RAF and Navy to adopt £9.5m low-code recruitment platform

Three-year deal awarded to Pegasystems

Credit: Defence Images/Crown Copyright/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy are to develop and implement a multimillion-pound digital recruitment system.

The Ministry of Defence has awarded a £9.5m deal to software firm Pegasystems, which will support the project over the next three years. The company has been tasked with delivering the “development of a no-code/low-code software applicant support tool with reporting analytics”.

Low-code and no-code technology is designed to simplify software development, so that programs can be developed on visual interfaces and using drag-and-drop components – removing the need for in-depth understanding of coding languages.

According to the MoD, the new platform will deliver benefits for both the RAF and Navy and those applying to join the Armed Forces. 

The ministry said: “It will provide a more efficient recruitment operating model; enhance the recruiter’s experience; improve the candidate’s experience; remove the need for local off-system candidate-tracking tools; and introduce new capabilities such as ranking candidates across all careers offices in a single merit order list to allow selection of the best available rather than taking ‘first past the post’.”

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The contract reveals that Pegasystems will provide the MoD with its “standard production cloud offering”.

This includes a “standard sandbox”, supporting the work of up 15 developers and testers, a “large sandbox” for 45 development staff, and a Pega Cloud Production Environment that “can be scaled to support the licences and applications purchased”.

“Data may be processed in UK Amazon Web Services datacentres… or MoD cloud servers but the intention of the parties is that no personal identifiable information will be stored in Pega Cloud AWS, and it is the intention of the parties to architect the solution in this way and it will be the function of the UK Ministry of Defence to provide the correct elements of data protection and GDPR compliance.”

The deal came into effect on 9 February and lasts until the same date in 2024.

The MoD previously worked with Capita during a £1.3bn long-term engagement to support recruitment for Army soldiers, reservists and staff. Among the biggest issues encountered by the troubled programme was a website developed by the outsourcer that launched four years late and at triple the originally budgeted cost. This was, in part, attributed to the Army’s requirement that Capita work within the confines of an “antiquated IT system”.

After nine years in which the scheme missed all targets for the recruitment of regulars and reserves – never by less than 21% – the MoD revealed in August 2019 that it would be launching a new Armed Forces Recruiting Programme.

Deloitte was brought in on a £2.5m seven-month deal to help shape the project – the cornerstone of which would be a new digital recruitment system, the ministry said at the time.


Sam Trendall

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