26 May Basic Compliance Requirements in Bid
When completing a bid response you will probably find yourselves focusing on the pricing and the quality questions but neither of these matter, or will even be looked at, if you don’t meet the mandatory compliance requirements of the tender.
Compliance to the requirements of the specification as well as the requirements of the Selection Questionnaire are key. Selection Questionnaires can feel like ground hog day, the same compliance based questions over and over again but a wrong answer can be the difference between a pass or a fail, so it is vital you read the questions and answer them correctly, carefully and in full.
We can all be guilty at times of not fully reading the question and assuming we understand what is being asked for. For example, in the past 5 years has your organisation been convicted of any of the below, corruption, fraud, etc. Then there are the SME and Modern slavery questions that you answer in the hope you have got it right. We have put together a series of helpful tips and tricks to make the process slightly easier to ensure compliance.
We suggest making a compliance checklist on your first run through so that you can ensure you meet all the requirements. Using a project management system for this is great but simply using the a word document or excel spreadsheet is just as good. List the requirements set out by the client and the evidence they required, i.e. copies of policies, certificates, accounts and insurance. Then check you can actually be compliant with those requirements.
We recommend following this simple list to make this exercise as effective and useful as possible:
- Keep the list in the same order as they are listed in the document and for those tenders that have a large number of documents make a note of where you found the information in case you need to refer back to it. i.e. Q1.2b
- Make sure you copy the requirement down in full and the action required.
- How you need to demonstrate your compliance, references, certificates, written evidence or a simple self-certification.
This will make going off to check and collate all information much easier.
If you find on doing this that you aren’t compliant, and it is a pass or fail question you then have two options. Submit a clarification to the client if you feel the mandatory requirements aren’t relevant or make sense to see if you can still apply. But if the requirements are confirmed by the client and you have no way of passing – then it is difficult but best to pass this one by and save your resources, time and energy on a bid you can be compliant on and therefore have a good chance of winning.
Once you have completed your responses, it is worth going back through all the compliance requirements to double check against the list above that you have met the requirements in full and have supplied any evidence requested.
Examples of other good checks to make in terms of compliance prior to submission:
- Do you have the capability of meeting the requirements?
- Have you demonstrated your solution meets the requirements?
- Have you priced the work accurately?
- Have you understood what the customer wants and needs?
- Have you provided all the information?
- Are you submitting in the correct format, email, hard copies, digital copies?
- Are all the questions answered in the correct font size and type?
- Have you attached all the appendix documents, your form of tender, pricing, certificate of non-collusion etc.
- Have you had confirmation your submission has been received?
- Internal requirements
- Have you met all the internal legal requirements?
- Have you followed your internal procedure?
- Are all management involved on board?
- Have all departments signed off?
Once you have met all requirements both internal and external, you are ready to submit!