The tender process

The University tenders contracts in different ways, dependent on the value, complexity and the nature of the supply market. Below is an explanation of some of the common processes and stages that we use:

  •  Framework agreement – an agreement that has already been tendered by another public body or purchasing consortia that the University can use by either calling off for its requirements, or running a further competition.
  • Further competition (also known as a mini-competition) – this is a process where a closed group of suppliers who have already been appointed to an existing framework agreement are asked to tender.
  • Restricted Procedure – a two stage process involving a Selection Questionnaire (SQ) and an Invitation to Tender (ITT).
  • Selection Questionnaire (SQ) – formerly known as a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire, this is used to shortlist suppliers who will then be invited to tender. The questions are used to asses if the supplier is suitable to deliver the contract and typically involve questions regarding financial standing, certification (health and safety, insurance, quality standards etc.) and experience/track record.
  • Invitation to Tender (ITT) – a tender document usually comprising of a Pricing Schedule, Terms and Conditions, Specification and Method Statement Questionnaire.
  • Method Statement Questionnaire – questions asked by the University which suppliers complete and are then evaluated by the University. These questions assess how the supplier will deliver the contract.
  • Open Procedure – a one stage tender process, the tender document will typically contain a combination of selection and method statement questions.
  • Clarification Interview – an interview with a supplier as part of the tender process to explore the supplier’s written responses in more depth.
  • Contract Notice – an advertisement or call for tenders for a contract opportunity.
  • Contract Award Notice – this states who the University has awarded a contract to and what the contract was for. The University publishes Contract Award Notices in the interest of transparency; there is no opportunity to win or bid for a contract from a Contact Award Notice.