Richard James Published by: Richard James  

I’m writing this blog to accompany the release of the latest progress update report for the Pensions Dashboards Programme. The report provides a thorough overview of all the activity that’s been taking place over the past six months, including the work around data standards, our technical architecture procurement and the development of design and governance standards.

It’s a comprehensive programme overview, which I’ve found hugely useful as part of my induction process. As I’ve got up to speed over the last few weeks, it’s become apparent that I’ve joined a programme which is already forging ahead at full throttle, thanks to the leadership of my predecessor, Jamey Johnson, and the hard-work of the dedicated team that I’m privileged to inherit.

It’s been a hugely exciting few weeks. I’ve been in role for a little over a month and already I’ve overseen a number of notable firsts in the life of the programme. Not least, the official start of our procurement of the digital architecture, with the Invitation to Tender issued on 13 April.

More detailed timeline

We’ve heard the voices from industry asking for more detail on what they will need to do and when to get dashboard ready. Within the progress update report, in addition to our reporting from each area of the programme, we share more detail on our programme timeline. We’ve expanded the phase plan that we presented in the October update, to include the programme milestones and we provide guidance on what this will mean for suppliers, data providers and dashboard providers too.

As indicated within the updated timeline, there’s additional information on its way soon. We will be issuing a Call for Input on staged compulsory onboarding within the next month, the feedback from which, will inform the Department for Work and Pension (DWP)’s full consultation on regulations relating to staging later in the year.

The Call for Input will feature our initial proposals around the order for staging, developed in line with DWP and TPR’s thinking. These proposals, although they’re subject to change, should give providers further insight into when they’re likely to need to be ready to connect to dashboards. We will run two webinars to provide further insight on these proposals, as well as giving providers the opportunity to ask specific questions of us.

In addition, we will publish the technical specification document, which accompanied our Invitation to Tender for the technical architecture recently. This information went directly to potential suppliers, in a highly technical document, so we will provide any new detail that it contains in a more accessible format on our website, alongside the original document.

Technical architecture procurement

Of course, the Invitation to Tender brings me to our major achievement, within the last six months. The procurement of our digital architecture is the culmination of many months of consultation with industry, a lengthy approvals process and the development of precise technical requirements. It has been a mammoth effort and as such it represents a hugely significant milestone for the programme.

This is also the moment when things get very real. We are now into the procurement exercise, and by the time I introduce the next progress update report in October, we expect to have a supplier in place to deliver the central architecture.  In parallel, we are working on the procurement for the identity provider(s). The programme therefore becomes ever more tangible, with the physical development of our digital architecture.

We have a very busy six months ahead of us, as we move through the procurement process and develop our consumer protection, user-centred design and technical standards. We want to ensure that we can swing straight into delivery activity, as soon as we have a supplier in place. Together with our delivery partners, DWP, FCA and TPR, we will focus on developing plans and content to support providers to prepare for onboarding. And we remain committed to sharing our insight and progress with you, as soon as it is possible to do so.

I’m delighted to share this report of our programme activity with you now, to demonstrate just how far we’ve come in the last six months. All the brilliant thinking that has gone into shaping and designing the programme and dashboards themselves is about to be realised – and that is a very exciting moment indeed.

Read the latest Pensions Dashboards Programme progress update report.