Construction Procurement

The bidding landscape has changed significantly over the last decade for the construction industry. What was once only really ever led by price has now been replaced by a more legislatively driven, structure approach to bidding for public sector contracts. It is not enough to simply be able to put in the lowest price anymore and ‘buy’ contracts – in fact if you put in a price which is considered to be abnormally low, you could be disqualified from the tender process

EU Public Procurement legislation has transformed the market and has helped level the playing field in the industry, which can largely be split into two separate disciplines: new builds and repair and maintenance/refurbishment contracts.

National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline

The UK published very ambitious plans last year, detailing their intention for public spend in the construction and infrastructure, helping to drive the economy and our country forward in uncertain times. The government has published plans for over half a trillion pounds worth of spend over the next ten years.

Over £200million is projected to be spent on national infrastructure, including the largest improvement projects to our nation’s highways ever. £100 million is projected to be spent on Electricity Generation over the next decade, and another £111million is planned to be spent on social infrastructure. This doesn’t include the stark amount of new build private housing, which now largely follows the same procurement processes as the public sector.


This publicly available specification, most recently amended in 2017, was developed by the British Standards Institute (BSI) initially in 2013 to reduce unnecessary duplication and create a bench line standard for construction procurement applications. PAS91 has been widely adopted by majority public sector buyers, as well as trade associations such as SSIP members like Constructionline.

This specification helps create a uniform and consistent requirement of what is required from suppliers at the qualification stage. We always recommend to our clients to consult this specification and use it as a benchmark for procurement preparedness in the industry. We even have experience of working with contractors to create ‘model’ PAS91 responses to help maximise efficiency in responding to construction tenders, whilst scoring as highly as possible.

Evidence based tendering and Social Value

Two key themes we know are of the utmost importance when construction tender writing is being able to evidence your experience and skillset, and deliver tangible benefits to the communities in which you are working. Relevant case studies should be developed which signal your suitability as a contractor – if you are tendering to build a skyscraper, its no use writing a case study about a scout hut. Social Value is also significant and is required by law to be delivered for all projects which involve the spend of public sector moneys. A good place to start preparing yourself in this area is to consult the National TOMS Framework, a new tool designed around 5 principal social value issues, 18 Outcomes and 35 Measures.

At Bid and Research Development we know what needs to be written in a construction tender to be successful, and we have worked with a huge range of contractors securing public and private sector contracts throughout the UK. We can work with you to source and secure contracts which will significantly drive sustainable growth.