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Article Details

Published Date: 30-12-2014
Author: Executive Compass
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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The contract and tender process is something that many companies rely on for securing contracts and expanding.

The process is fairly similar for both public and private sector contracts, however, the latter is usually by invitation only and does not need to be published in the public domain. This is different to public sector contracts which (over the value of £10,000) must be published on Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) and Contracts Finder.

Publishing contracts allows businesses to search for those which apply to them, and subsequently submit a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) or tender.

The process begins with the publishing of a contract notice by the contracting authority. This could be anything from engineering to dog walking, facilities management to hair dressing. It is always interesting searching through the huge range of contracts published every day.
Each contract notice provides the company with a breakdown of the service, location and value. From this a company can decide whether or not to write a bid for the contract.

Pre-Qualification Questionnaire

The first stage of the bidding process is the PQQ. Once a company decides to bid they will express their interest with the contracting authority and receive the PQQ.

This document is a questionnaire created to narrow down the field of bidders and exclude those who do not comply. For this reason it is incredibly important that your company’s bid be very strong and fully compliant.

Companies can be excluded for the smallest of reasons, so compliance at this stage is key.

Invitation to Tender

Following the submission of the PQQ companies will then be informed as to whether or not they were successful and have been invited to tender (ITT).

If invited to tender they will receive a new questionnaire – the ITT. This document is similar to the PQQ, but much more detailed. Again, the purpose is to exclude bidders, but this time it is also to choose the winning bidder.

Responses to the ITT must be very strong and highlight exactly why your company is the best company for the job. Ensure that you emphasise your strengths from the PQQ and give examples of previous experience relevant to this contract.

Contract award and tender feedback

When the ITTs are submitted they are assessed by the contracting authority who then choose the winning bidder. This company will then go on to carry out the work set out in the contract.

Regardless of whether you secure the contract or not your company will receive feedback on your submission. This is incredibly useful and should form the basis of future submissions. Aim to work on any mistakes and strengthen weak sections. The most successful companies use their feedback to ensure they secure future contracts and either continue their success, or rectify their mistakes.

For more information on how your company can win more contracts through tendering, contact us free on 0800 612 5563 or email

For information on bid writing best practice, you can watch this video below:

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