Using Case Studies and Examples Within Tenders for the Education Sector

Using Case Studies and Examples Within Tenders for the Education Sector

The Education and Training sector is a competitive industry and providers must therefore show within their tender submission that they consistently delivery high quality training.

Case studies are a vital tool within a tender submission, they show the buyer how you have delivered in the past and provide evidence for statements made on delivery experience. The importance of showing buyers what you HAVE done, as well as what you WILL do must not be overshadowed by delivery plans; case studies and examples are needed. Case studies provide firm evidence of how you have delivered on contract specifications and requirements, and provide buyers with an overview of how you have previously delivered high quality training. To further consolidate the credibility of the case study, contact previous buyers and include client testimonials within the submission. This will provide the buyer with a further in depth understanding of how you delivered and the success of delivery from the procurers point of view.

Case studies are an important method of evidencing how you will deliver high quality training/teaching; but only if they are relevant case studies! It is often too tempting to use every example and every success story and put in the tender submission, saying to the buyer;

‘’look what we can do!!’’

However, using case studies which are not relevant is, well, not relevant! The Education and Training sector is competitive and host to a variety of high quality providers and therefore within the procurement process you should be showing the buyer your highlights and successful deliveries. But only the ones which are related to the current tender and what the buyer is actually asking for.

When writing a bid you should be working inline with the specification which details the buyers requirements, and tailoring your proposed delivery methods and relevant experience to this. Adapting case study content to the requirements of the procurer within the Education and Training sector is essential in order to show how you have previously delivered training/education services which is relevant to the current contract. Focusing on what the buyer needs and how your experience fits in with this can be the difference between a tender which complies and a tender submission that goes above and beyond. Always use a case study example which is of a similar nature and scope to the contract that you’re bidding for.

Use examples which are related to the needs of the buyer. Within these case study examples make it clear for the buyer how you delivered against the requirements of the procurer, team members involved, problems overcome and the end result. Through providing a clear and concise case study example you can show the buyer how you went through the delivery stages and the end result. Within these examples include statistics- if you received a 100% satisfaction rating from learners then let the buyer know! Celebrate the successes of the contract, but do so in a constructive way which is relevant to the contract that you’re bidding for.

If you need any support from our team to secure contracts for yourself, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The importance of ISO Certification in Facilities Management

The importance of ISO Certification in Facilities Management

In no simpler terms, we believe that if you want to be successful in public sector tendering for facilities management contracts you need to have your ISO certifications in place.

It used to be that ISO certifications could actually be what sets your organisation apart from your competitors and could be leveraged suitably as part of your win theme to help you win places on frameworks or contracts in their own right. Nowadays they are more of a pre-requisite to even be successful at the PQQ/SQ stage of the procurement process.

Its important to note that they are not always ‘must haves’ but if you don’t have them in place the additional hoops you have to jump through can be particularly onerous, and ultimately hugely time consuming. The same can be said for SSIP and the health and safety section of a PAS91-esque questionnaire. Even as professional bid writers, having to complete this section in full if you don’t have the necessary certification (SSIP or ISO45001) is not an enjoyable task – and we love writing tenders!

So what are the ISOs that you need to have to be competitive in the FM public sector? Well there is of course the standard ‘big 3’ which cover your Quality, Environmental and Health and Safety arrangements.

These are:

  • ISO9001:2015 for Quality Management (previously ISO9001:2008)
  • ISO14001:2015 for Environmental Management (previously ISO14001:2004) – see also ISO 14005:2019!
  • ISO45001:2018 for Management of Health and Safety (also as previously stated, you can have other SSIP certifications to help in this area)

But there are others that are becoming more and more prevalent and will help set you apart from other contractors that already have the above SHEQ certifications. Examples of these include 22301 for Business Continuity, and 50001 which is for Energy Management.

Leveraging ISO for PQQ and Tender writing...

Back in days of old, you could buy an ISO cert and management system ‘off the shelf’ and these would have serious clout. Now however, we recommend you get a proper, bespoke integrated management system that truly reflects your FM practises and have it certified to the 9001, 14001, and 45001 standards. If you use this system properly, and as it was designed to do, you will end up with a wealth of information relating to performance and business improvements which in turn will have a massively positive impact on your written tender submission.

Use your ISO certified systems to drive improvement, document it, and use it as evidence of your organisations ability to continually improve quality and achieve efficiencies. This is what authorities want to see in your tender returns and your ISO can still be a key part of a successful procurement process.

We can help you leverage your systems and find the devilish detail we know is needed to score highly when writing a facilities management tender. If you are struggling to score highly then please do contact us today so we can help you be more successful.

Are you just making up the numbers?

Are you just making up the numbers?

The construction industry in the public sector has never been more competitive when it comes to PQQs and Tenders for frameworks and contracts. This is just one reason why you need to have proper focus and process in place when it comes to responding to these documentation.

We are often contacted by construction companies throughout the UK who, at a glance, seem to be well set-up to secure contracts with local government and social housing authorities but consistently fall at the last hurdle, and are pipped to the post by local (or national) competitors.

One of the key problems we encounter is that construction companies are competing too much, and applying for too many contracts meaning that they cant give each individual PQQ or ITT the care and attention it needs for you to be successful. One of the worst examples we have had of late was where we were contacted by a local company interested in our retained bid writing services but couldn’t see the value as he submitted circa 100 PQQs and ITTs a year! When we asked him how many of these were successful he conceded that whilst they were largely successful at almost every PQQ stage, they did in fact only ever win 3 or 4 tenders a year.. that’s a success rate of less than 10% at the tender writing stage! We call this a ‘blunderbuss’ or ‘scattergun’ approach to bidding and it is terribly inefficient, no wonder he couldn’t see the value when he was already wasting so much of his own resources, more often than not just making up the numbers at ITT stage as they never really approached each bid uniquely and developing bespoke win themes to reflect the authority’s needs.

The other problem we find is that some clients are barely scraping through the PQQ stage despite giving it as much attention and focus as possible. Its true that each stage is meant to be evaluated in isolation but evaluators naturally will have preconceptions and impressions of organisations based on their PQQ return, and they may subconsciously already have their eyes set on the organisation they think will be best placed to partner with them and deliver the construction project. No one can definitively say but we have previously waxed lyrical in the office about already being on the back foot at ITT stage if you are the ‘last one through the door’ at the PQQ stage, and that you may, in fact really just be in the ITT stage to make up the numbers. Authorities needs to invite a minimum of X people to tender – at least three, and sometimes up to 8 or 10 depending on the instructions and depending on the quality of the other submissions they have received you really may not be best placed to be successful at the ITT stage.

If you are struggling to be successful at the ITT stage for your construction contracts and frameworks, why not contact us to discuss how we can help you not just be more successful, but also more efficient in your bid process. We have worked with organisations to develop significant process improvements and supported with the attainment of ISO and SSIP certifications to streamline PAS91, SQ and PQQ submissions. This helps maximise scores and frees up resource for the all-important ITT stage. We can write a winning ITT submission for you or simply help you identify the win/bid themes you need to leverage to be successful on your own.



There are a multitude of opportunities available for apprenticeship providers, a quick search on Contracts Finder brings up over 23 tenders to deliver apprenticeships. Apprenticeships have become a highly popular alternative to further education courses and as an entrance to careers; and the government are committed to the creation of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. Apprenticeships are an important contributor to the creation of a highly skilled workforce and they provide alternative routes to A Levels and University. In order to deliver apprenticeships, providers must be on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP)- a system designed to moderate the quality of apprenticeships. We have worked with a large number of training providers and supported them in their application to the RoATP and are experienced in providing the correct information to highlight how the provider can delivery high quality apprenticeships. To join the register there are three applications routes:

  • Main Provider
  • Employer Provider
  • Supporting Provider

The guidance for the RoATP clearly states the three different criteria for the routes. (See the website for further information) The application route for main providers is for providers who will directly delivery apprenticeship training for employers who use the apprenticeship service. The employer provider route is suitable for employers that will pay into the apprenticeship levy who will directly deliver training to their own employees, or those of connected companies; and use the apprenticeship service to pay for apprenticeship training. The third route to join the register is to apply as a supporting provider; this is for organisations who will enter into subcontracts with main providers and employer providers to deliver the apprenticeship training.

There are a variety of Dynamic Purchasing systems for apprenticeship training currently live…

Crown Commercial Services are the UKs largest procurement organisation and currently have a Dynamic Purchasing System live for the delivery of apprenticeships. The DPS has a value of £800,000,000 and is open for 48 months, closing on the 29th of April 2023. If this opportunity is of interest to you, get in touch with us today and we can provide you with further information! We are a team of bid writers who can support you with RoATP applications, DPS and tender submissions, and further information and guidance on the education and training sector. 

If you want to find out more about this opportunity, just click here.

South Tyneside Healthcare Opportunity

South Tyneside Healthcare Opportunity

Of the NHS’ £122bn budget, one third is spent on procuring goods and services but this does not mean the remaining budget does not touch procurement at some level. There are hundreds of opportunities at any one time which are funded by the NHS but procured through different authorities. There are 5 main routes to market if you are a company looking to supply the NHS: you can sell directly to trusts or primary care organisations, through NHS Supply Chain, through collaborative purchasing arrangements, through national framework contracts or through government tenders.

For North East-based providers, a fantastic opportunity has been released on the TED portal by South Tyneside Council. They require a supplier to deliver Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care to adults, children and/or young people living in South Tyneside. This opportunity is an example of how the NHS can be involved in so many opportunities. These individuals will be living in their own home with complex health needs and qualify for the NHS Continuing Health Care (CHC), Children’s Continuing Care (CC) and Section 117 (of the Mental Health Act 1983) aftercare.

It is important to assess the tender opportunity closely before making a decision, particularly if you are using a portal you are not familiar with as important details can be missed. The bid/no bid decision should be the first step in your bidding process, based on competitor analysis, relationship with procuring authority, alignment with your own business strategy etc. The following information will also be necessary when making your bid/no bid decision.

The opportunity is divided into seven Lots, depending on the location, type of healthcare needed and the group of people. Each Lot will be marked in the same way with the same weightings as follows:

Mobilisation and implementation — 10 %,

Workforce management — 10%

Service delivery — 20%

Quality standards — 10%

Business continuity — 10%

Collaborative working — 10%

Meeting patient needs (Lot specific) — 20%

Social value — 10%

The total value of the contract is £59,521,000 and the deadline for submissions is the 22nd November 2019. Does this opportunity still seem appropriate for your organisation? If so, please do not hesitate to contact our team of professional bid writers to see how we can support you.

Tri Council London Engineering Inspection Services

Tri Council London Engineering Inspection Services

A contract has been put out for re-tender for another five years by three London councils who continue to need engineering and inspection services for their assets and buildings that they either own or manage. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster City Council are looking to leverage economies of scale by continuing to jointly procure these services. The tender is to be divided into three lots, one for each council, however bidders are invited to submit tenders for providing engineering inspection services for buildings either owned or managed by all three authorities.

It is important to note that when bid writing, companies will have to ensure that they can properly evidence their capability to meet the needs of all three authorities for the duration of the contract. This is in addition to the normal quality weightings that are typically attributed to tenders of this nature. Social Value will doubtless be an important element as well as Quality, Environmental and Health and Safety, but it will be interesting to see how these authorities want to see evidence of capabilities and capacities detailed within the submitted tender returns.

The total contract value is worth approximately £1.5million over five years.

Lot 1 for Westminster City Council – is valued at circa £650,000

Lot 2 for London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham – is valued at circa £400,000

Lot 3 for Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – is valued at circa £450,000

It will not be enough to simply evidence that your company is of a sufficient size to deliver this contract, as independent procurement consultants we believe that evidencing sufficient geographical coverage and proximity may also be an important part of your tender return. There will be an incumbent on this contract already who will be well-placed to retain this contract due to the emphasis they are placing on evidencing ability to cover all three councils.

If you are an organisation who specialises in the provision of engineering inspections of built assets and want to maximise the chances of successfully being awarded this contract for either 1 of these councils, or even all three, we know we will be able to work with you to maximise your chances of contract award. As expert tender and bid managers, we have worked with a range of engineering organisations throughout the UK to help secure key contracts and achieve long-term sustainable growth.

If you want to learn more about this opportunity just click here.

If you’re interested in securing this opportunity for your business, click here and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Focus on Further Education

Focus on Further Education

The Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson recently announced his drive to boost further education training to bring it out of the shadows of higher education. He sees technical and vocational education as playing second fiddle to higher education, an outdated approach which has allowed us as a nation to lag behind other economies in producing a highly skilled future workforce. The government are acting upon this and on the 31st of August 2019 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an additional £400m in funding to go to providers of 16-19 education such as sixth forms and further education colleges, for the academic year 2020-2021.

But what does this mean?

This means that sixth forms and colleges will receive the biggest single annual funding boost since 2010. Higher investment in T-Levels means that the delivery and availability of vocational education courses will be transformed and include a larger variety of subjects, as the sector will have a £25million investment. For suppliers of education and training services there will be in turn an increase in opportunities available to them as the demand for provision grows.

One interesting opportunity is a Dynamic Purchasing System for Strode College in Somerset, for the provision of education and training services. The DPS is live until the 21st of July 2023 and is split into 3 lots;

-Lot 1 is for the delivery of Traineeships and has an estimated value of £10,000,000

-Lot 2 is for the delivery of Adult Skills and has an estimated value of £2,500,000

-Lot 3 is for the delivery of Non-Levy Apprenticeships with an estimated value of £2,500,000

Providers can bid for all lots or select the ones which are most appropriate, all lots can be delivered throughout England- however bids will achieve higher scores where delivery is in the South West LEP area.

If this is an opportunity which could be suitable for your business, then get in contact with us and we can provide you with bid writing support- we have a 94% bidding success rate and a wealth of experience. 

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity just click here.

Commercial Buildings Construction Framework

Commercial Buildings Construction Framework

An interesting opportunity has been published this week by Portsmouth City Council called

“Portsmouth International Port – Commercial Buildings Construction Framework”

In this opportunity Portsmouth have published their intention to build a brand-new cruise terminal at Portsmouth International Port and associated ancillary buildings in Portico. This terminal will be to meet the current and future needs of the port, which is wholly owned by the council.

The council is looking to establish a multi-contractor framework agreement to use as a suitable source for the development of the site, and the agreement will last for an initial 4 years with an option to extend for up to a grand total of 10 years.

This is a design and build framework where contractors will be involved in the initial design process of the new Port, which is proposed to be used exclusively for the cruise market. It will be a steel structure building with piled foundations and multiple floors with a plant room based on a mezzanine. It will include the fit out of specialised terminal equipment such as baggage handling sites, lifts, security etc, and will cover over 20,000square feet and should comfortably cater for 1000 cruise passengers.

Construction bid writers have your pens at the ready, this framework is worth a staggering £50million over the contract term. The initial cruise design and build project is worth between £6-8million, but there are indeed already future plans for once this initial project is complete, and the council recognises the need to be able to quickly adapt and respond to changing customer requirements or business opportunities which would otherwise be lost. This is why the 10-year framework is being implemented. Example future developments may include:

  • Extension of the proposed cruise terminal building,
  • Construction of a refrigerated warehouse at Portico for produce,
  • Border Inspection Post,
  • Port administration offices.

If you are a locally based construction company, you need to make sure you have the necessary bid writing resources at the ready to not only respond to this opportunity to the best of your ability, but also the many potential mini-competitions issued once the framework has been established. If this is an opportunity you simply cannot afford to miss out on, our expert team are always available and at hand to provide you the support you need for successful award.

Deadline looms for Repair and Maintenance SME DPS

Deadline looms for Repair and Maintenance SME DPS

An interesting opportunity was published at the end of September by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. This council is looking to engage with local SMEs for the provision of both planned and reactive works to all of their council buildings including schools. There are a wealth of different workstreams that this DPS is being split into, including some which fall under the Facilities Management banner.

Example workstreams on this DPS include: multi-works, roofs, drains and drainage systems, general build, heating and boiler systems, groundworks, electrical and lighting equipment, windows, CCTV and monitoring systems, intercom and security equipment, landscaping and horticultural.

This DPS will last for four years and each workstream will be further segregated into planned and reactive packages of work that contractors will have to bid for after becoming a pre-qualified contractor. This is not a recurrent procurement which means that this is a new approach by the council to fulfil their repair and maintenance needs.

As this DPS is being set up in this way, all you must do to become awarded as a pre-qualified contractor is showcase your abilities, qualities, and experience when completing the supplier selection questionnaire. This is a fantastic opportunity for smaller organisations to gain a foothold on the public sector marketplace as you will be able to leverage your local insights, responsiveness and social values specific to this London borough potentially much more than larger national contractors.

Full details of this opportunity can be found here:

If you would like to register your interest in this DPS, the time limit for completing the Supplier Selection Questionnaire is only 2 weeks from now, at 2pm on the 28th of this month. Whilst this is not a long time, if you are wanting to bid for this and need some assistance, we are uniquely positioned to be able to help you.

We have a full team of directly employed experienced bid writers at our disposal meaning we can respond to short notice enquiries like this, without any compromise in the quality of the materials we produce for our clients. Our success rate stands at an industry high of 94% meaning you can be confident in our ability to help you gain a place on this new Dynamic Purchasing System.

Finding the perfect Health and Social Care opportunity

Finding the perfect Health and Social Care opportunity

The UK has 1600 major tender portals with hundreds of opportunities being released every day. These are free to access for all individuals or organisations and can lead to significant growth. Undoubtedly, due to the volume of opportunities released, there will be some perfectly-suited opportunities which slip through the net, into the hands of competitors. Before you can establish yourself as an organisation with a successful and efficient way of meeting procurer requirements, you must be able to identify opportunities which will allow you to do this. The question is how can you identify the perfect opportunity when you see it, and how can you make sure you can track these opportunities as they are released?

The majority of tender portals allow you to filter results, as a minimum, based on the release date and the sector. By filtering the results, you will be able to see new tender opportunities released every day. Within contract notices you will be able to see a description of the requirements and this will give a good indication as to whether the opportunity complements your organisation. Identifying a good opportunity if the first step in the bid/no bid decision, although the problem is that you may not have the resources and/or time to monitor releases across the 1600 portals in the UK.

Some tender portals are more user-friendly than others and allow for efficient tracking. TED, for example, uses CPV codes which allow you to filter results by sector, country and type of document (the CPV code for Health and Social Care is 85000000 and this can be further refined to health services, social work and related services, health and social work services and veterinary services). From this you will be able to access all information including contract value, deadline, lot structures etc.

We have an Opportunity Tracking service in which, on a daily basis, we monitor all 1600 portals, identify and assess any relevant opportunities and create an outline of the opportunity for you to see. For support in tracking opportunities, contact our team of expert bid writers. The image below shows how the information can be presented.