Understand Tendering? Help is at Hand…

Definition – Meaning of Tender To invite bids for a project, or to accept a formal offer. Tender usually refers to the process whereby governments invite bids for large projects that must be submitted within a finite deadline.

The Tender process – A Quick Beginners Guide to Terminology and Process

Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)

This is a selection process to sift suitable suppliers. This stage of the process may be by invitation or open to everyone, for example OJEU tenders.

This qualification round might take the form of an approved supplier list, an initial interview or a formal PQQ.

Invitation to Tender (ITT)

The ITT will be issued to a list of potential suppliers. This usually involves a set of questions, along with a price matrix. This can also be a less formal submission of a proposal and price.

Pre Tender Meetings

Often suppliers arrange and hold supplier briefing meetings to help clarify the tender and answer questions.


The panel will mark each bid against their agreed evaluation matrix, which will result in a table of the highest and lowest scores from bidders.

Supplier Short List

The evaluation is used to select a short list of potential suppliers. The nature of the contract will determine the size of the short list. For example, a framework agreement will require a number of suppliers, while other tenders may only have one winner.

Interviews and Presentations

There is sometimes further evaluation for short listed by means of a tender presentation or a question and answer session. This session may be extended to a visit to the supplier’s premises and meeting customers. The presentation will be assessed against the pre determined evaluation criteria.

Once the tender procurement process is complete the tender panel will agree the final scores and select the best performers to award contact(s) to.

High Value EU tenders have a minimum 10 day standstill period (Alcatel), to allow unsuccessful bidders to challenge the tender procurement process. Contracts will not be issued until the standstill is complete.

Unsuccessful bidders should have a chance to get feedback on tenders to help gain a better understanding on how to improve in future.