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Article Details

Published Date: 9-10-2023
Author: Ciaran Brass
Category: News & Insight
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Following a highly competitive and successful recruitment campaign, Ewan, Grace and Jemma joined Executive Compass earlier this year as our newest bid writers. With a training programme designed and overseen by Technical Director Matthew Walker, the trio soon gained wide-ranging and extensive knowledge of the complex world of tendering and public sector procurement.

Several months on, they have already worked on dozens of projects and several reported wins, with their high-quality contributions supporting the business’ continued growth and sustained success for our clients.

Below, Ewan, Grace and Jemma share their insight into their initial training period, tenders they have worked on and just a few topics they are now knowledgeable in.

What sort of topics did you cover during training, and what was your favourite part?

Ewan: ‘… Matthew introduced us to all aspects of the tender process, from when the buyer publishes a contract notice on Find a Tender or Contracts Finder all the way to final submission on a portal, in addition to our internal processes such as answer planning responses and bid management matrices to ensure our time is used effectively.

My favourite part was the bid writing exercises. The techniques required to write high-quality responses were methodically revealed to us, and seeing our improvement in real time was very satisfying.’

Grace: ‘… We covered a wide range of topics throughout our training, from the fundamental structure of tender responses to understanding how health and safety methodologies are implemented practically on worksites.

My favourite topic involved how social value can be incorporated and developed within responses to strengthen the broader impact of a bidder’s offering – delivering tangible, measurable benefits to the wider community.’

Jemma: ‘… Topics included common quality topics, how to break down questions, proactively communicating with clients and how to write well-structured, persuasive responses with specific qualitative and quantitative examples to highlight the benefits to evaluators.

I enjoyed learning the end-to-end process of writing bids, from the initial information-gathering call with the client, drafting responses, and incorporating amendments from quality reviews. We practised by completing previous tenders – for example, security services, grounds maintenance and window cleaning.’

What is something you learned during your first week at Executive Compass that you still follow every day?

Ewan: ‘… The collaborative nature of bid and tender writing was emphasised throughout the training – alongside proactive research and comments from quality reviews, our bid writing team is one of the most valuable resources we have access to.’

Grace: ‘… Breaking down the question and highlighting which areas need to be addressed. Once you’ve done this, planning your response becomes much easier as your section headings are effectively written for you, meaning you can’t miss the mark by too much.’

Jemma: ‘… Different members of staff are subject matter experts on a range of topics. For instance, Matthew and Kate are knowledgeable about care-specific sectors, John knows a lot about construction, asbestos and health and safety, and Philippa is great with IT!’

What sort of tenders have you been working on recently?

Ewan: ‘… My most recent project comprised five responses, totalling around 4,000 words, supporting a gas servicing and maintenance ITT submission for a local council. I’ve also recently written tenders for void repairs, security services and primary school cleaning.’

Grace: ‘… I have been supporting clients across an array of sectors, ranging from cleaning services, catering and heating system replacement works. The length of responses for these projects has also varied, ranging from 500 to 2,000 words, requiring me to adapt my writing style as necessary.’

Jemma: ‘… I just finished an ITT submission providing interpretation and translation services for a local council, totalling 12,750 words. Over the past month, I have also worked on a 3,500-word ITT submission for roofing works, and an 8,000-word communal cleaning tender for a London-based housing association, amongst others.’

Can you share one of your favourite projects to date?

Ewan: ‘… I worked with an existing client on a 6,000-word PQQ for scheduled and reactive gas maintenance and repairs for a local authority in the South East. As we had supported the client on numerous previous submissions, I benefitted from asking questions from other writers who had supported them with opportunities. This month, we received notice that they were successful, adding to my wins.’ 

Grace: ‘… Recently, I worked with a steel storage solution manufacturer on an ITT submission for a large Crown Commercial Services framework. The detailed question set required me to integrate specific information from the client alongside my own wider research – a challenging but rewarding, enjoyable task.’

Jemma: ‘… I completed a 4,500-word submission for a scaffolding framework for a Scottish council. The open-ended question set, generous word counts and permitted images/personalisation allowed me to incorporate the client’s unique selling points and company branding.’

What is one random fact you’d never have known about a subject if you hadn’t become a bid writer?

Ewan: ‘… By conducting research on the tender opportunity and surrounding area prior to writing, I now know lots of specific information on local authorities. Not only has my UK geography improved, but I’ve also been introduced to know features and challenges of certain regions – for example, Guildford Borough Council contains a lot of heritage sites and Worthing has an aging population.’ 

Grace: ‘… Remote-controlled mowers, such as the Green Climber, are able to complete difficult grounds maintenance tasks for operatives, reducing the risk of injury and clearing previously inaccessible areas.’

Jemma: ‘… All the different ISO standards, which are a mark of our clients’ commitment to embedding quality across different aspects of service delivery. Since joining Executive Compass, I now understand the differences between the certifications – namely, ISO 45001:2018 relates to health and safety, 9001:2015 is quality management and 14001:2015 is environmental management.’

Ewan, Grace and Jemma have made excellent additions to our bid writing team, who have collectively completed over 7,000 SQ, PQQ and ITT submissions for clients since our incorporation in 2009. If you would like to learn more about the bid and tender services we provide, our sales and marketing team are available for a chat at 0800 612 5563 or

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