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A pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), superseded by the selection questionnaire (SQ) is a pre-tender document, commonly used in the construction industry as part of a tender process.

A pre-qualification document for construction companies (like most other industries) sets out a set of standardised questions for applicants to assess their ability to undertake the proposed tender (against a minimum criteria) and for the buyer to verify the authenticity of information provided.

PQQs in construction

If you are a construction company keen to expand your contract portfolio or are working as a supplier in the construction industry, it is likely you will need to complete pre-qualification questionnaire(s).

Pre-qualification questionnaires are common in the construction industry. There are many local and national framework agreements where several construction companies are listed as preferred suppliers for a large organisation or local authority. With so many companies applying for so many contracts, the pre-qualification questionnaire has become a must for standardising the process, and selecting construction contractors.

If you’re in the construction industry, you are probably aware of tenders and completing those long, often complicated documents. But what is a pre-qualification questionnaire, and how does it work with construction?

A pre-qualification questionnaire (or PQQ) is a pre-tender documentand broadly a PQQ is a list of questions for a potential supplier. It does what it says on the tin: it qualifies you to go through to the tender stage. It is important to note that the PQQ has a job to do: eliminating applicants for a tender process. If you don’t fulfil the criteria in a PQQ, you will not go through to the next round. Within construction, there is also the PAS 91, which was introduced as a standardised questionnaire, aiming to reduce the need for suppliers to complete a multitude of questionnaires for different projects. Whilst we see this less frequently since the introduction of the SQ (selection questionnaire) we do still see them, and it is important that you keep high-quality, up-to-date policies to submit as evidence.

Important features of a PQQ for construction

All PQQs share common features. These are some of the most vital ones for a construction company:

Health and safety policies and procedures

Building sites can be dangerous to builders and passers-by/residents, so you need to prove you have the necessary controls in place

Financial information

Prove you won’t go bust before completing the project

Environmental/sustainability issues

Are you using the most environmentally friendly materials and disposing of waste in an appropriate manner?

Writing long documents and preparing and providing all the necessary documentation and certification can be a time-consuming, meticulous process. If you have administrative support staff who are competent to handle such tasks on top of their everyday routine, then set them the project of completing your first pre-qualification questionnaire. If your talents lie elsewhere, consider outsourcing your PQQ and tender writing.

The pre-qualification questionnaire is important in the construction industry. Don’t allow yourself to be rejected due to non-compliance (e.g. documents not being filled in correctly, or attachments not being provided).

If you’re trying to increase your customer base but you’re having trouble completing pre-qualification questionnaires for the construction industry, get in touch with Executive Compass. We have proven results in PQQ completion and can help you achieve success and profitability. Contact us now.


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