What is a PQQ?
PQQ stands for Pre Qualifying Questionnaire. PQQs are used by clients to shortlist suppliers to participate in the tender. The PQQ is used to make sure that you meet all of the minimum standards required by the client and often contains questions relating to your business structure, sectors you supply, financials, professional memberships, insurances and policies (e.g. Health & Safety, Environmental, Equality & Diversity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Quality etc). This is not an exclusive list – each PQQ will vary and reflect what is important to the client.
What is an SQ?
SQ stands for Selection Questionnaire – a fairly standard document used by the public sector to try to reduce the amount of documents agencies need to supply at the PQQ stage. If selected you will need to provide all the policies and documentation as evidence though!
What is an ItT?
ItT stands for Invitation to Tender. This usually follows the PQQ stage and involves more about HOW you will deliver the service (e.g. recruitment process, account management, performance management/SLAs etc), pricing and the terms.
What is an RfP?
RfP stands for Request for Proposal. Rather than being an extensive list of specific questions, an RfP is usually based on a client’s brief / specification and requires the supplier to demonstrate how they will deliver to that brief in the form of a written response (i.e. this is what we want – how are you going to supply it?).
What is a Method Statement?
Some tenders ask you to write “method statements” rather than just answering a list of questions. A method statement can either be a mini creative proposal based on specified elements of the specification (e.g. how will you fulfil the diversity requirements of the client?) or you may be asked you will cover a list of requirements (e.g. the client requires a, b, c, d and e. Please provide a method statement to demonstrate how you will deliver this?). Method statements usually require you to demonstrate not just WHAT you will do, but HOW you will do it. They can often be made more robust by including examples or case studies to demonstrate competence and experience. A tender may be made up of a series of method statements rather than the more traditional list of tender questions.
What is a PSL?
PSL stands for Preferred Suppliers List. A PSL is a list or panel of suppliers who are approved to provide goods or services to a particular client.
What is a “Framework Agreement”?
A framework agreement is a contract where suppliers are approved (i.e. they have been through a full tender process), but are not guaranteed any % of the business. Basically you have the right to supply, but the clients buying under the agreement are not obliged to use you or give you any proportion of the business.
What is the difference between a Master Vendor and Vendor Neutral Provider?
Vendor Neutral is where the client contracts with an independent provider who does not provide recruitment services themselves, but simply manages the supply relationships with a number of approved 1st Tier and 2nd Tier suppliers. A Master Vendor is a recruitment supplier who contracts with the client to fulfil some/all of the requirements themselves, and outsources those vacancies, locations or specialisms that they are unable to deliver themselves to 2nd Tier Suppliers.
What is e-Procurement?
E-procurement is the use of an electronic system to acquire goods, services and payments. This is often a web-based system which enables the client access to the system to place orders, monitor responses to the orders and view real time management information. It will also often link to the payroll and invoicing functions. E-procurement is usually used to increase the efficiency and reduce the costs associated with the administrative functions relating to purchasing goods or services.
How do I find out about tender opportunities?
Public sector (and occasionally private sector) tender opportunities are advertised via OJEU and you can register with a tender service to receive e-mail notifications when a new tender is advertised. There are many tender notification services which can range in cost from £200 – £1000+ per annum. Alternatively you may also wish to register with our free tender notification service which will advise you of any recruitment tenders that we come across.
Private sector tenders are not usually advertised, and we advise that you task Consultants with building a pipeline of potential opportunities by gathering information on which clients have a PSL, when this is coming up for renewal, who is responsible for it and what you need to do to be included in the tender process.