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Supplier tendering questions

How do I find out about new business opportunities?

Register on:

We advertise all opportunities over £10,000 on the Chest procurement portal. Officers are also advised to request quotes for lower value opportunities via the Chest.

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Where the value is over £164,176 (£4,104, 394 for works) in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

How do I put myself forward to be considered?

We only accept expressions of interest made through the Chest.

What can I expect once I've expressed an interest?

Once you have registered interest via the Chest suppliers will receive an email inviting them to take part, including a link to the appropriate documentation. The documents are then available to download. This will include:

 Under £60k:

  • instruction to organisations, the details of how the tender will be carried out and the timetable
  • specification, detailing the requirements

  • price schedule, to provide the quote

  • certificate of none canvassing and none collusion

(The specification and price schedule are sometimes included in the instruction to organisations document)

Over £60k:

  • instruction to tender part one: the details of how the tender will be carried out and the timetable

  • instruction to tender part two: to be completed and returned

  • specification: detailing the requirements

  • price schedule: to provide the quote

  • form of tender: the agreed price (which must be the same as on the price schedule)

  • certificate of none canvassing and none collusion

What documents will I be expected to complete?

We aim to maintain that documentation is relative to the value of the goods/works/services.

Both sets of documents will set out the evaluation criteria.

This will be split into two stages, stage one, selection criteria and stage two, award criteria. Only suppliers who achieve 75% of the total score in stage one will be evaluated against the criteria in stage two, although all the information is submitted at the same time.

The selection criteria questions relate to the details and policies of the business and if they have the experience to carry out the contract. Some questions are pass/fail questions and others scored on a points basis with the points shown next to each question.

The second stage asks for method statements, which relate to the contract and how it will be carried out. This is evaluated on a points basis and the points are shown next to each method statement.

How do I know what you're looking for?

Read the documents carefully.

How we intend to evaluate is always included in the documentation and should be considered in order to help strengthen your submission.

What is the quality/price split?

We always detail the split between the financial (price submitted) and quality side.

At minimum this has to be 60% price, 40% quality.

Where the quality is less important and there is less risk we may up the price to 70% or 80%. Sometimes an exemption will be granted and we will drop the per cent allocated to price, giving more weight to quality.

Suppliers should ensure they understand where our priorities lie for each individual opportunity in order to tailor their tender submission accordingly.

How would you score the price? 

As indicated in the documentation we have a formula that we use to score the financial side of the submission.

This is usually based on the 'total price' as indicated in the price schedule and form of tender by the supplier.

How would you score the quality?

Points are allocated to each section/question/method statement as we feel is relevant to the specific opportunity.

Suppliers should note this is in preparing their submission, placing more time and consideration on the sections that have the highest weighting.

What is the scoring mechanism?

As is shown in the documentation, quality submissions are scored by giving 50% of the marks to responses which generally meet the requirements, 75% which meet our requirements with a high level of detail and 100% only if proposals also include added benefits for us.

If anything isn't clear it is vital you ask questions via The Chest.

These will only be accepted through the portal to ensure all suppliers receive the response, maintaining a level playing field.

How do I submit my quotation/tender?

This must be submitted via the Chest in order to be considered. Use the response wizard to attach all documentation to the Chest.

Once received, we are unable to access the submissions until the deadline date and time have passed.

How will my submission be scored?

Submissions will be evaluated, usually by a  minimum of two officers, one from procurement and an officer with expertise in the specific service area.

An officer from Finance will score the financial section.

When do I find out if I've been successful?

A timetable is set out in the documents but sometimes this needs to be extended. As soon as we can you will be notified via the Chest of our decision.

Can I request feedback?

Feedback will be included in the notification letters. This will consist of a table of the scores awarded for the finance section and an individual breakdown of the scores awarded and comments made for each question in the quality section.

Where the opportunity is of a higher value, suppliers will receive a breakdown of their scores by question alongside the successful supplier's scores.

You can also request a more detailed feedback meeting with the Procurement team.