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The preliminary tender enquiry stage

The tender cycle is inextricably linked to the procurement choice selected, as once procurement has been decided upon, the production of the necessary project documents can begin.

The project documents feed into the tender process and, by default, become the tender documents.

The tender process, irrespective of procurement choice, contains the following activities:

  • Preliminary tender enquiry stage
  • Invitation to tender and tender stage
  • Tender assessment and award

Preliminary tender enquiry stage is led by the client’s professional advisors. During this stage, which can be carried out at any time from RIBA Stage 0 (Strategic definition) to Stage 4 (Technical design), a list of potential contractors is established based on those best suited to the type of project being proposed. Contractors can be identified from past projects, personal recommendations, client choices and/or advertisements.

If there are too many contractors and no consensus can be reached on whom to put on the tender list, a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) exercise can be undertaken.

For PQQ selection, the following project details are conveyed to potential tenderers in the project information schedule:

  • Project name, type and description
  • The employer, the employer’s professional team and lead contact
  • The tendering procedure being used
  • The likely project programme, including anticipated dates for pre-selection interviews, issue of tender documents and tender submission
  • Any specific requirements for contractor’s design input
  • Any BIM requirements
  • The basis and criteria for pre-selection, including weightings or order of importance
  • The basis of contract award (lowest price or price and quality)

PQQ is normally required on all public sector-funded projects where the PQQ is based on PAS 91: 2013 +A1:2017 construction pre-qualification questionnaires.

Constructionline, a service available for a fee in the UK, collects standard pre-qualification data onto a single site to reduce the need to repeatedly complete this information, saving both contractors and clients time and effort.

PQQ questions, suitably given a weighting on appropriate experience, capacity and financial standing, are asked and then evaluated by the client’s professional team. Organisations not selected to go forward to the tendering stage following the PQQ should be informed and feedback offered.

From either the client list or the PQQ exercise, a definitive tender list is established (with a couple of reserves identified). While every project needs to be individually considered, generally three to six organisations should comprise the tender list.

As tender costs are expensive on design and build procured schemes, usually no more than four tenderers should be listed.

Your task

You are advising Kaito on the procurement for his hotel.

Identify three PQQ questions you would ask potential contractors and indicate the weighting you would give to each question and why.

Share your thoughts with other learners by posting comments.

Further information

Further information on Constructionline is available from Constructionline and What is PAS 91?

For PAS 91: 2013 and A1:2017, information is available from Construction pre-qualification standard updated to support government construction strategy.

To get a free copy of PAS visit PAS 91.

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This article is from the free online course:

Procurement Strategies and Tendering

Coventry University