Victoria Forms

Simplified CTR Application Processing and Management System

Victoria Forms offer a simplified Council Tax Reduction Application process, designed to match the Local Authority's CTR Scheme. The Application process calculates eligibility in real time, dramatically reducing application processing resources. An Application Management System is also available; to store information, assist with forecasting, recalculate eligibility, automate reviews and more.

Features

  • Cloud Based System presents, processes and stores eForms
  • Intelligent online application, built to specification
  • Includes real-time calculations to assist the user
  • Captures only the data needed to operate own scheme
  • Saving capabilities for partially complete forms
  • Users can attach evidence directly to online form
  • Processing system verifies data, calculates band/award according to your scheme
  • Confirmation screen provides custom award information
  • Processing system can raise reviews for cases when circumstances change
  • Forms and attachments can pass straight into workflow

Benefits

  • Real-time calculations improve efficiency for staff and end users
  • Filter questions ensure only eligible applicants can apply
  • Intelligent application reduces errors and improve user experience
  • Customer focused approach develops most efficient service for you
  • Evidence upload allows 100% paper free applications
  • Localised Verification allows dynamic and personalised evidence requests
  • Automated In-Claim Review Process - saving staff time
  • Custom Award information provides clear user journey and fewer queries
  • Completed forms easily downloaded as PDF for personal records
  • Over 20 years' experience in this sector, offering quick implementation

Pricing

£1,500 a licence a year

  • Free trial available

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at GCloudSales@VictoriaForms.co.uk. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.

Framework

G-Cloud 13

Service ID

8 7 1 5 9 3 8 6 2 7 6 8 3 3 8

Contact

Victoria Forms Barry Young
Telephone: 01284 703000
Email: GCloudSales@VictoriaForms.co.uk

Service scope

Software add-on or extension
Yes, but can also be used as a standalone service
What software services is the service an extension to
The Simplified CTR Application Processing and Management System will primarily act as a standalone service, calculating eligibility for CTR, notifying the applicant, carrying out automated reviews and more.
However, the Victoria Forms Solution can also integrate with third-party Back Office Systems such as Northgate, Capita, and Civica, as required.
Cloud deployment model
Private cloud
Service constraints
The Simplified CTR Application Processing and Management System, and Enterprise Forms Server Software is only compatible with Windows and should be installed on Windows Servers.

Please Note: End Users can access eForms using any operating system, it is only the core software that is constrained to Windows.
System requirements
  • If Self-Hosted: Windows Server 2012 R2 and above
  • If Self-Hosted: Microsoft IIS7.5 and above (included free with WindowsServer)
  • If Self-Hosted: SQL Database

User support

Email or online ticketing support
Email or online ticketing
Support response times
Target Initial Response Time: 60 Minutes
Target Incident Management Response Times -
Priority 1: 60 Minutes
Priority 2: 180 Minutes
Priority 3: 24 Hours
Priority 4: None (Logged for information purposes only)
Support Desk open Monday - Thursday 09:00 to 17:30 UK Time; Friday 09:00 to 17:00 UK Time. Excluding English Bank Holidays and Public Holidays, and between Christmas and New Year. Out of hours technical support is available upon request and as mutually agreed.
User can manage status and priority of support tickets
No
Phone support
Yes
Phone support availability
9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday
Web chat support
No
Onsite support
Yes, at extra cost
Support levels
Email and Telephone support are included within product and maintenance costs at the times specified. Onsite Support is provided at extra cost, of £1,000 per day.
All customers will have a dedicated Account Manager.
Support available to third parties
Yes

Onboarding and offboarding

Getting started
For the Buyer:
Victoria Forms appoint a Project Manager for implementation, supported by eForms Designers and Technical Team. Through an Initial Project meeting, required information is obtained from the Buyer to assist Victoria Forms during setup. Any changes required can be discussed and implemented at any time during the project.

Training is included within the Setup of the Core Enterprise Forms Server Software. Typically this will be a session where the Buyer interacts with the system from the perspective of the end-user and as an administrator - to understand the full service. In addition, Victoria Forms provide access to a range of manuals and other help resources.

eForm branding is applied by Victoria Forms, with no need to involve web designers.

For End Users:
For End Users to access forms, all that is required is to provide a link from your website to the appropriate eForm (the appropriate link will be provided by Victoria Forms). When a user clicks on the link, the appropriate eForm will open up in a new browser window on the End User’s computer.

Help is available for End Users via a Help Button in form controls, and technical support via our Helpdesk.
Service documentation
Yes
Documentation formats
  • HTML
  • PDF
End-of-contract data extraction
Data being captured by the system in a submitted eForm is usually used or captured by the Authority for its own on-going processing and record keeping regularly. Form PDFs will likely be stored in the Local Authority's Document Management System or internal network.

Data will be retained in the CTR Application Management System for a time period as specified by the Buyer. All Data will be exportable to CSV.

At the end of the contract, Victoria Forms can provide an additional period of access to the database if required, for the Buyer to download any further eForms submitted in the last days of contract provision, and extract data from the Application Management System, to ensure it has sufficient time in which to download these and capture the included customer data.

When the Buyer has confirmed it has downloaded all records from the system or the additional access period has finished, Victoria Forms will permanently delete all data held securely under contract, including any backups to ensure it satisfies all its Data Protection requirements.
End-of-contract process
At the end of the Contract, removal of the system is included within the Annual Maintenance Fee paid by the Buyer.

Using the service

Web browser interface
Yes
Supported browsers
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Opera
Application to install
No
Designed for use on mobile devices
Yes
Differences between the mobile and desktop service
Relates to end user online forms ONLY:

Mobile eForms are resized automatically to fit the device screen, and the eForm controls shrink to a minimalist bar across the top of the screen allowing more space for eForm questions to reduce excessing scrolling. Controls can be accessed via a mobile menu.
Service interface
Yes
User support accessibility
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
Description of service interface
End users interact with forms via their browser. No login is required, and users can navigate through forms using the form controls at the top of the page. Forms are presented in the style of the buyer's website, or as mutually agreed.

CTR Application forms will likely include filter questions which appear only when relevant, for a user friendly experience.

The Buyer will also have access to the CTR Application management system, which will allow users to review and recalculate submitted forms / cases and band eligibility if it changes. From here, additional forms (e.g. review forms) could be triggered.
Accessibility standards
WCAG 2.1 AA or EN 301 549
Accessibility testing
For public facing forms, accessed via the browser - Victoria Forms have conducted a number of tests using market leading assistive technology and have also had feedback from visually impaired users of the software.
API
Yes
What users can and can't do using the API
There are APIs available in various parts of our service which provide the facility to pre-populate forms, control form features, access partially completed forms and submitted forms, and control form processes.

The exact APIs available depend on the options chosen as part of the service.

The APIs need to be set up by Victoria Forms IT, who can provide documentation and example code, as well as work with the Buyer's IT to achieve requirements.
API documentation
Yes
API documentation formats
  • Open API (also known as Swagger)
  • HTML
  • PDF
API sandbox or test environment
No
Customisation available
Yes
Description of customisation
Victoria Forms offer a bespoke Forms Design Service for the CTR Application process, to match the CTR Scheme specifications. Experienced eForms Design staff discuss requirements with the Buyer, and can create bespoke forms, calculations and processes based on a given specification, requirements list and/or Business Rules.

Buyers can also have control over eForm configuration options, via administrative staff who have an account on the core software, allowing complete customisation over content of information shown and sent to the End User at the point of eForm Submission, as well as some controlling eForm Features.

The Service can be branded to the Buyer's website or according to specification, including corporate colour schemes and branding guidelines.

Add-On features can be made available - such as Attachments/Evidence Upload, eSignatures, Localised Verification, Document System import and more - to create a tailored solution to meet requirements.

The entire CTR processing system can be customised by Victoria Forms to include only the fields required by the CTR Scheme, and to include the same calculations used on the form.

Scaling

Independence of resources
Each Victoria Forms Setup is independent of another. Buyers can host their own solution, or Victoria Forms can host via Microsoft Azure.

For End Users - the system enables the entire eForm to be loaded by the browser, including all inbuilt intelligence. The data is only sent to the server when the form is submitted on completion or saved as a part-completed eForm. Processing of eForm data takes only a few seconds. Many concurrent users can complete eForms while the server remains unburdened.

The CTR Processing system is browser-based, reducing server load, so many staff users can access it simultaneously.

Analytics

Service usage metrics
No

Resellers

Supplier type
Not a reseller

Staff security

Staff security clearance
Other security clearance
Government security clearance
Up to Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

Asset protection

Knowledge of data storage and processing locations
Yes
Data storage and processing locations
United Kingdom
User control over data storage and processing locations
Yes
Datacentre security standards
Managed by a third party
Penetration testing frequency
At least once a year
Penetration testing approach
In-house
Protecting data at rest
  • Physical access control, complying with another standard
  • Other
Other data at rest protection approach
For Hosted solutions, data is protected by Microsoft Azure's Transparent data encryption (TDE).
Data sanitisation process
Yes
Data sanitisation type
Deleted data can’t be directly accessed
Equipment disposal approach
In-house destruction process

Data importing and exporting

Data export approach
All forms can be exported as PDF files. These can be be sent to a document system via email, or manual upload. Alternatively, with some custom coding, our system can generate detailed indexing information for each form, and send this along with the form, directly to a document system.

Selected forms can export as XML files, which can be sent to a Back Office System via connectors or APIs, to allow data to be integrated with existing Back Office Systems.

The CTR Application Management System will support CSV Export.
Data export formats
  • CSV
  • Other
Other data export formats
  • XML
  • PDF
Data import formats
Other
Other data import formats
  • XML (CTR Application Management System only)
  • CSV (CTR Application Management System Only)

Data-in-transit protection

Data protection between buyer and supplier networks
  • TLS (version 1.2 or above)
  • IPsec or TLS VPN gateway
Data protection within supplier network
TLS (version 1.2 or above)

Availability and resilience

Guaranteed availability
Where Victoria Forms provide hosting, the eForms System will be hosted by Microsoft Azure. Microsoft’s data centers are engineered to provide 99.999% availability to meet their customer’s SLAs and service needs.

98+% Target Service Availability

98+% uptime guarantee does not include scheduled maintenance - normally conducted outside working hours and as previously notified.

Service Desk Support Hours
Monday to Friday
09:00 to 17:00 GMT
Excluding English bank and public Holidays and between Christmas and New Year. Out of hours technical support is available upon request and as mutually agreed.
Approach to resilience
Information available upon request.
Outage reporting
Within the Enterprise Forms Server System, any error alerts are displayed in the 'Filled Forms' area of the system, notifying users if there are forms waiting to be downloaded.

Should systems be unavailable for extended periods of time, Victoria Forms will notify the Buyer and will work to reinstate systems as soon as possible.

Identity and authentication

User authentication needed
No
Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels
Access to the management interface is via web access on servers which are only accessible to allowed IP addresses. These servers are separate from the servers which present the eForms for completion.

The eForms System and CTR Application Management system are hosted on secure servers, either provided by the customer or by Victoria Forms (Microsoft Azure) - servers are restricted by a whitelist of IP Addresses, as well as requiring a username and password and 2-factor authentication for access.
Access restriction testing frequency
At least once a year
Management access authentication
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Username or password
  • Other
Description of management access authentication
Restriction by whitelist of IP addresses.

Audit information for users

Access to user activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long user audit data is stored for
User-defined
Access to supplier activity audit information
Users have access to real-time audit information
How long supplier audit data is stored for
User-defined
How long system logs are stored for
User-defined

Standards and certifications

ISO/IEC 27001 certification
No
ISO 28000:2007 certification
No
CSA STAR certification
No
PCI certification
No
Cyber essentials
No
Cyber essentials plus
No
Other security certifications
No

Security governance

Named board-level person responsible for service security
No
Security governance certified
No
Security governance approach
We follow best practice for maintaining security of data – our policies are incorporated into our contracts with customers.
Information security policies and processes
Victoria Forms have an Information Security policy in place which is followed by all staff members, and the company is working towards ISO 27001 certification.

The system architecture is designed with information security at the forefront of decision-making, and we use an industry leading hosting service (Microsoft Azure) to store and process data.

Further information is available upon request.

Operational security

Configuration and change management standard
Supplier-defined controls
Configuration and change management approach
Victoria Forms use Source Control Software to track components of our services through their lifetime.

Changes are assessed using an in-house code review programme.
Vulnerability management type
Supplier-defined controls
Vulnerability management approach
Testing is carried out to assess potential threats to the service. Where possible, threats will be replicated and fixes/updates will be applied to the system to rectify any vulnerabilities.

Major System updates are applied every 18 months. Minor updates are applied approximately every 6 months. Where vulnerabilities have been identified, patches will be applied immediately.

Potential threats are identified via Penetration Testing, Customer Feedback and Regular research on current/potential threats.
Protective monitoring type
Supplier-defined controls
Protective monitoring approach
Potential compromises are checked for alongside vulnerabilities.

In the event of the discovery of a potential compromise, Victoria Forms will endeavour to correct the issue, and assess the impact and escalate priority as required.

Upon discovery of any compromise, Victoria Forms will escalate the incident to the highest priority, and will provide a response to the affected party within 60 minutes.
Incident management type
Supplier-defined controls
Incident management approach
Incidents or issues can be raised through our Support Helpdesk, which will be responded to by a member of the Support Team.

For high priority incidents, where the service availability has been affected, an Incident Report Form will be completed by Victoria Forms, and if required, provided to the relevant party.

Secure development

Approach to secure software development best practice
Supplier-defined process

Public sector networks

Connection to public sector networks
No

Social Value

Fighting climate change

Fighting climate change

Victoria Forms services encourage and facilitate the use of online services for applications, including providing supporting documentation. This reduces printing, postage, and trips to provide evidence in person, resulting in lower waste and emissions.

As a Company, our working practices aim to reduce our negative environmental impact, including but not limited to reducing energy consumption where possible, making environmentally conscious decisions when choosing suppliers and running our local offices, and conducting meetings and training via online routes where possible, to reduce travel.
Covid-19 recovery

Covid-19 recovery

Victoria Forms' solutions support organisations in providing end-to-end online services, which provide people who are shielding or unable to visit offices in person with a comprehensive method of interaction. Evidence can be provided online via our forms rather than being posted or provided in person reducing contact. Payments can be provided online, and validation can also occur in real-time, limiting the need for in-person interactions.

During the pandemic, we provided Local Authorities with COVID-19 Grant application forms, using their existing Victoria Forms system to process applications to support to businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19. Our systems can be used for further grant forms or in the wider Welfare provision process.
Tackling economic inequality

Tackling economic inequality

Victoria Forms have over 18 years' experience working with Local Authorities. Our primary area of expertise is within Benefits, assisting Local Authorities to support their community, by supplying ready-made online application forms which make the administrative process as streamlined as possible, allowing staff to focus on helping people who need them most.

Our solutions also include online forms for the Recruitment sector, allowing recruiters to digitise their paper applications - making application processes more accessible, and providing an affordable and secure data collection method for applicants and recruiters alike.
Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity

Victoria Forms is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce. Our aim is that our employees truly represent all sections of society and each individual feels respected and able to give of their best. Training, development and progression opportunities are available to all employees.
Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Victoria Forms are committed to ensure the Health and Wellbeing of staff is supported properly during their time with the company. Our aim is to create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions of all our staff are recognised and valued, as well as providing staff with appropriate work equipment and resources for individual needs, in order for all company members to thrive physically and mentally.

Pricing

Price
£1,500 a licence a year
Discount for educational organisations
No
Free trial available
Yes
Description of free trial
Victoria Forms can provide Buyers with a link to a demonstration CTR Application Form, which can be accessed at any time - completed, saved, and submitted - displaying the eligibility result.

A Free Trial of the core Enterprise Forms Server software or CTR Management System is not available.

Service documents

Request an accessible format
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need versions of these documents in a more accessible format, email the supplier at GCloudSales@VictoriaForms.co.uk. Tell them what format you need. It will help if you say what assistive technology you use.