Blog • 11.10.19

The role of a PQQ in the tender process

How you can save time and win more tenders with a PQQ

The tendering process is a means for businesses to put their services forward to fulfil advertised contracts and projects. Winning tenders can prove to be profitable for businesses, but the process can seem demanding.

What is a tender?

A tender is the process whereby organisations require support for a project or large piece of work and invite businesses to bid to win a contract for that work. An example would be a local authority inviting construction companies to tender for building work. Submitting a tender is common practice for a business acting as a supplier in terms of services of products to another business, or, within the public sector. On a more basic level, a tender may be simply providing a quote and following up with confirmation in writing. But for more significant projects, over a longer period or on a large scale, the tender process is far more detailed and demanding. Public sector work especially has specific tendering processes. A tender process generally includes these stages:

  • Advertising the requirement.
  • Selection Stage / Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ).
  • Evaluation of selection Stage / PQQ.
  • Invitation to Tender (ITT).
  • Evaluation of the tender submissions.
  • Award of contract.

This guide will cover the Selection and PQQ stage.

Everything you need to know about PQQ

A key business growth area for contractors is tendering. However, the tendering process can be time-consuming, complex and often confusing, which is why the initial phase of a tendering process often involves a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). This acts as a pre-selection process to filter only the most suitable candidates through to the next stage.

What is a PQQ?

A PQQ is an important verification check to safeguard both contractors and the companies employing these services. It includes a list of questions for companies to demonstrate their credentials and experience. A PQQ will ask questions on several topics and could include:

  • Health and safety.
  • Finance.
  • Environment.
  • Quality assurance.
  • GDPR.
  • Anti-bribery.
  • Modern slavery.
  • Right to work.
  • Building information modelling.
  • Equality.

Why PQQ is important for contractors

Contractors work hard to win new business and create sustainable growth, while also managing cash flow, strategy and marketing. Contractors that fail to meet the required standards can be automatically disregarded in the process, so it is important to be well prepared in order to make the most of the opportunity and successfully pass the PQQ stage. Your application can be disqualified for several reasons, including:

  • Failure to submit on time.
  • Failure to provide relevant policies and procedures.

Ultimately, when it comes to hiring a third party, it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that any contractor they employ is fully compliant with relevant regulations, standards and can adhere to safety rules. If clients fail to carry out the appropriate checks, they are leaving themselves open to reputational damage, financial loss and should things go wrong, regulatory enforcement.

ISO standards in the PQQ

Some tenders may request details of ISO Certification as supporting documentation. Increasingly, this is seen as an essential not a luxury when it comes to the tender process. SafeContractor members benefit from up to 20% discount from Alcumus ISOQAR, one of the UK’s largest UKAS accredited certification bodies with offices all over the world. Auditing and certifying organisations to many standards including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 and ISO 45001.

Why choose Alcumus SafeContractor?

Through SafeContractor you can demonstrate to hundreds of the country’s biggest companies that you’re a good company to work with, and we will do everything we can to help get that message out there. As a contractor, simply sign up and submit your details on an online contractor management system, once a year. This reduces the need to provide compliance information to various clients at different times to win new business – saving you time and money.