Scotland Excel


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Scotland Excel's procurement processes follow the Procurement Journeya national tool developed to facilitate best practice and support consistency across the Scottish public sector. A companion tool - the Supplier Journey - is available on the Scottish Government website. 

This page provides an overview of what suppliers can expect during the tendering process for Scotland Excel's collaborative contracts.

Preparing for tender

The procurement process can begin up to a year before the planned start date of the contract depending on the complexity of the contract and whether it is for a new contract or a renewal. A forward plan of our contract opportunities is published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS), with estimates of when the tender might be published.

If not already registered with Public Contracts Scotland, this is the time to sign up. We advise all suppliers to familiarise themselves with how to use the PCS-Tender electronic tendering system to submit their bids. The  Supplier Development Programme holds regular training events and webinars on all aspects of the PCS portal. 

To prepare for tendering, suppliers should also consider documentation they may be asked to submit as part of the tender and ensure it will be available when required. This may include insurance certificates and evidence relating to professional accreditations, quality assurance, health and safety policies, risk management procedures and sustainable practices. 

Tenders will be advertised via PCS as a Prior Information Notice (PIN) and/or a Contract Notice. These notices contain essential information on the scope of each opportunity. Suppliers should register their interest on the site to receive notices and access any subsequent tender documents. Meetings are often held with potential bidders before the tender is issued to discuss contract requirements, market trends, community benefits and sustainability.

Tendering

Scotland Excel generally places contracts using the open procedure where tender documents and supporting information are openly available on the PCS-Tender site. Bidders can ask clarification questions while the tender remains open, and responses are published for the benefit of all bidders on an electronic forum. Tender documents must be completed and returned by the due date.  

Tender documents include questions about the bidding company, its technical capability, and the commercial offer for the goods or services being tendered. The financial status, professional abilities and business probity of the company is assessed first, and all bidders that comply with requirements proceed to evaluation. 

At this stage, responses to questions about technical capability and the commercial offering are scored using the criteria and weightings specified within the tender documentation. Suppliers are ranked according to their score achieved, and one or more of the top scoring suppliers will be selected for contract award.

Award

Following evaluation and determining a recommendation for award, bidders are notified of the outcome of their submission and the tender process enters the standstill period.  This is a short period of at least ten days to allow  all bidders to review the outcome of the evaluation and during which time suppliers can challenge the decision reached.

Once the standstill period has passed, Scotland Excel will conclude the formal award stage and begin contract implementation with successful suppliers.  Unsuccessful bidders can request a debrief meeting which can provide useful feedback for improving future bids.