We know it can be difficult to navigate the procurement world. Here are the definitions to some of the words, phrases and terms you may come across when responding to a tender opportunity to give you a better understanding of what they mean.

If you’re still unsure about something however, please get in touch with our team of specialists at and we will be able to help you out.

Certification that a business meets a certain standard – for example, ISO 9001 accreditation.

Features your service model offers which go above and beyond the requirements of the contract.

A list of suppliers which have been pre-selected to provide goods or services – also know as a framework.

The Commissioner’s announcement of the successful bidder on a contract.

A formal proposal containing a service model and pricing to deliver goods or services. (We’re experts at these!)

A database of responses and collateral to help with writing tenders.

Our Bid Managers are responsible for managing the full bidding process from start to finish, working closely with you and your team to develop and follow achievable timescales ad ensure the project stays on course and is delivered effectively. They are responsible for the leadership of the project team as well as content generation and quality assurance, ensuring all written content is refined and complaint. The Bid Managers that work no your project will guide you through the process and answer any questions you have along the way from the very first meeting through to the upload and submission of your response.

A process where the Bidding Ltd team review a bid written by your team for strengths and weaknesses.

The selection of Bidding Ltd team members who work on your bid.

Expert support provided by the Bidding Ltd team on a range of bid-related topics, helping your team to write better bids.

Our Bid Writers write and refine high quality compelling responses, conducting thorough and valuable research to couple with knowledge from client meetings to produce enriches, balanced and targeted responses. They work with the wider team to underpin project delivery, supporting on processes and tasks, contributing to seamless progress. Our Bid Writers also design and generate engaging graphics to help illustrate and add value to key parts of your response.

An individual contract between an organisation and a supplier which falls under a framework agreement.

An important part of the bid preparation process, which looks at your ability to deliver a service, identifies your win strategy, and your position against your competitors.

The regulator and inspector for health and social care services in England.

A question asking for further information or detail. All processes will have the option for bidders to ask the commissioner questions directly for further information or detail on the tender, often by a certain deadline and sometimes in a specified format. Sometimes, Commissioners will contact bidders with CQs about their tender response after submission.

Organisations which commission hospital and community NHS services in their local area.

The framework through which healthcare organisations continuously monitor and improve their standard of care.

A tender process, where a Commissioner engages directly with suppliers to explore a service model.

A group of suppliers who come together to bid and provide services.

The legal document confirming the scope and type of services to be offered.

The information provided as part of the bidding process which usually includes the procurement timeline, specification, draft contract and ITT questions.

A message published on OJEU which gives details of the contract being released.

A message published, usually through the portal, but also in the public domain following standstill, which notifies all bidder of the successful supplier.

The supplier who provides services through a contract.

The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) is an online tool that enables organisations to measure their performance against the data security and information governance requirements by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The products or services which the Commissioner expects to receive as a result of a contract with a supplier.

The review of a tender response by the commissioning body against a set of published criteria to select the successful bidder.

The factors by which a tender response will be reviewed to determine the successful bidder.

Usually made following a PIN, the EOI is how a bidder communicates to the commissioning body that they are interested in bidding for the contract.

A template, often an Excel spreadsheet, issued by the Contracting Authority to assess the financial offer for a service by the potential provider.

An arrangement where a Contracting Authority pre-selects suppliers/ providers, via a structured selection stage process, to agreed terms and prices for specific services. Once on the framework, providers can bid for services as they become available. This may require answering further selection questions, depending on the complexity of the service, and allotted service mobilisation times may vary significantly. In some cases, call-off contracts can be awarded directly.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the independent regulatory office in charge of upholding information rights in the interest of the public.

The strategies, infrastructure, and staff/teams that an organisation has in place to safeguard all the data it holds, manages, and processes, including personal information (e.g. patient or service user information) and corporate information (e.g. relating to employees or financial records).

IM&T is the framework of provision for technology, to deliver, manage, and connect IT resources and data in line with the strategy for a modern, integrated healthcare landscape. This may include software, equipment, training, and dedicated staff teams.

A structured, competitive procedure inviting potential providers to submit a service offer which will be assessed against standardised aspects set by a Contracting Authority. An ITT may also refer to the document(s) provided to the competing providers, containing the instructions and resources for a compliant bids.

An independent international body that develops globally recognised standards for standardisation and quality assurance, enabling services and organisations to e certified in dedicated areas, identified through ISO codes, e.g. ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 9001 Quality Management.

A letter issued by the buyer or Contracting Authority to the successful provider, notifying them of the formal acceptance of their offer for the service. This forms a legal agreement between the buyer and the provider.

A document outlining the key terms of a prospective deal between two parties in preparation for or with the intention to enter into a legally biding agreement.

Method statements, sometimes known as quality responses are what commissioners request as part of a tender to allow the bidder an opportunity to demonstrate their proposed approach and solution in the context of the question requirements.

A formal summary of the aims and values of an organisation, often also outlining its culture and purpose.

An assessment approach undertaken by Contacting Authorities, evaluating tenders on the basis of which presents the most cost-effective service. This process considers cost against the economic benefits offered by the tender to determine the best value for money.

An NDA or confidentiality agreement is a legally binding contract, in which the signing party agrees that confidential/ sensitive information shared with them will not be made available to any other party.

The official European Union gazette where all tenders from the public sector valued above specified monetary thresholds (annually set and varied by type of bid and buyer) are posted, refreshed and published every working day.

A single-stage procurement process, covering exclusion grounds, and selection and award criteria, wherein any interested provider can enter and submit a bid.

Where a bidding company is owned by another company (I.e. its ‘parent company’), an assurance is made by that parent company to the Commissioner, to confirm that the bidding provider will be able to meet the requirements of the contract, ensuring accountability for service quality and financial viability.

The Bidding Ltd team’s project kick-off meeting with each client, where we ask targeted questions to better understand your organisation and service model inform the written content. If you think you would benefit from a Pink Team, contact us today.

The web-based platform where the tendering process takes place; the main interface between a prospective provider and the Commissioner. All tender information, clarification questions, and bid submissions are published/ submitted through the portal.

Now called Selection Questionnaires (SQs). A questionnaire issued to gauge experience, capacity, and financial standing of potential providers, often used to assess general suitability of potential providers or shortlist companies according to contract requirements. Providers successful at PQQ will be invited to participate in the ITT stage.

A directory of suppliers pre-assessed and agreed by a Commissioner. These suppliers meet pre-set criteria and will be exclusively invited to tender for a given contract.

A published notice which provides advance warning of a Commissioner’s intention to launch a procurement. A PIN may be issues up to 12 months in advance of procurement, and potential bidders may be requested to make an Expression of Interest.

The act of acquiring goods, works, or services from an external source, often via a competitive tendering process.

This sets out the key stages in the procurement process (e.g. CQ deadline, submission deadline, contract award date, go-live date), as well as the length of time expected for each stage.

A government-owned organisation which provides services for the community, operating using public funds raised through taxes (e.g. the NHS).

An internal process conducted by the Bidding Ltd team to assure quality and consistency on every piece of work through senior review.

A comprehensive review meeting between the Bidding Ltd team and each client, where we discuss comments and suggested amendments to each response. We can also offer a Red Ream of your in-house written bid.

A document used to obtain information about services or potential providers in a structured manner, under the Freedom of Information Act.

A document which sets out the contract requirements and general nature of the service, inviting bidders to submit their proposals. An RFP is generally written more openly than an ITT and requires bidders to submit more detailed proposals, which may not be guided by specific questions.

An open invitation to potential providers, inviting them to submit competitive bids for a service as part of the procurement process. This term is often used interchangeably with ITT.

A method of procurement where the RFT/ITT is only issued to a select number of potential providers through a multi-staged process, with a selection process to shortlist bidders, followed by ITT. Restricted procedure is often used when a large number of bids are anticipated, or when a service has complex requirements.

A Service Level Agreement defines the expected services between a customer and a supplier. SLAs typically outline the metrics to measure the service and the potential penalties and/or mitigations should the service levels not be achieved.

A list of organisations that the commissioner has adjudged to meet the minimum threshold of the tender.

Small and medium-sized enterprises. Typically classed as all human businesses that have fewer than 250 employees. SME can also mean Subject Matter Experts, someone who is an authority or expert in a particular area or topic.

This relates to the added value provided by the bidder to the local community in addition to the contract scope. Social value is normally categorised into the environmental, social, and economic impact and is a requirement from the Social Value Act 2012.

Provides all necessary details around the services required.

A questionnaire issued to gauge experience, capacity, and financial standing of potential providers, often used to assess general suitability of potential providers or shortlist companies according to contract requirements. Providers successful at SQ stage will be invited to participate in the ITT stage.

A short pause of at least 10 calendar days where the contract decision is notified to bidders. During this time, any unsuccessful parties can challenge the decision.

Implying a person outside of one specified company or an organisation with specialism or capacity to support delivery of contract deliverables.

Focusing on developing collaborative relationships with existing and potential suppliers to drive innovation and competitive advantage.

This is the management of the flow of goods and services between different locations and businesses required in the production of a commodity.

A way for organisations to procure goods and services that is beneficial for society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment.

A framework used in our capture planning process to determine the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for a particular bid.

These are the questions asked by the commissioning body that determine your organisation’s capability of delivering the goods and or/ services.

The formal process of inviting businesses to bid for contracts.

A legislative bill that protects the employees when a business changes owner.

Ensuring the optimal use of resources to achieve the desired outcomes. This normally equates to spending less, spending well, and spending wisely.

The core standards that guide the way a specific business operates.

An internal meeting within Bidding Ltd to close the specific project, hand over back to sales, and share and document key information and learning for the wider team.

A Win Strategy is formed following a thorough SWOT analysis and is the plan for how you will win the opportunity. It is not something that is written into the proposal and shared with the commissioner but instead an overall strategy that can be referred back to when writing responses.

A clear and succinct aspect of a client’s service model that provides them with key differentiators over the competitors. A win theme is a ‘golden thread’ and runs throughout the bid.