Tendering for Contracts Training - Top Ten Procurement Tips

   How to Write A Winning Tender Proposal   #2

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UK Public Sector Pre-Tendering Process

Barriers to SME Entry into the Contracts and Procurement Process
As a major purchaser of goods and services Public Sector Agencies recognises its role and promotes ethical trading, they strongly supports and is aware of environmentally friendly practices.
Pre-Tender Process An advertisement or contract notice will be published which will invite companies to submit an expression of interest or to offer to provide supplies, services or works. The advertisement will detail the procedure to be followed and provide an outline of requirements.

Applications for tender documents must be made by email, letter or fax. Companies will either be sent a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) or a Specification of Requirements (SOR) prior to being invited to tender. Alternatively an Invitation to Tender will be issued if the open tendering process is to be adopted. The PQQ/SOR will be used to assess the bidder's suitability to supply the Public Sector Agency and satisfy the requirements of the contract. The PQQ/SOR must be completed in full and returned by the response due date.

Companies will be required to provide financial information over a two-/three-year period. Private and Public Limited Companies will be required to submit fully audited accounts as registered with Companies House. Other applicants should forward copies of financial statements, business plans or a certified statement of turnover. This information will be used to assess the financial position of your company in relation to the size of the contract to be awarded and to determine whether the company is registered for tax and complies with the Public Sector Agency's insurance requirements.

The responses and any supporting evidence will be used to assess whether the Company has the required level of skills and abilities to carry out the work and provide the type and quality of service required. For some contracts including works, companies may be required to demonstrate that they have a suitable quality system in place. Subject to compliance with European Procurement Rules and Regulations the following information may also be requested from Companies.

Process to be Followed by The Bidder who have met the Public Sector Agency's Pre-Qualification Criteria.

These policies and principles ensure a better quality of life for everyone and require suppliers to follow practices that take into account the environmental impact of their products and services in all stages of the life-cycle (Local Agenda 21). Suppliers are encouraged to observe and adhere to these principles.
You can turn your size into an advantage by emphasising that you will assign your most experienced staff to the project.
The information requested in the PQQ/SOR will provide the Public Sector Agency with basic information on your organisation, verifying that the organisation can be identified as a legitimate discrete trading company, that it has acceptable levels of economic and financial standing and that it promotes good practice in areas of equal opportunities, environmental protection and health and safety.

All potential contractors will be required to submit a Health and Safety Policy detailing how health and safety issues are managed within the company. Bidders will be required to provide references, relevant experience and technical ability to carry out works and the ability to provide the type and quality of service required must be demonstrated. Further information may be required and questions may be tailored to the needs of the individual contract.

Successful companies will be forwarded a set of tender documents consisting of:
  • Letter of Invitation - advises when and where tenders should be submitted
  • Invitation to Tender - provides guidance for completing the tender documentation
  • Contract Specification - sets out what needs to be achieved, including policies, procedures, guidelines, performance standards and expected outcomes
  • Schedule of Rates/Pricing Document - provides an outline for costs to be entered
  • Terms and Conditions of Contract - provides the legal framework and defines the obligations of both parties
  • Quality Requirements/Method Statement Questions - questions how a company intends to provide the service, including supporting evidence demonstrating relevant experience and commitment to the Public Sector Agency policies
  • Tender Evaluation Criteria - advises how the submission will be evaluated and the contract awarded
  • Pre-addressed Tender return envelope - states the time and date by which the tender submission must be returned. (Late submissions will not be accepted/considered.)
  • Supporting Documentation - any other relevant information

When Submitting a Tender, PQQ or SOR.

For Your Procurement Strategy to be up to the task you must ensure that;
  • All requested information is provided
  • The goods and services provided are relevant
  • The price is competitive
  • The quality is excellent
  • Contact details are comprehensive
  • Deadlines are adhered to - late submissions will not be accepted
  • You do not place any identifying marks on the Tender envelope (this will nullify your submission)
  • You do not request a meeting to discuss your bid during the tendering process
Tender Evaluation and Contract Award.
Returned tenders will be evaluated against pre-determined criteria as specified in the tender documentation and will focus on examining how the tender will deliver the service (quality) and the cost of the service (price). The contract will be awarded based on the most economically advantageous tender submission. The successful company will be notified in writing by letter or by official electronic communication.

Debriefing of Unsuccessful Bids
If a bid is unsuccessful the public sector agency will endeavour to provide feedback within the limits of commercial confidentiality. This information may be useful when submitting future bids.

Tendering for Contracts Training:
Is a leading thought driven training provider - that provides an accredited online training programme for firms who wish to learn how to successfully tender for, win and effectively manage public sector contracts.
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Learn to develop a tendering strategy that is adaptive to the public sector procurement process, determine what is required and devise and adopt the means to become the preferred supplier.

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"Creating a level Playing Field in UK Public Sector Tendering"

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Telephone: Tendering for Contracts Training - Top Ten Procurement Tips Lloyd Sewell or Joanna Schwencke

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