Skip to content

Call us free today on 0800 612 5563

Article Details

Published Date: 24-04-2024
Author: Ciaran Brass
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
Connect with Ciaran Brass

Bidding for contracts is a time-consuming, complex and competitive process, with many rules and preferences from the authorities governing the evaluation process.

At Executive Compass, we have developed a series of targeted bid writing courses aimed at supporting clients to improve their bids and tenders. Led by Technical Director Matthew Walker and Training Services Manager Stephen Murray, our training methodology has been developed based on our practitioners’ direct involvement in writing and reviewing thousands of competitive bid and tender submissions.

In this blog, we look at how our CPD-certified bid writing courses support the improvement of quality responses, enabling your organisation to secure more contracts and grow your business through government tenders and public sector procurement.

Sourcing opportunities and the ‘bid/no-bid’ decision

Outside dynamic purchasing systems or framework agreements with an open deadline, public sector tenders typically have a four- to six-week window for suppliers to submit a bid. Consequently, sourcing tender opportunities early is crucial to ensuring you have sufficient time to complete all aspects of the submission.

In accordance with public procurement regulations, all public sector contracts over a certain value threshold must be advertised on two public, free-to-use government websites – Contracts Finder and Find a Tender. Our bid writing courses include an overview of these websites and how to filter by date, region and industry or sector, enabling you to discover suitable opportunities effectively and strategically.

Equally, bid writing courses can also support a more informed ‘bid/no-bid’ decision, inclusive of whether you can fulfil the following:

  • Meeting the minimum mandatory requirements of the opportunity, such as a registered office in the buyer’s administrative boundaries
  • Evidence your previous experience that aligns with the opportunity, such as contracts of a similar size and scope
  • Effectively resource the scope of works over the contract term, both in terms of personnel allocated to the contract and supply chain materials.

A strong ‘bid/no-bid’ review process, including your organisation’s characteristics and unique selling points, will support a structured and sustainable bidding strategy.

Improving the quality of your bid and tender writing

Tenders are evaluated on two elements – the overall price for works or services, and quality based on narrative responses to the quality question set. As contract awards are frequently determined by a handful of marks, it is critical you ensure the quality element of your submission is as strong as possible.

Furthermore, bid writing is highly structured and rigorous, requiring close alignment with the specification, wording of the question and concise, readable text. Authorities are used to a certain writing approach and presentation when evaluating submissions, and deviations from this are unlikely to score very well.

Our bid writing courses provide insight for delegates on how to effectively:

  • Break each question down into constituent parts, ensuring there is no oversight and you have covered each section in the tender response
  • Align responses with the requirements of the specification and other tender documents – for example, associated policies and KPIs from the authority
  • Write persuasively and emphasise the benefits of your tender offering, ensuring authority
  • Create well-formatted, easy-to-read documents which flow naturally and integrate colour, images and tables where permitted.

All the small margins matter in bid and tender writing. By applying the above principles to future submissions, our bid writing courses will allow you to raise the quality marks for your tender – making a contract award less reliant on lower or ‘loss-leading’ pricing.

Planning, managing and reviewing your bid submission

Larger tender submissions require detailed and careful planning and project management, ensuring all elements have been completed and are subject to quality review in advance of the submission deadline. Our bid writing courses allow us to share several of our proven bid management processes, developed across more than 7,000 PQQ, SQ and ITT submissions, including:

  • Creating a project plan for each tender, allocating task ownership for different elements of the submission to members of your bid team
  • Scheduling sufficient time for each task, document or response to avoid any last minute rush to submit on time
  • Checking progress against your plan, with contingency measures in place should you experience any slippage or delays
  • Ensuring a review process for every aspect of your submission, ranging from a simple compliance check for PQQ (SQ) documents to a line-by-line review for quality tender responses.

Adhering to best practices for bid planning will streamline your submissions process and allow you to learn from previous tenders – in addition to ensuring you are equipped to handle even the largest tender submissions.

Continuously improving tender outcomes

For more experienced delegates, the content of our bid writing training can also be aligned for more strategic purposes, with detailed insight into storyboarding sessions, capture planning and ‘win themes’ helping you to differentiate your submission from other bidders.

Bid writing courses can also be structured towards creating formal processes for monitoring and improving the results of your bidding activity. Subsequently, this can inform your future bidding strategy.

For instance, we often advise clients to create a structured bid library to support their submissions. Well-maintained bid libraries will include policies and procedures, appendices such as organisational charts, and model answers to common question sets – creating ‘short cuts’ to your bidding activity.

Equally, a formal review process when receiving feedback from a bid is crucial to ensuring sustained success and continuous improvement. Even if you are successful with your submission, schedule time to review the feedback and scores in full, making note of which responses had high scores, which responses did not receive high marks, and above all, why this was the case – for example, not addressing an element of the response in sufficient detail.

Remember, if you deem the formal feedback is insufficient, you can always contact the authority to request more information, per Section 86 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Bid writing courses for your organisation

This year, we expanded the scope of our offering in accordance with increased demand for our training services. Bid writing courses can be tailored to the needs, experience and frequency of your bidding activity, creating a bespoke service. A recent case study provides insight into our unique approaches to delivering expert training sessions to external delegates.

To find out more about how our bid writing courses can support your organisation to win more contracts, contact our sales and marketing team at 0800 612 5563 or

Back to 'Blogs'
Newsletter Sign Up

    Get In Touch

    Call us now to speak to a member of our Bid Team:
    0800 612 5563

    Contact Us