Apart from the quality submission, the selection questionnaire and pricing schedules, government tenders will often require you to submit appendices as part of a compliant bid. This allows buyers to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your capacity and capability to deliver against the scope of works or services.
Depending on the opportunity and submission instructions, additional documents and supporting evidence can either be mandatory or optional elements of a tender. However, it is always beneficial to give authorities as much information as possible within restrictive word limits.
Since 2009, we have supported clients with over 7,000 competitive tender submissions, giving extensive familiarity with the types of appendices and additional documents purchasing authorities are looking for. Listed below are a few common supplementary documents you should be mindful of when reading the tender documents and making a ‘bid/no-bid’ decision, alongside advice for making them as strong as possible.
One of the most common requests authorities make is for tenderers to produce a full mobilisation programme to supplement a response. Some buyers, such as the devolved Scottish government and Crescent Purchasing Consortium, have published guidance on how bidders can develop a strong mobilisation plan, facilitating a strong submission. To be as comprehensive as possible, plans should include the following as a minimum:
- A clearly identified critical path which shows tasks which could impact the overall progress of your mobilisation plan.
- Time-bound milestones and communication points, giving specific and concrete details of when a mobilisation task – such as site visits – will be completed and how this will be communicated to the buyer’s representatives.
- Assigned task owners designating responsibility to an individual rather than the organisation as a whole, demonstrating accountability and effective delegation.
- Potential risks and challenges which could impact an effective mobilisation period, such as ensuring a strong supply chain, alongside correlating mitigation measures to show suppliers you have given due consideration to risk management.
Mobilisation plans are a chance to demonstrate your ability to develop a strong working relationship with the authority and understand their needs and working preferences prior to the contract ‘go-live’ date. This will ultimately facilitate a smooth transition into service delivery, whether it is your first time working with the buyer or you are already the incumbent supplier.
Organisational charts and CVs
As with a mobilisation plan, organisational charts and CVs of key contract-specific staff condense large amounts of information into easily digestible content. These appendices allow you to list the position, qualifications, experience and roles staff will fulfil outside a narrative response. Be mindful of the following when creating staff-specific additional documents:
- Design is crucial: Although not a part of the marking criteria, a consistent and professional design affords an opportunity to impress the evaluating team. Using templates for PDFs, your organisation’s colour scheme and logo will go a long way to produce consistent, professional-looking documents.
- Only include information that is relevant: CVs are typically restricted to one side of A4 – consequently, the experience and qualifications listed should be directly pertinent to the opportunity in question. The same principles apply for organisational charts; do not include a team member who would not be directly involved in delivering contractual works and services.
- Ensure a polished final version: Due time, effort and quality control should be dedicated to appendices on contract-specific staff. All final copies should be reviewed and proofread to ensure there is no conflicting information or grammatical/spelling errors.
Organisational charts and CVs have the additional benefit of saving words, which can be used to provide additional content to a response. For example, you can dedicate the extra words to discussing a case study of how your proposed contract manager resolved an issue on a contract of a similar size, scope or geographic region.
Example audits and templates
As part of quality control or health and safety responses, buyers may provide the opportunity to upload example audit or post-work inspection templates to supplement quality responses. When selecting examples,
- Choose an example which aligns with the scope of works: For instance, if the tendered works or services include working around asbestos, selecting example RAMS for working in a property with registered asbestos would be an easy way to demonstrate how you are well-placed to deliver contractual requirements.
- Ensure examples are thoroughly anonymised: For obvious reasons, examples of any audits or inspections should be anonymous to ensure compliance with GDPR and data processing. Failure to sufficiently anonymise your selected examples could introduce serious concerns about your ability to control data, or even automatic disqualification.
- Include details from remote audits if possible: If your job management system has remote functionality or a client portal, it gives authorities additional surety and options to see you perform a ‘desktop audit’. Screenshots of audits/inspections on your job management system will increase the persuasiveness of your chosen example.
Copies of policies, memberships and accreditations
Some opportunities will require you to upload copies of policies, accreditations and registered memberships with an industry body as part of your tender submission. It is important to note that these are often prerequisites to bidding, meaning that all documentation must be in place prior to the submission deadline.
- With the introduction of the Public Contacts Regulations 2015, most buyers only require you to self-certify the policies you have in place. However, they will occasionally request current copies of organisational demonstrating compliance with legislation and industry best practice, such as health and safety, modern slavery or equality policies.
- Memberships with a universally recognised body depending on your industry – for instance, Gas Safe Register, NICEIC or CQC registration.
- Certifications and accreditations evidencing your capability in a particular area, such as a quality management system certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards, Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation or Constructionline Gold, enabling you to bypass PAS 91 questionnaires.
All documentation must be current and not expired or past the stipulated review date. Unless otherwise stated in the tender pack, it is not enough to commit to gaining membership or credentials by the contract start date.
Support and guidance on appendices and additional documents fall under our wider bid management support services, which ensure you submit a fully compliant tender. To find out more on how we can support with this aspect of bid submissions, or any other tender opportunities, our sales and marketing team are contactable at 0800 612 5563 or via email email@example.com.
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