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Tender Guides

Selection questionnaire (SQ) guide

An SQ is part of the restricted tender procedure and is used to identify a short-list of capable companies to invite to tender in the restricted tender procedure.

The questionnaire seeks to identify the relevant capacity (financial and resources), experience and expertise of the company. It is not used to evaluate possible solutions that the company may offer and any criteria used at the pre-qualification stage will not be used again or be revisited when evaluating the invitation to tender.

Many elements are pass / fail during the SQ stage and may require input from specialist officers such as finance to undertake a financial assessment of bidders to be short listed. Where sections of the SQ are to be scored in order to rank bidders, the maximum score available will be clearly displayed for each section.

If references are required we will obtain these at the SQ stage as once a company is short listed, we can no longer assess their performance in this way.

A fair process

All our suppliers start from a level playing field.

Read our guides to tendering below to help you get it right first time.

Invitation to tender (ITT) guide

An ITT is issued to the successful suppliers who passed through the SQ stage. A tender is essentially a written presentation, tailored towards the needs of the purchasing organisation, of a company’s ability to deliver the requirements of a contract, which is evaluated against set criteria to establish their suitability for undertaking the work to the standard required and within the budgets set.

It should be noted that a good tender does not mean that it will be a winning tender, only that it stands a greater chance of becoming one.

A typically good tender is:

  • Free of significant errors and / or omissions
  • Tailored to the exact requirements of the contract
  • Detailed with supporting evidence and additional documentation clearly referenced
  • States what benefits they can bring to the trust
  • Demonstrates commitment to the trust
  • Shows they have put theory into practice
  • Clearly written and legible
  • Clearly committed to continuous improvement and best practice
  • Clearly detailed in terms of possible variations and innovations (where applicable)
  • Inclusive of added value to the contract (where applicable)
  • Compiled in line with the instructions

Modern Slavery Act

The transparency in supply chains provision in the Modern Slavery Act seeks to address the role of businesses in preventing modern slavery from occurring in their supply chains and organizations. You can read our slavery and human trafficking statement here.


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