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University of Salford, Manchester

Introduction to Tendering – When to bid and How to win

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The UK Government currently spends around £700billion every year and is targeting 33% of this to reach SMEs by 2020, whether through direct award or subcontracting to larger suppliers.

The Contracts Finder website advertises hundreds of public sector contract opportunities every day covering all industries, sectors and almost every conceivable category of good or service. Last year, over 35,000 of these tenders were defined as ‘low-value’: between £10,000 and £106,047.

Private sector companies are increasingly using similar websites to advertise subcontracting opportunities, as larger-value public-sector tenders often include a requirement to engage with local SMEs. Smaller businesses have a lot to offer the public and private sector: flexibility, personal service, innovation and social value are all key drivers of “value for money”, the main objective of all public sector and buying decisions.

Often the only way to access many of these opportunities is through tendering, where public sector buyers are legally required to evaluate submissions fairly to demonstrate they are awarding contracts on the basis of best value for money. This is where SMEs can lack the resources, confidence or skills to prepare a successful bid, and can be outshone by a larger competitor with a more professional submission.

If you’re just starting out in tendering, or have some experience and want to improve your success rate, this course is for you.


This interactive workshop will provide you with practical skills, tools and techniques to produce compelling PQQs/tenders and improve your company’s success rate, whilst managing the workload involved.

Delivered by a professional bid writer actively involved in writing bids for both SMEs and large national contractors, this is an opportunity to have your tender-related questions answered and gain a real insight into how successful bid teams produce winning tenders.


Targeting the right opportunities:

  • Finding suitable tenders
  • Business development strategies and pipelines
  • Implementing a bid/no-bid decision process to evaluate opportunities
  • Focusing your resources on winnable tenders that are aligned with your strategy.

Managing the PQQ or tender process

  • Understanding the PQQ/ITT documents and creating a compliance checklist
  • Avoiding the common pitfalls and overcoming barriers
  • Bid management processes and techniques
  • Creating and updating your company’s bid library

Creating compelling PQQ/Tenders:

  • Defining your win themes
  • Breaking down questions and structuring your responses
  • Tailoring your submission to the client’s requirements
  • Demonstrating your experience and ability to deliver
  • Persuasive writing techniques
  • Use of evidence, graphics and formatting for impact.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop an understanding of public procurement procedures and what public buyers are looking for
  • Apply tools for identifying and evaluating opportunities inline with your company strategy, capabilities and wider market factors
  • Understand ways to overcome typical barriers for SMEs in public sector procurement
  • Implement techniques to manage the PQQ and tender process efficiently and comply with the procurement procedure
  • Develop persuasive writing techniques and improve your presentation skills to create a compelling, compliant and tailored bid submission
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