When tendering for public sector contracts, it is expected (and often mandated) that organisations have all relevant policies and procedures in place. To not have them can often preclude you from bidding. For example, it is mandatory for any company with more than five employees to have a health and safety policy.
What are policies and procedures?
Policies and procedures are the framework guidelines that your organisation is built on and should always reflect your organisation’s values and visions. They help to form your organisation’s culture, ensuring employees understand their role in achieving strategic goals. Most importantly, policies provide guidance on specific topics, with procedures instructing how the guidance should be followed to ensure compliance.
A policies and procedures document provides guidance for all employees to be successful within their role, answering key questions, resolving ambiguities, detailing best practices, and defining expected standards for conduct and behaviour.
Why are policies and procedures important for tendering?
Having established policies and procedures demonstrates competence as a company and provides clear guidelines to staff on how the company operates. It also lays out all professional practices and processes for your customers to see, giving them a better understanding of your organisation. Policies show that the company has considered compliance and implemented associated measures, providing assurance to both staff and the general public.
In the tendering process companies will see an instantaneous benefit from having correct and compliant policies and procedures. Evaluators look favourably on companies that can demonstrate their organisational ability and highlight their working practices. With a fully compliant policy suite you can be sure of high marks when tendering.
Policies can, in some cases, make up for a lack of accreditations such as CHAS: a good quality health and safety policy can be referenced in order to win a contract that would otherwise have been lost.
One of the biggest excluding factors at PQQ (pre-qualification questionnaire) stage is the policies and procedures section. Many businesses, including large organisations, fail if they do not have relevant and compliant policies and procedures in place. These documents need to go into great depth – the more detailed the better. The more angles covered, the less likely it is that you will be excluded.
Many companies who don’t have policies in place lose contracts as a direct consequence when they would otherwise win. This showcases the importance of having everything in place to demonstrate to evaluators that you are the best possible candidate.
It is also important to mention that design and templates can impact on a company’s success at PQQ stage. Readability and simplicity is the key when designing your policy template. If the evaluator can’t find the information they need, then you will fail. Along with being aesthetically pleasing, good design will make it easier for the evaluator, making you more likely to be successful.
How to write company policies and procedures
Policy writing can seem like a daunting task, and it can be difficult to know where to start. If you are creating your company policies and procedures here are some of our top tips to help you get started:
- Get Prepared – before jumping into writing company policies and procedures, it is important that you are well prepared. Find a standard template that you want to use; this document will set out a standard for policy writing.
- Create a Policy Priority List – You will not be able to write all policies at once, and as a result you should create a priority list.
- Conduct In-Depth Research – You should review any procedures you currently have and identify potential procedures you could implement to streamline activity.
- Review – It is important that all policies and procedures documents are reviewed by others before being implemented.
If you require tendering support, contact Executive Compass® today on 0800 612 5563.
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