uk public sector procurement


Are you new to procurement: unsure where to begin? This guide will show you how to successfully win public sector contracts.

We go back to the basics with our ‘Getting started with UK public sector procurement’ guide.


What is public procurement?

When a public sector organisation in the UK purchases any goods, works or services, this action is classed as public procurement.

A public sector contract is often referred to as a ‘tender’ and the procurement process is sometimes known as ‘tendering’.

How do procurement thresholds work?

Public procurement is regulated, which makes it different from the way private companies do business with each other.

Public sector contracts that are over a certain value, or ‘threshold’, must be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). These thresholds change every couple of years; the current OJEU thresholds can be found here.


How to break down a tender document

If you want to get the most out of a public sector contract document, then make sure you read it carefully and more than once.

If you are new to UK public sector procurement, make sure that you pay attention to the evaluation criteria and weightings that will be used to score responses.

This information is important as it gives your business an indication of which elements are most important to the buyer. In turn, this will help you to write a proposal addressing what the buyer wants, not just what you want to deliver.


How to find public sector contracts

Although all high-value opportunities are published and advertised in the OJEU, small businesses can struggle to find lower-value opportunities that are perhaps more relevant to their business as, in most cases, they lack the resources required to search through a variety of contracts portals. This means that smaller businesses often miss opportunities that they could take advantage of.

If you want to find relevant tenders, start by using a tender alert tool like Supply2Gov. Supply2Gov users do not need to search for public sector contract opportunities as they are sent the most up-to-date tenders straight to their inbox with Tender Alerts.

Users simply set up an Email Alert Profile with the relevant information about the product or service they offer and the area they are seeking to do business in; they will then start to receive contract opportunities daily (Monday to Friday).


Get started for free

With our Tender Alerts service, finding opportunities to win public sector contracts couldn’t be easier.

All you need to do is let us know the type of contracts you want to win and we will send these opportunities straight to your inbox as soon as they become available.

New users can get started for free with our ‘Ready to Take Flight’ subscription level by simply choosing the local area that their business wants to win work in.

Try our service now by registering for free.


win UK government tender opportunities

If you have found UK government tender opportunities through Supply2Gov tender alerts and are looking for some top tips on how to win contracts, we have pulled together advice from procurement experts that will help you to achieve your goal.


Always Research

When it comes to tendering, it’s ok to be a teacher’s pet. Try to do some homework about the buyer you want to win work with, as this will help you to gain a clearer understanding of their requirements.

If you want to find out more about the opportunity, do not be afraid to ask questions – start by reaching out to the buyer by telephone. This will help you to find out more information about the organisation before you begin to work on the tender.


Outline the benefit

Many businesses focus on the finer details of their product or service and often forget to highlight the benefits they can offer to the public sector. Make the benefits clear by listing the features of your product or service and give an example of how your business can make the buyer’s life a little easier.


Back up what you have written

It’s all very well stating that your business is the best at what it does; however, that will not be enough to convince the public sector to work with you.

Never assume that buyers will take your word. Give the public sector a real insight into what your business does by giving examples from case studies, statistics about projects you have already completed, accreditation details or awards that your business has been granted.


Take time to write

Never leave bid writing until the last minute. You should always leave plenty of time for writing and submitting the tender. Ideally, you should allow time for someone else to read your bid before submission – there is nothing like fresh eyes to spot any mistakes. If your bid is late, then it will be disqualified, wasting your business’s time and effort.


Win UK government tenders

Not an S2G customer?

If you want to win more UK government tenders, sign up for Supply2Gov tender alerts.  You can register for free today and gain access to tenders in the local area of your choice.


Get started



education - UK Tenders

We have spoken about spending on education in previous blogs, highlighting it as a sector which the UK government has been investing in.

Local authorities in the UK have been spending money on the sector to prepare students for the needs of a digital workplace, and investing in technology to facilitate this.



In February 2018, £1.8 billion of public funding was allocated to individual schools and colleges in Scotland. This investment aims to boost access to education in deprived communities. When this allocation was announced, Scotland’s Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Universities and colleges are one of the cornerstones of Scotland’s education system, supporting people of all ages to fulfill their potential in life… They also have a significant role to play in creating a fairer society, and through our shared agenda to widen access to further and higher education we can help close the attainment gap between our most and least deprived young people.”



It was also announced this year that £100 million is being invested into Welsh education over the next three years.

Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams believes that it is Wales “national mission” to raise standards across the education system. The new programme, which has been titled the “21st-century Schools and Education programme” aims to do this while modernising the country’s education infrastructure.



Last year English schools were given a £2.4 billion funding boost to improve or expand thousands of school buildings. Former Education Secretary Justine Greening noted that the investment would “build a fairer society, with a good school place available for every child.”


UK tenders for education suppliers

With so much investment happening in education in the UK right now and over the next few years, now is a great time to invest in a tender alert solution.

We help suppliers get started for free with our “Ready To Take Flight” subscription. Users can look for and receive tender alerts for the education sector in the local area of their choice without paying a penny.

Get started by registering for free.