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Article Details

Published Date: 3-02-2015
Author: Executive Compass
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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Companies looking to compete for public or private sector contracts have to undertake both pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) and tenders in order to progress.

The first stage of the application process is the completion of the PQQ. Should your company be successful at this stage you will be invited to tender. The winning tender is then awarded the contract.

In this article we provide advice for completing PQQs:

Choosing a contract

The most important decision a company makes is choosing the right contract. So many companies choose a contract for which they are non-compliant, leading to a pointless application process and a failed submission.

Choose the right contract for your business:

  • Do you currently offer that service?
  • Do you have at least three year’s experience?
  • Do you meet the turnover requirements?
  • Do you have time to complete the submission before the deadline?

Ensuring your company’s compliance before completing any documentation will save time and vastly improve your success rate.

Reading the specification

Once you have expressed your interest and received the documentation you can begin completing the PQQ.

The specification is your guide to success – follow it to the letter. The contracting authority is looking for any excuse to exclude your business so make sure you stick to the specification.

Answering the question

Before expressing interest you should know who within your organisation will be completing the PQQ. If they are not a bid writer you should seek assistance or ensure that they have thoroughly researched the application process.

Submitting a document with poor answers is a waste of time and will neither win nor will it provide any valuable lessons.

Questions must be answered exactly and in line with the specification. Always provide details of your experience and added value in order to get the edge on competition.

Supporting documents and compliance

Supporting documents can make or break a PQQ. This is something that can be produced prior to the release of a contract and includes:

  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • CVs
  • Case studies

The specification will ask for certain documents which, if not submitted, can cost you the contract.

Once all answers are complete and documents attached, have another team member review the submission for quality and compliance. This will ensure that your bid is of the strongest possible quality.

Submission and feedback

Submit the PQQ before the deadline. This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised how often late submissions occur.

Whether the result is pass or fail always request feedback. This allows you to find your strengths and weaknesses and improve on future submissions.

For more advice on completing PQQs contact us free on 0800 612 5563 or email

Find out more about the bid process in general here:

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