How to win government tenders


How do I win government tenders?

Navigating the tender process can seem daunting. With a host of new procurement portals, tender terminology, and supplier requirements to comprehend, starting a new bid for business could seem like a trickier task than first envisioned.

However, now is the best time to act. Securing a framework award with a Government body can lead to an array of contract and tender business in the future.

Businesses of all sizes across the country are securing government contracts by joining frameworks and refining their bidding skills. Want to know how you can join them? Helpfully our team at GovData have a wealth of experience and knowledge in helping businesses find and win Government and Public Sector contracts so we picked their brains to show you how to really win Government Tenders.

How does the tender process work?

In procurement, a tender is typically the formal offer to supply goods, services, employment or works to a third party. However, the word ‘tender’ can refer to the whole procurement process in the Public Sector and is often mistaken for the relatively new way in which public procurement works across the UK, which is namely through Frameworks and Tenders.

Whilst the tendering process can be long and daunting, it is designed to be straightforward and easy to complete. The difficulty for many small businesses is the lack of knowledge in what makes a good tender and identifying where you can optimise the bid for the maximum marks in each criteria.

Before you begin the tendering process, you may require acceptance onto a framework agreement first. A framework is an agreement that is used to cover the supply of goods and services. They don’t guarantee work for the supplier but instead allow your business to be awarded with work.

You can find frameworks through the Crown Commercial Service portal as well as a number of other Government procurement bodies. Once you are approved on a framework, you will be able to access a wide range of tendering opportunities available.

The stages of the tendering process are as follows:

Advertising of Requirement
The tender opportunity is advertised through a number of platforms and channels, and will usually include:

  • Contract Finder (
  • Trade publications, magazines and newspapers
  • Social media channels

Pre-qualifying Questionnaire
The PQQ allows your business to provide additional information that can assist the procuring body. The PQQ assesses experience in delivering similar projects, capacity to take on and deliver work, and capability of your business’ operations.

Once all tenders are received you may be approached to clarify elements of your tender by the purchasing party. This may be due to inconsistencies with your tender, such as minor errors or terms and conditions.

Evaluation of Pre-qualifying Questionnaire
During the evaluation stages, the procuring party will assess the administrative compliance, economic viability, and technical expertise of the tender submitted. Suppliers who pass this evaluation stage are shortlisted and their full tender is evaluated. All decisions, shortlisted or not, are communicated to suppliers.
Invitation to Tender (ITT)
Depending on the terms of the tender, those who have been shortlisted will have their entire proposed bid assessed and are invited to tender. The ITT then assesses the requirements that were previously stated in the specification of the tender.

In an invitation to tender, buyers will need to supply information that meets the following requirements:

  • Scope of works, including timescales, technical aspects, supply chains and expectations for both parties.
  • Tendering instructions, to provide guidance on how to submit the tender.
  • The buyer’s criteria, which lays out their expectations. The supplier should be able to match this criteria with their own deliverables and identify where they can add value. This will also include how they will score your tender against the criteria.

Evaluation of Tender
The remaining tenders are evaluated by a panel on behalf of the procuring party.
Award of Contract
At the end of the process, a decision is made to award the contract to a supplying party. All suppliers that submitted a proposed tender will be informed of the final decisions via the e-Tendering Portal.
How to win tenders - tender process explained

Where do I start?

GovData are leaders in Government business and provide specialist expertise, ensuring businesses take advantage of the huge opportunities available. Our team of framework and bid writing experts specialise in securing our clients’ a place on frameworks across a number of pillars.

You can find public contracts using the Government’s Contract Finder tool. The tool will allow businesses to find contracts over the value of £10,000, with filtering options to look for work suitable for different business types and sizes.

Our team has huge expertise in the Government and Public Sector, and have helped hundreds of British businesses achieve success in securing framework awards and winning tenders both competitive and direct award. Our best-practice approach helps to reduce risk of a failed tender through the fulfilment of governance and compliance.

Writing a winning submission

Starting the bidding process can seem like a mammoth, daunting task. Businesses who win bids aren’t always the cheapest or those who can provide every service under the sun; the businesses who win bids are the ones who have carefully planned and prepared their bidding process.

When you are writing your submission for a Government tender the phrase “show, don’t tell” comes to mind. You will need to demonstrate clearly how your business can add value to the buying party’s requirements.

You can easily demonstrate where you can add value through existing client testimonials and case studies. When referring to your existing clients, show the evaluation panel where you added value to their own operations.

Around 80% of self-submitted tender submissions fail.

That’s not because they were unsuitable for the contract, but because key elements of the submission process haven’t been optimised.

GovData can help. Our expert team work closely with your business to unlock your full potential. 

Pricing for tenders

We know how vital it is to get your pricing right when it comes to tenders. As the bidding process is so competitive, price can be one of the most significant factors a procuring party will consider that can determine the success or failure of a bid. But rest assured that price is not the only consideration, in fact most frameworks and tenders will be assessed using a “Most Economically Advantageous Tender” approach. This places a huge emphasis on the price/ quality ratio meaning that bids will be assessed on a much more diverse range of criteria, according to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 – it’s critical then that you and your team understand the scoring and weighting set out in each framework and contract and your responses are built accordingly.

At GovData, we work with you to advise on a balanced, economically advantageous approach to help you maximise your chances of success.

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Where do I find help?

Getting onto a framework or writing a winning submission can seem like an overwhelming task, but with assistance from an experienced bid writing team, you can unlock a new level of growth for your business, we’re here to help you win Government tenders.

Our team of expert bid writers have over 20 years of experience in the Public Sector procurement industry. We can assist you with the entire Government tender process, from getting onto a framework, selecting the right opportunities and writing a winning bid submission.

Get in touch today to find out how we bridge the gap between the Public and Private Sector, helping you win Government tenders, granting you access to new opportunities to accelerate your growth.

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GovData are neutral facilitators that remove the barriers between SMEs and the central Government. We have extensive experience in helping organisations access and win Public Sector opportunities. We’re passionate about levelling up the SME agenda and helping businesses to grow. If we can help you achieve any of your Public Sector goals, then please get in touch; we’d love to help.