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October 2022 saw an existing client request our support in submitting a tender for a multi-million pound framework agreement. The purchasing authority was a large housing association with nearly 14,000 properties across the North East of England, including terraced housing, bungalows and low- and high-rise flats. Scope of works consisted of minor construction works, e.g. joinery, roofing and bricklaying, plumbing and heating, gas servicing, electrical repairs/EICR and decarbonisation retrofits.

As our client had previous experience in delivering services on a subcontracted basis in lieu of underperforming suppliers, they were confident in their ability to effectively demonstrate their competence to upgrade to an official subcontracting partner. Equally, our previous experience working with the client confirmed that they would be able to successfully deliver the requirements of the specification.

Main challenges

Several challenges specific to our client’s opportunity included:

  • Workstreams being split into 23 different lots and three different geographic regions, requiring careful consideration from the client to make an informed decision as to which lots they wished to bid for
  • Short word counts for the majority of responses, requiring a concise and targeted approach to align with any requirements in the question set (e.g. how customer care procedures will be integrated into the purchasing authority’s official policy)
  • Several questions on health and safety, requiring details on procedures for capturing hazards and risks, supervisory processes and asbestos management procedures
  • Providing a detailed social value method statement demonstrating our client’s commitments in accordance with the Social Value TOMs calculator.
Bid Details
  • Geographical region: 

    North East

  • Output: 

    8,900 words across 17 SQ and ITT quality questions

  • Weighting: 

    30% quality / 60% price / 10% social value

  • Submission: 

    Electronic and portal-based

  • Outcome: 



To complete the tender, the client required a total of 8,900 words across 17 quality questions within the standard selection questionnaire (SQ) and ITT document. Based on a proven, effective working relationship and previous success in winning submissions on behalf of the client, Bid Writer Ciaran Brass was assigned to complete all quality responses.

Shortly after the terms and conditions were signed, Ciaran scheduled a client interview to discuss the client’s USPs and experience in subcontracting for the authority, and determine which of the lots and geographic areas that formed the framework could be effectively serviced. Following this, he began drafting responses on the following topics:

  • Overall methodology for delivering works, inclusive of a framework-specific resource plan, procedures for ensuring that planned and unplanned absences would not impact service delivery, and how organisational training requirements are assessed and implemented
  • Procedures for meeting scheduled appointments, such as the employees responsible for arranging appointment timeslots, steps for communicating with customers to minimise no-access visits and how appointments would be monitored until completion
  • Monitoring framework performance by providing details of reporting methodology and frequency, aligning training with KPIs and integrating into the authority’s subcontractor portal.

The question set also included a detailed method statement outlining our client’s social value commitments, how the offerings would be measured, and indicative timescales for delivery. The method statement constituted 10% of the overall evaluation criteria, meaning that it was necessary to produce tangible and feasible commitments. To facilitate the strongest possible response, Ciaran liaised with our Director of Social Value Stephen Kennett to determine if information gathered on the client call could be strengthened or presented more impactfully, thereby ensuring the highest possible score from evaluators.

A total of seven questions around health and safety procedures were also included, requiring tenderers to outline their processes for keeping employees updated on legislation, capturing hazards and risks, communicating risk assessment details, supervisory processes and asbestos management procedures. Responses ranged from 300 to 500 words, necessitating targeted, concise and tightly written responses which ensured every element of our client’s processes were covered.

As always, every response was subject to our tried-and-tested quality assurance process, based on 14 years of providing successful bid and tender services. Quality Managers John Winder and Victoria Hughes were responsible for providing line-by-line, high-quality reviews to suggest amendments which would strengthen responses. Amendments were then completed before being sent to our external proofreading team prior to the client for any final amendments.

Due to the efficacy of this process, the client had all responses well in advance of the deadline, facilitating a smooth submission.


After a couple weeks’ delay in receiving the results, our client made contact in February 2023 to inform us they had been successful in achieving a place on the framework. As an SME, they were particularly delighted as the other successful tenderers were large businesses with turnovers in excess of £100 million.

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