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.
- What if you have technical problems?
It is important that you contact us as soon as possible if you are having IT problems or struggling to access the electronic tendering system.
We will help find a solution to your problem. It is important that you leave yourself sufficient time to submit your ITT or SQ and allow for any technical problems! If you have left submission too close to the deadline we may not be able to assist at such short notice.
Depending on the time of day and the volume of internet traffic, the submission of large electronic files may take time. The speed at which your submission is received will also depend on the size of the file and the internet bandwidth available to you. Allow sufficient time when tendering electronically. As a general guide, a simple two-page text file should take less than 30 seconds to transmit. A large file (i.e. one approaching 4MB file size) may take several minutes to transmit. ALL of the submission MUST be received prior to the submission deadline. If your transmission is part received when the deadline is reached, the submission will fail.
- What if you have queries about the ITT or SQ?
Queries will be dealt with by us as the procurer however, we will usually request the submission of all queries via the electronic tendering system so that responses are available to all tenderers.
- Submission of ITT or SQ
The ITT and SQ is handled electronically and tenderers must submit their response back through the Due North e-tendering system.
It is important to note the closing date and time – ITT’s submitted after the deadline will NOT be considered.
- Receipt of ITT or SQ
As all ITTs and SQs are submitted electronically, they will all be opened together after the closing date by two members of the procurement team. Once they have been received, the evaluation process begins. For SQs various teams such as finance, health and safety, quality and environmental will check and evaluate each one and the client (service user/department) will score the technical aspect of the SQ. For ITTs the client (service/user department) will evaluate the quality aspect of the ITT and the procurement officer will evaluate the price and check the ITT for compliance. This process can also take time – anything from 3 to 6 weeks – and in complex procurement, this may take longer.