Frequently Asked Questions - Writing Tenders - Public Sector Contracts

Frequently Asked Questions

posted: June 15th, 2011

Am I entitled to feedback? 

Yes. It should include:

(i) what were the award criteria (and any sub-division thereof);

(ii) what were the reasons for the decision, including the characteristics and relative advantages of the winning bid and the scores


(iii) a precise statement of the standstill period.


As a start-up company do I have a realistic chance of winning work?

The contracting authority (NHS, School, College, Council, Housing Association etc.) will be looking for the ‘best’ company to do the job. This is based on risk, competition and innovation. Generally, if you are a new company your experience and fi nancial stability will simply not be as strong as your competitors and as result you will be deemed a greater risk.

For the majority of tenders your chances of success will be low. It is important to note, however, that this does depend on the sector and value of the contract.


How can I get experience if I can’t win work?!

3 main routes:

1. Subcontractor arrangements – this gives you the chance to gain experience and build up fi nancial stability

2. Consortiums bids – working with another contractor/ supplier who could act as the ‘lead’ for a tender

3. Old fashioned sales – trying to meet the authority in person and get work under the ‘tender radar’.


How can I increase my chances of success?

Feedback is key. Obtain as much information as possible, whether successful or not, and let this tailor your future responses, or which contracts you tender for.

Also essential is building up your information/tender library and making best use of this – including performance measures, details of good practice within current contracts, management structures, supervisory methods, added value

activities etc.

It is not only about answering each question but ensuring your response for every weighted question is better and has more ability to gain marks than your competitors.

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