteers will receive a two or three day training before departure which will provide briefing about EVS and an
outline of the range of projects and countries they will be sent to.
Volunteers will receive 3-4 days intercultural training when they first arrive in the UK.
Volunteers whose placement in the UK is for longer than 4 months will participate in a mid-term meeting during
which they will be given time to reflect on their experiences and will be encourage to share coping strategies with
TRAINING LOCATION –
We are offering training events to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Please state place where you
would like to deliver the training by placing an X in the box attached to the location.
LOGISTICS – structure of the training/numbers
The training should cover at the very least the following principal content areas:-
EVS - Ethos of EVS
Expectations and motivation of volunteers – participants should understand their role as volunteers, to explore
their own expectations, and what will be expected of them. They should be given clear guidance on their minimum
rights and responsibilities and on the support they can draw upon.
Practical and technical information - insurance, pocket money, working hours, rights of the volunteer etc
EVS Charter -Roles and responsibilities of main EVS actors
Intercultural Learning - Intercultural learning should equip volunteers with an understanding of the processes of
living full-time in another culture, and provide them with strategies for dealing with the effects. It should provide
them with a general introduction to UK culture and some of its salient features.
Crisis management and problem solving
Please tell us how you can improve on the above areas.
Applicants are expected to demonstrate all methodologies use to deliver each part of the training (arrival, pre-
departure and mid-term meeting).
It is important to take into account that volunteers will come from many different backgrounds and countries and
that they will be working in a variety of projects. Their age will span from 18 to 30 years old and will have
accomplished very different levels on their formal education. These differences may be particularly marked in the
area of language competence.
The following assumes background knowledge of the Youth in Action and more specifically of EVS, its logic and
principles. The Youth in Action programme guide could be found at: www.britishcouncil.org/connectyouth
Organisations should submit evidence of their experience of delivering training, their familiarity with
the values of young people’s volunteering, and their financial stability. Where individual trainers
are identified in the bid, it would be helpful to include their CV’s. Organisations that are short listed
may be asked to supply a reference.
The topics to be covered by the training are enclosed in the Guidelines and Minimum Quality
Standards document (new document to follow). It should be remembered that some volunteers in
each group may have very limited English. This should be taken in account when structuring the
EVS volunteers vary widely in terms of education and skills. The training should NOT therefore be
lecture-based but focused on small-group activities and experiential learning, or other
techniques/methods which ensure that as many as possible have realistic access to the material
The pre-departure event (volunteers going out) is for 2 days (1 night).
The on-arrival event will be residential and for the four days (3 nights) training.
The mid-term meeting is for 2 days (1 night)
The training agency must provide full board and lodging for each trainee for the duration of both
on-arrival and mid-term and pre-departure events. In the past this has been either through home-
stay arrangements with local families or by basing the training in residential centres - both have
their own strengths and weaknesses and are acceptable. Other arrangements may be proposed.
Volunteers’ travel to and from the event is the responsibility of the training provider, and should be
included in the bid calculations.
Host projects are responsible for the pocket-money of EVS volunteers whilst on training, so they
should have modest spending money available. However training providers should budget for any
entertainment planned as part of the training event and not be seeking funds from the volunteers
Competitive prising and effectiveness of training is an essential factor for this bid. As a guideline,
the budget for this work is €700 for on-arrival training, € 300 for mid term training and € 400per
volunteer for pre-departure training. These should be seen as maximum figures.
The British Council will on an individual volunteer basis consider requests from agencies regarding
exceptional costs incurred whilst training volunteers with specific needs (for example; volunteers
with mobility needs and volunteers who are visually impaired).
Note- all logistics associated with any of the trainings needs to be covered by the agreed budget
Agencies must undertake to ensure normal good practice guidelines are adhered to in considering
numbers of trainer’s involved, mixed genders, volunteers sleeping arrangements, etc. Please
include copies of your organisation's relevant policy documents.
In an effort to ensure good quality/practice, agencies are requested to include in each pre-
departure and on-arrival training event, the use of a current or ex-EVS volunteer. Agencies should
cost the EVS volunteer at the same rate as a participant for the relevant training event.
Training Providers should work on the basis that the group size for any one course will be as
On-arrival training: between 10 and 15 young people (20 in exceptional cases).
Pre-departure training: between 8 and 15 young people (20 in exceptional cases).
As a result of the tendering process Training Providers will have a contract for offering a specific
number of training courses and specific dates.
British Council will allocate volunteers to training courses as their applications are approved and
their arrival dates are known. In the case that training providers are also EVS promoters these
must not train those volunteers for whom they are responsible.
Incoming volunteers (approx 285 volunteers in total)
1 x January
1 x February
1 x March
1 x April
1 x May
1 x July
2 x August
2 x September
1 x October
1 x December
Outgoing volunteers (approx 100 volunteers in total)
1 x April
1 x June
1 x August
1 x November
1 x January
British Council reserves the right to visit any event to undertake spot checks on an ad hoc basis to
ensure the quality of the training is up to standard. In conjunction with the Commission minimum
quality standards document (attached), there is the need to have an external evaluator attend
various training events and report back to Connect Youth. This will allow Connect Youth to
evaluate and ensure that trainers are adhering to the appropriate standards.
Each participant will be expected to evaluate the training through a questionnaire given at the
course. The trainer is responsible for sending the completed forms to Connect Youth together,
with written evaluations after each event: this should include a detailed outline of the programme, a
final list of attendees including the participants’ comments and a note of any important concerns
raised by (or of) the young people.
Please refer to the attached Questionnaire.
This training is undertaken by agencies on behalf of the British Council, and consequently it should
be made clear to all participants that the training agency is obliged to forward any relevant
confidential information to the British Council.
An invoice for each training event, (on-arrival training, mid-term meeting and pre-departure
training) should be submitted after the course has taken place. The evaluation report should be
attached with the list of attendees signed by each attendee against their name. British Council
undertakes to settle 100% of this invoice within four weeks of receipt.
Cancellation Policy documents attached
Tenders for this work will be assessed against the following criteria: -
Understanding of the ethos & objectives of EVS and proven awareness & understanding of the
issues involved with full-time volunteering;
Experience of delivering similar training to other customers;
Process and methodology to be used to deliver the training;
Competitive pricing. Breakdown of costs;
Where a consortium or sub-contracting approach is proposed, all information requested should be given in respect
of the proposed prime contractor or consortium leader. Relevant information should also be provided in respect of
consortium members or sub-contractors, who will play a significant role in the delivery of services or products under
any ensuing contract. Responses must enable the British Council to assess the overall service proposed.
Where the proposed prime contractor is a holding company, information should be provided of the extent to which it
will call upon the resources and expertise of its members.
The British Council recognises that arrangements in relation to consortia and sub-contracting may be subject to
future change. Service providers/suppliers should therefore respond in the light of such arrangements as are
Please provide details of the proportion of any contract awarded under this contract that the prospective partner
proposes to subcontract.
Timing of the tender process
The timetable for the tender exercise is as follows:
Activity By date
Invitation to Tender issued 21 May
Deadline for receipt of tenders 27 June
Short-listing 15 July
Selection of provider 25 July
Signature of contract 8 August
Start of contract 1 September
The tender should include:
1. A detailed description of the learning principles and how these will be applied (methodology to be used);
2. A detailed programme including all elements, suggested providers etc.;
3. A description of the accommodation and logistics for course participants;
4. Profile of trainers;
5. A detailed cost.
The closing date for the receipt of tenders is 27 June 2008
All documents should be addressed to:
Contracts and Projects (Action 2 Youth in Action)
Education, Science and Society
10 Spring Gardens
London SW1A 2BN
T+44(0) 20 7389 4362
F+44(0) 20 7389 4033
Creating opportunities for people worldwide