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Bid Writing Courses: a comprehensive overview

The ability to craft compelling bids is more crucial than ever, especially when competing for public sector tenders. Our bid writing courses can really help you win more and bid more efficiently. 

At its core, bid writing is not just about selling a service or product but about demonstrating how your company's capabilities align perfectly with the client's needs and requirements. This alignment is critical in writing a proposal that stands out among competitors. Professional bid writing not only enhances the likelihood of winning contracts but also positions a business as credible and reliable. Our bid writing courses, tailored to the unique challenges of your business, equip participants with the skills needed to produce high-quality bids in-house.

Why we developed bid writing courses and a bid writing training division?

While delivering bid writing consultancy and speaking to those interested in our bid writing services, we identified a gap in the market for a bid writing course for beginners. From speaking with our SME clients we identified the bid writing course needed to provide:

What other bid writing courses were available?

The market was dominated with tender and bid writing courses aimed at blue chip organisations or those looking to further develop their bid writing career, working with these larger, tier 1, type organisations.

As a result, bid writing processes and systems were complex and based around the requirements of largescale tenders, in which the competing businesses would often have months and months to both prepare and bid for the contract. This simply wasn’t what our clients required.

Other bid writing courses were delivered at ‘meet the buyer’ type events. While these can be a great tool for building relationships with the public sector and understanding their supply chain, it was delivered by a public sector buyer, who had to still ensure they were being fair, open and transparent. Not able to say, ‘well actually, in practice what tends to happen is….’.

We spoke with delegates who attended these bid writing courses and they told us they:

  • Focussed on how difficult the tendering process is and the benefits of using bid writing consultancy
  • Covered bid management, planning and bid strategy; often the theory behind bidding and with a high number of PowerPoint slides….
  • Did not have a practical or working understanding of bidding
  • Delivered by an ex-procurement person with little actual bidding experience (from the supplier side). Or delivered by a ‘trainer’ not a professional bid writing expert
  • Little flexibility in bid writing course format and structure
  • Were expensive to attend
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Our bid writing courses were created to be better

Our solution was developed to directly respond to this feedback and offer bid training which is:

  • Flexible. We deliver our face to face bid writing courses across the UK in central and accessible locations like Manchester, London, and Birmingham. As well as online bid writing courses, with small groups to ensure engagement, and in-house or bespoke bid writing courses for those who prefer for us to go to them and focus purely on their specific requirements
  • Delivered by an experienced bid writing professional. Charles, Head of Development, created and delivers our bid writing courses. Prior to focusing on bid writing training, Charles was our Bid Manager supporting hundreds of clients to win tenders and therefore understands the practical challenges
  • Good value for money. Free short bid writing courses are delivered via webinar. We also have 90 minute shorter bid writing sessions focused on many different bid writing and procurement topics, which start from £40. Through to our 2 day bid writing courses which are currently £425 per delegate
  • Easy to book. We publish all our bid writing courses online both on our website and Eventbrite for bookings
  • Focused on helping our clients win tenders!

The result of this is that we have delivered bid writing training to:

  • Over 4000 delegates
  • Received 5 star reviews and amazing feedback
  • Repeatedly been told we offer ‘the best bid writing training courses!’

Choosing the right bid writing course

Over the years we have continually reviewed and improved our bid writing courses to make them more flexible, accessible, better value for money and maximise the return on investment. Below we have provided several examples of our delivery format and prices.

Free bid writing courses

Procurement Act – free bid writing training course. Including the benefits to suppliers such as:

  • Increased visibility of procurement opportunities
  • Greater scope for pre-market engagement
  • More consistent feedback in the form of assessment summaries
  • Improves prompt payment processes
  • Opportunity to showcase innovation

‘Win your next bid’ – free bid writing training course. 

Including the importance of understanding the buyer, bid preparation, bid writing tips such as benefit before the feature. Free ‘win your next bid’ online bid writing course video.

Health & Social Care Free Bid Writing Course.

Including the importance of a win strategy, evidence, how to get ‘tender ready’ and social value. Across our website we offer many more resources focused specifically on domiciliary care tenders and wider healthcare tenders.

G-Cloud Free Bid Writing Courses. 

Covering lots 1 to 4, the benefits, timescales, the importance of research, service descriptions, carbon reduction plans and preparation. Free G-Cloud online bid writing course video.

Carbon Reduction Plan – Free Bid Writing Course.

Including the implications on PQQs or selection questionnaires, CCS, useful links and government guidance, alongside practical steps to monitor and report on your emissions.Free carbon reduction planning online bid writing course video.

Framework Agreements – Free Bid Writing Course. 

Focused on what is a procurement framework agreement and how they can benefit your business. Including how to select the right procurement framework agreement and how to use it as a sales tool for your business. Free framework agreement online bid writing course video.

The Importance of ISO Certifications in Public Sector Frameworks – Free Bid Writing Course. 

Covering the key ISOs your business will need in order to successfully bid for framework agreements.

Online bid writing courses

In addition, to the free bid writing courses above we also provide a one day and two day online bid writing course each month. These sessions are delivered live, kept to small groups and receive 5 star reviews.

We also deliver our advanced bid writing training courses online, for those who are looking to further refine their bid writing skills.

Our online bid writing courses are not pre-recorded and are designed with interaction and engagement in mind.

Online delivery required us to consider adjustments in our presentation content and style to still ensure we effectively engage with our audience. Despite the common challenges of online training, feedback has shown high satisfaction scores for our online bid writing courses, comparable to those for our on-site (face to face) sessions, with no significant differences in overall ratings and likelihood of recommendation

“I recently attended the Thornton & Lowe bid writing course and it was excellent. The content was informative and insightful. Charles’ delivery was brilliant, he made it interactive and enjoyable – all on zoom! Thank you.” Neill Walsh, Technical Bid Writer, Walker Construction (UK) Ltd
“I recently attended a virtual bid writing course and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Charles was excellent, very professional and thorough. Although the course was virtual it was well structured and I learnt a lot. I would definitely recommend this course”. Tonya Warrican, Project Support Officer, Althea Group

Bespoke bid writing courses

Our in-house bid writing courses involve us tailoring our content to ensure it specifically meets the needs of your business. We deliver the training at your premises and usually to around 6 to 10 of your team. Depending on the size, structure and requirements of our client we may deliver multiple days, alongside refresher courses for your team.

We develop the content of the bespoke in-house bid writing courses after we have met with your business, discussed any challenges and reviewed recent examples of your bids. This ensures when we deliver your in-house session that we can use examples from your bids bringing the subject matter to life for your team.

“The bid writing course from Thornton & Lowe was excellent. Charles did a great job of tailoring content to our needs, which to led to good learning outcomes and an interesting and engaging training session”. Kevin Malone, Business Development Manager, Urenco

Bid writing courses for larger businesses

Bid writing courses for tier 1 organisations, blue chip or large businesses.

While our focus has always been working with small and medium businesses, our reputation when it comes to bid writing has meant we have also delivered bid writing courses to large organisations such as:

  • Balfour Beatty
  • BAM Construction
  • Cap Gemini
  • Kier
  • Eric Wright Construction
  • Human Support Group
  • Novus
  • Anglian Group
  • Stannah
  • Siemens

These are often bespoke bid writing courses delivered face to face.

“I was on the 2-day bid writing masterclass. I have around a year and a half of experience in bid writing, and I found the course informative, engaging and held a lot of interesting and insightful points. Charles is a great tutor! The course didn't feel stuffy at all, I left with a lot of good documents and processes I can implement going forward (and the food was great). Thanks Charles!” Jade Macdonald, Trainee Bid Writer, Human Support Group
“Charles provided some bid training at our company for the bid team and directors. I thought the training was fantastic. It flowed well and Charles kept it interactive and informative. It really helped the team understand the bid processes that sometimes can be missed and Charles explained the importance of bidding and showed us how some vital things that can be missed can lead to the winning bid. Friendly and approachable, a great session!” Jodie Boast, Bid & Proposals Coordinator, Eric Wright Construction
“It made me re-evaluate how we treat our bids. Whilst we do some things well it has shown where our weaknesses are. It was interactive and very informative.” Kirstie Allie, Stannah
“A really enjoyable training course. Charles is a professional. It was an excellent day. I have to say it was nice to listen to someone with a real passion for what they do.” Ian Carter, National Business Development Manager, Stannah
“The course was of a high standard led by a knowledgeable presenter” Ernie Canning Senior Quantity Surveyor, Kier
“I now attended two training sessions delivered by Charles. Brilliantly delivered and I have picked up some great tips to help improve my future bids. Thanks Charles!” Conor Morley, Bid Manager, Novus Solutions
“I'm new to bid writing and Charles made this engaging, insightful and fun. Would highly recommend.. I took a lot of useful information away with me to use on my upcoming bids.” Kayleigh Harding, Bid Writer, Novus Solutions
“I attended the two day Bid Writing Masterclass in London held by Charles Grosstephan from Thornton & Lowe, at the end of October. The venue was a superb choice with perfect hospitality and was very easy to reach via public transport.The course itself was well paced, thorough and interactive and Charles was the perfect tutor/host. He made learning the fundamental basics and tips and tricks to ensure the best possible opportunity of work winning, fun and entertaining. So much so, the group of ladies I attended with wanted to return for a third day! I am fairly new to the proposal/PQQ world but feel I have now been given all the tools to move forward and progress with my current employer. Thank you Charles.” Susan Crookes, AMA Co-ordinator, Balfour Beatty

Public sector bodies also need good bid writing courses

Public sector bodies themselves are having to compete to both retain their contracts and find new routes for income generation.

We have had the following public sector and charities attend our bid writing courses:

  • Merseyside Police
  • Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Trust
  • South Yorkshire Housing Association
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Trinity College London

For example:

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Bid writing courses for housing associations

An increasing number of housing associations are attending our bid writing courses. With increasing maintenance costs and a cap on rents it is often essential for housing associations to diversify their income streams and expand their service offerings through formal bidding and tendering. Whether aiming to secure contracts for estate services, grounds maintenance, communal cleaning, or to leverage high-performing central services such as IT, finance, legal or procurement, mastering the intricacies of bid writing is essential. Moreover, for associations looking to provide supported accommodation or supported living services, bid writing skills are instrumental in successfully competing for tenders and securing vital support for those in need.

Our bid writing courses provide housing associations with the tools to find and bid for tenders. By investing in bid writing training, housing associations can enhance their competitiveness, drive income growth, and fulfil their mission of providing quality housing and support services to communities they serve.

Housing Associations who have attended our bid writing courses include:

  • Adullam Homes Housing Association Ltd
  • Ashton Pioneer Homes
  • Clarion Housing Trust
  • Leeds Housing Concern
  • Nottingham Community Housing Association
  • Oasis Aquila Housing
  • Riverside
  • Six Town Housing
  • South Yorkshire Housing Association
  • YorHousing

Bid writing course housing association feedback:

“The bid writing course was exceptional. I found the day 1 (of the 2 day) particularly insightful and know we'll be able to plan and prepare our bids well in advance in future. We arranged for an in house delivery for a number of my colleague's for the 1 day course and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive both from those with and without previous bid writing experience.” Geoff Cooke, Enterprise Growth Manager, ForHousing
“The course was fantastic and the facilitator Charles was brilliant, very engaging and enthusiastic.” Rebecca Lake, Bid Assistant, South Yorkshire Housing Association

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Bid writing courses for the Police

As with most other public sector organisations the police will also need to develop income through other sources, including competitive bidding. Funding Officers and other professionals are required to dedicate time to identify suitable opportunities and then to write a successful bid. By attending our bid writing courses, they are able to return to the office with new skills, tools and confidence to write winning bids.

Police and blue light services who have attended include:

  • Merseyside Police
  • Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

Bid writing course police feedback:

“Very enjoyable and informative CPD course in bid writing. Charles presented the course which was easy to understand and really encouraged interaction and inclusion throughout the two days. A relaxed atmosphere throughout as all the better.” Ed Spencer, Income Generation Officer, Merseyside Police

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Bid writing courses for the NHS

As the NHS increasingly engages in competitive procurement processes akin to other public sector bodies, developing bid writing skills becomes pivotal for securing contracts and driving efficiency. Our bid writing courses equip NHS professionals with the skills needed to ‘bid better’ and take a commercially driven focus for growth. Bid writing courses offer indispensable support for NHS organisations who are often new to bidding and healthcare tendering. Bidding for a wide array of opportunities ranging from payroll services to specialised hospital and dental services.

NHS Trusts who have attended our bid writing courses include:

  • Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • East London NHS Trust
  • North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Trust
  • Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust

Bid writing course NHS feedback:

“Charles created a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere that was highly conducive to the aims of the day. Thank you” Will Bowkett, Commercial Bid Manager, Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
“I will be recommending this to my colleagues who will be involved in upcoming bids” Brian Harrison, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

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Bid writing courses for Local Councils

Local Councils are often expected to write bids to secure funding, access frameworks and to formally provide works and services to the areas they serve. With pressures to sustain, expand and develop income, Councils will have to compete for contracts and grants, increasing the need to write bids. Our bid writing training provides councils with the understanding, knowledge and tools to develop and write competitive bids and tenders.

Local Councils that have attended our bid writing courses include:

  • Bury Council
  • Hammersmith and Fulham Council
  • Maidstone Borough Council
  • North Yorks County Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Thurrock Council
“I attended the Bid Writing course and found it brilliant. The sessions were delivered expertly and attendees were encouraged to bring their own experiences into the discussions to support the learning. I have gained greatly from attending this course and have lots of excellent examples of best practice to refer to. I am happy to recommend this course to colleagues in other services.” David Ede, Senior Manager – Contracts and Funding, Hammersmith and Fulham Council

Bid writing courses for Colleges and Universities

Income streams for universities and colleges is vital for the development of the education provision, research and growth. Accessing funds through training and education tenders means universities and colleges enter a competitive environment, much like commercial companies. The challenge, like many businesses, is understanding procurement, tender management, and having systems to compete effectively.

By attending our bid writing courses, colleges and universities will gain practical tendering skills in order to maximise their bid win rates.

Colleges and Universities who have attended our bid writing courses include:

  • Barking & Dagenham College
  • Bradford College
  • Coventry College
  • Dudley College of Technology
  • Leeds City College
  • Leicester College
  • New College Stamford
  • Northbrook College
  • Solihull College & University Centre
  • Sussex University
  • University of Lincoln

Bid writing course Colleges and Universities feedback:

“The Bid Writing training course I attended was thoroughly comprehensive and also really enjoyable. Highly recommend” Sarah Notman, Programme Manager, Trinity College London
“Training was excellent. Really enjoyed the day. We've since been successful with sizeable contract. The bid adopted many features picked up in the training Charles delivered a few weeks ago!” Allan Milne, Head of Work Based Learning, Salford City College
“I feel like I have learned a lot today and can put ideas in to practice” Linda O'Donnell, Head of Business Development, Shipley College
“I attended the 2 day bid writing masterclass in Jan 2020. The course was very useful and provided a great insight into the world of bidding. The structure of the course included both interactive and practical activities which helped me better understand how to write a more compelling bid. Charles's knowledge and experience in bidding was shown throughout the course and he was always up for a laugh which made the course feel very relaxed. Thank you Charles!” Leon Khan, Bid Writer, Bradford College

Charity bid writing courses

Understanding how to effectively compose bids is crucial for charities and third sector bodies striving to secure funding and support for their causes.

By attending our charity bid writing courses, third sector organisations gain essential skills in ensuring compliance, efficient systems, articulating their mission, outlining their impact, and presenting their projects in a manner that maximises their chances of success. Our bid writing training not only improves your ability to bid for funding and grants, but also for competitive tenders. The number of charities looking to bid for formal tenders is increasingly as they look for more sustainable routes for income. Developing the skill of bid writing is not just advantageous; it's imperative for ensuring sustained growth, fostering partnerships, and ultimately, making a meaningful difference.

With social value in tenders being a key element of most public sector tenders, charities could be very well placed to maximise this requirement of the procurement exercise.

Charities who have attended our bid writing courses include:

  • British Red Cross
  • Hammersmith & Fulham MIND
  • Lifeways
  • Migrant Help
  • Norfolk and Waveney MIND
  • Youth Sport Trust
  • YMCA

Bid writing course charity feedback:

“Having attended a Bid Writing course delivered by Thornton & Lowe, I want to say thanks. Charles is an excellent trainer who delivered the topic in a really engaging, enthusiastic manner. His straightforward approach made everything very clear and easy to understand, and the pace of the course was spot-on. I'd recommend this training to anyone needing help or guidance with writing bids. It was genuinely really enjoyable. Thanks again.” Judy Anderson, New Business Manager, British Red Cross
“I recently attended the online version of Bid Training and would highly recommend it to others. If you are wanting to know what to and what not to include, have questions about how to best answer questions then this is for you. The practical activities were an eye opener based on what I knew at the beginning of the training session and what I knew afterwards! It was nice to "e meet" with others and do not feel that being online detracted at all.” Babz Astle, Grants Management Officer, YMCA Bedfordshire

Membership organisations who we deliver bid writing courses with:

  • Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub
  • National Federation of Builders
  • Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce
  • Business Growth Calderdale
  • North West Aerospace Alliance
  • Scottish Development Programme
  • West Midlands Manufacturing Club

Bid writing courses delivered at workshops across the UK

Each month we deliver face to face bid writing courses to groups of businesses at key locations such as Manchester, London and Birmingham. We deliver both a one and two day bid writing course or masterclass. These bid or tender writing courses are capped at 10 delegates per session. We provide resources, lunch and deliver the bid training in a friendly, fun and engaging manner.

“I attended the two day bid writing masterclass and it’s safe to say it’s hands down the best move for our small family businesses. The course literally covers EVERYTHNG but he made it easy to digest. 10/10 from me”. Laura Garlick, Director, Garlick Demolition

Tender writing courses

Our tender writing courses are aimed at businesses who want to improve their tender writing performance or those new to tender writing.

Tender writing courses or bid writing courses? For clarity, tender writing courses and bid writing courses are the same. Our tender writing courses, as with bid writing, help businesses plan and bid for formal tenders and contracts.

While our tender writing courses are not focused on grants or funding, we also have many third sector and charities attend our training to improve their persuasive writing when developing funding proposals or competing for tenders.

Certification and Continuing Education

All our bid writing courses are CPD-certified by the CPD Standards Office.

After successfully attending one of our courses you will not only receive CPD points to put towards your professional development, but also a certificate to evidence your attendance.

Success stories from bid writing course graduates

Our bid writing courses have consistently supported delegates to improve their:

  • Bid writing performance and win more tenders.
  • Bidding skills and further develop their career in the bid profession.
“Wanted to say again how beneficial the knowledge gained from this course has been….the last few results we have had from tenders since I completed the course: 89%, 90.7%, 93.9%. I could not recommend this course enough. ” Tamsin Mackenzie, Business Development Co-ordinator, The PCS Group
“I would highly recommend the online bid writing training course, regardless of your level of experience. A five star review doesn’t do the course justice”. Paul Murphy, Senior Bid & Proposal Copywriter, GAP Hire Solutions
“I attended a bid writing course in Birmingham with Thornton & Lowe. I’ve worked in bids for just over three years and used the training course as a well-needed refresher. Charles delivers an insightful an insightful and interactive training session, going over best practice, tips for the whole bid process and how to write/ put together a winning tender. I would definitely recommend the course to anybody currently pursuing a career in bids”. Sophie Morbey, Bid Executive, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Talk to us

See further bid writing course testimonials, reviews and if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us. 01204 238046.


We provide bid writing training and support to many sectors:

Beyond this we also have:

And our bidding and tendering guidance and tips, covering on:

For further information on courses, to find out prices, dates and to book a course now, see our bid writing training hub. Or contact us and discuss your specific needs.

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