There are normally two stages of the procurement process. Finding and applying for a contract, and submitting tenders. If your initial application is successful, you will be short-listed and invited to tender.
How do I find out about opportunities?
Potential suppliers should check the procurement page of our website and the In-Tend system for current and forthcoming contracts. You can email our purchasing team for more details on specific contracts.
Contracts over EU thresholds are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union. Potential contractors and suppliers should review the EU website regularly to find details of new opportunities.
How do I apply for contracts?
Suppliers are required to register their organisation on the College In-Tend system. Any current tenders will be visible and you will have to “express your interest” in the relevant tender. All documents specific to the tender will be made available for you to download.
In the majority of cases potential suppliers must complete a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). This will be used to assess your suitability to supply the College and satisfy the contract. It is essential that all of the information requested is provided and that responses are received electronically by the due date.
What information do I need to provide?
In a PQQ you will be asked to provide basic details about your organisation to verify that it can be identified as a legitimate trading organisation with acceptable levels of finance. We also look for businesses that promote good practice in areas of equal opportunities, protecting the environment and health and safety.
You’ll also be asked about your...
- Experience and Technical Ability – we will ask for further information to assess whether you have the relevant experience, resources and technical ability to carry out the work to a suitable standard. In most cases we ask for details of similar contracts held over recent years and contact details of referees.
- Organisation - we will ask about your organisational structure to establish whether you have the resources to fulfil the contract.
- Insurance – You are also asked to provide assurances regarding insurance cover.
It is essential that pre-tender documentation is returned by the date and time stipulated. Items received after the deadline will be automatically rejected.
A sample PQQ can be downloaded here, along with guidelines on how to complete the document[.4] .
What if I am invited to tender?
Applicants who have been short-listed after evaluation of the PQQ will receive a set of tender documents, which will consist of all or some of the following:
- Introduction to GC and the relevant department
- Tender Instructions and rules
- Specification – sets out what needs to be achieved and includes policies, procedures and guidelines that need to be followed as well as the tender evaluation criteria, which advises how the tender submission will be evaluated and the contract awarded. Suppliers are expected to tender on the basis of this specification, which will include performance targets or criteria to be met in delivering the services, supplies or works.
- Award Criteria & Matrix – this document explains the criteria and the matrix for awarding the contract.
- Pricing Structure – the document where you enter all your prices.
- Standard Terms of Supply – these are the standard terms of supply for ALL goods/services sold to the college.
Tenders must be returned electronically by the date given as any tenders received after the deadline will be automatically rejected.
What are the College’s expectations of suppliers and contractors?
We need to ensure that we get value for money. We therefore expect excellent performance from contractors and suppliers, demonstrated through...
- Value – not only best price, but also best administration costs and best costs related to quality. Suppliers should consider the total, whole life costs of supply when putting together their tenders.
- Quality – contractors and suppliers are expected to provide services, supplies and works to an appropriate standard which meet the needs set out in the specification.
- Adherence to College policies and procedures – we are committed to supporting sustainability, equality and health and safety, and look for contractors and suppliers with the same commitment.
- Integrity – honesty is expected in all dealings between the College and its contractors in addition to other relevant parties. It is a criminal offence to give or offer any gift, inducement or reward to an employee of a public body. It is Gloucestershire College’s policy not to accept inducements, gifts or hospitality. Suppliers should note that they risk being excluded from the procurement process for failing to observe this requirement.
- Innovation – suppliers are encouraged to be innovative and suggest new ideas to add value, continuously striving to improve their performance.
- Communication – suppliers are expected to maintain good communications with the College throughout the contract and will be expected to attend regular contract review meetings.
How else might I be evaluated?
The tender documents may include method statements, risk assessments and/or case studies, which are used to determine how suppliers would manage the service or deal with particular issues. In responding to these, you are expected to show what methods and procedures you would use in undertaking the work, showing initiative and innovation.
At any time during the tender process you may be invited to give a presentation or attend an interview as part of your submission. We will often conduct site visits to see how you organise your work.
In many cases a pre-tender meeting and site visit will also be held to discuss the tender and clarify any issues raised from the tender documents.
How is the contract awarded?
Tender evaluation is always carried out in a comprehensive, equitable, auditable, and transparent manner. To ensure fairness the evaluation criteria and method will be clearly defined in the tender documents.
We must be sure that in selecting a contractor or supplier we are getting value for money and the services will be delivered effectively. Evaluation is therefore based on two key criteria – how the supplier proposes to deliver the contract (quality) and the cost of the contract (price). We are looking for the best balance of quality and price, not just the lowest price. In most cases additional criteria will also be used to evaluate suppliers.
Contracts are awarded to the provider who is considered to offer best value for money, regarding price, quality and value – sometimes referred to as the “most economically advantageous tender”. The tender must also meet the specification.
Evaluation of the most economically advantageous tender can incorporate a number of factors including:
- Financial viability of the supplier
- Quality issues
- Technical merit
- After-sales service
- Delivery date
- Technical back-up
- Policy issues such as equality and sustainability
The criteria to be used in any particular instance will be listed in tender documents. The weightings of the criteria may also be given.