Welcome to the course!

Before we begin, let’s talk about what a tender actually is. Basically, every public sector organisation in the UK (and some commercial organisations) uses tendering as a way of finding suppliers for goods and services they want to place a contract to buy. They decide on the specification, advertise the opportunity and invite bids from suppliers to be submitted. This competitive tendering ensures that the buying organisation (referred to throughout the course as a contracting authority) gets the best deal for them by accessing the whole market and making suppliers ‘compete’ with each other for the contract.

Tenders provide a great opportunity for businesses to gain additional work but completing a bid can be a mystery if you’ve never completed one before. Bid writing is a skill in great demand across all industries and types of organisation – from large multinationals to local charities. Being able to find opportunities, complete the documents to the highest standards and submit them by the deadline can be quite a challenge.

We aim to demystify the process by outlining the different stages of a tender process, from initial enquiry and qualification through to completing quality and price documents and final submission. Sample documents are available to download throughout and will give you a steer if you get stuck with your own bids.

The words ‘tender’ and ‘bid’ can be interchangeable, although throughout the course we mean tender as the document(s) produced by the contracting authority or buyer, and the bid is completed by the potential supplier – i.e. you.

So, where do you find these opportunities? Click on the next lesson to find out!

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