Completing a PQQ is often the first hurdle many companies face when they are bidding and tendering for contracts in both the public and private sector.
I often describe a PQQ to clients as a risk negation process for councils and local authorities and other contracting authorities, and that they are designed to exclude companies which should not be tendering for the contract in the first place, as they would pose too much risk if they became part of the supply chain. It also stops these organisations that are not fit to tender from wasting their resources in completing a lengthy tender document.
Over the years, competition at this stage of the procurement process has increased significantly, which has caused the PQQ to move from what was once at tick box exercise, to a competitive process where you need to ensure that you stand out from the other prospective bidders in order to receive the invitation to tender.
It is now not uncommon for councils and local authorities, for example, to receive up to 100 PQQ returns, sometimes more. With this in mind, we have put together some tips which should stop you from being excluded for non-conformance during the PQQ stage.
Tips for Completing a PQQ
- Start in good time: authorities can tell when a PQQ or tender has been rushed and they will not be likely to award you a contract if you are unable to approach the procurement exercise in a timely manner. It creates a bad first impression for your company, which can be difficult to overcome.
- Make sure that the process is managed like a project: this is especially important if you are going to be delegating some responsibilities to your workforce. Make sure each staff member knows exactly what is required, and when it is required by.
- Create a required documents checklist: this is a great way of ensuring that you return all of the documents that are required with the PQQ. Before you start writing anything, go right through the PQQ documents and formulate a simple checklist of what you need to have ready.
- Review the required documents: it is not enough to simply attach your accounts or policies without first reviewing them. Make sure you have the most recent 3 years of accounts, and that your turnover meets the minimum requirements of the PQQ, if there is one. All of your policies need to make reference to relevant legislation, and be signed and dated within the last 12 months.
- Make sure that you answer all of the questions: there is nothing worse than realising you have responses yet to write and it’s the day before the deadline. Make yourself another checklist of all of the responses that need to be written, and this will help you avoid making this costly mistake.
- Review your work: this is an integral part of the PQQ process. Make sure you review, spell and sense check your narrative: we also recommend using a colleague or external professional to review your work prior to submission.
If you have previously been unsuccessful at the PQQ stage of the procurement process, you may find that working on the six points above will stop you from failing due to non-conformance. If you need professional assistance in creating strong persuasive narrative which will maximise your chances of being issued an invitation to tender, please do not hesitate to contact us today!
For more tips on improving your success rate, watch this video below: