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What is a PQQ

PQQ and Bid Documents

So you’re trying to get some more business, or maybe widen out the areas of business to which you supply your products and services, and someone says to you, “Try completing some PQQs”.

Well, what is a PQQ and what are you meant to do with one? Let us explain it from the beginning (and have a browse through this article library for much more information and detail once you’ve grasped the basics).

So what is a PQQ?

A PQQ is a pre-qualification questionnaire. Put simply, it’s a list of questions a contracting authority will ask in order to assess your – and other suppliers’ – suitability to supply them with whatever they need to have supplied to them.

Think of it like a filter, an initial checklist, something to keep out the bad and so-so applicants while retaining and progressing the good ones. Like an application form (well, an application form for an application form) or a first date, or a look at the introduction to a book before committing to reading the whole text.

What is a PQQ going to ask me about?

You might have completed tender documents running into tens or hundreds of pages before now, with loads of narrative and lots of text. A PQQ is a bit simpler than this, usually running to around 15-25 A4 pages. A large amount of the information required will be fact-based, but there’s still room for a narrative and the insertion of some over-arching themes, to make your submission more attractive and – most importantly – memorable.

What Is A PQQYou will typically be asked for your:

  • Financial information – including bank references and evidence of turnover and stability
  • Staffing information – main people involved in the contract
  • Similar customers already satisfied with the service
  • Policies on a range of subjects from social inclusion to environmental concerns
  • Evidence of these policies – copies of policy statements and procedures
  • Staff training schemes
  • Accountability and quality assurance

Why is a PQQ important?

The short answer: everything. Answer every question, and in the right way. Pay attention to detail. Even making sure you add n/a to an answer box where it really is “not applicable” could be the difference between success and that inch towards failure.

It is also vitally important to keep to any maximum word counts that might be specified. At best, any words past the limit might be ignored. At worst, your entire response might be discounted.

It’s important to get all those factual answers right, but there is also room for a narrative and for themes. If you want to particular express your green credentials (and especially if the evaluators look to be keen on this – see articles on evaluation for more information) and you are confident that you can carry this theme through to the whole tender, then go ahead and emphasise that – make yourselves more memorable.

If you’re still asking “What is a PQQ?” then it’s time to talk to us. Executive Compass® can come in to your offices to train your staff on PQQ writing, look through your procedures and policies to make sure they’re up to scratch, advice on how to polish your current PQQ submissions, look through your previous ones and help you work out where they succeeded or failed, and even write them for you. Just pick up the phone and have a chat to one of our advisers.

Call us now to speak to a member of our Bid Team:

0203 507 0314 or direct to mobile: 07590 276 006