What is a contract notice

If your organisation is looking to grow business in the public sector procurement market, understanding what a contract notice is and what it exists to do is a great place to start. A fundamental requirement to ensure healthy competition for contracts is to advertise them – this is done with a contract notice.

Procurement in the public sector is all about being fair and providing goods, works or services that offer the best value for money. Although other factors such as quality and sustainability are becoming increasingly important to effective procurement, giving all suppliers a fair opportunity to win a contract and grow their business is at the heart of how procurement drives the economy. This is where the contract notice comes in.

Contract notices explained

A contract notice is a mandatory requirement in the procurement process, but it is also a hugely important one. In a nutshell, a contract notice is an advertisement which summarises a new contract (or tender) opportunity in the market. Occurring at the very beginning of the procurement process, the contract formally notifies suppliers of a new opportunity so that they can determine whether they want to bid for it.

Publishing a contract notice is a legal requirement, but it is more than that. A contract notice allows buyers to spread the word about their contract as widely as possible, meaning they will receive more offers and obtain better quality and value for money for everyone involved.

What information does the contract notice include?

The contract notice must contain a description of the buyer’s minimum requirements that will provide enough information to allow a supplier to decide if they will bid. It states the object and the scope of the opportunity, as well as the basic tendering conditions such as the submission deadline.

Supply2Gov’s parent company, BiP Solutions, hosts an Ultimate Guide to public sector procurement. This is a rich resource for information on contract notices and the wider procurement process – a must read for organisations of all sizes and valuable regardless of your previous procurement experience.

Where can I find contract notices?

Procurement opportunities above a certain value threshold issued by buyers in the European Union are published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), which is accessible for free online. However, small to medium-sized businesses may not necessarily read the OJEU, given that they are likely to be new to the procurement market and perhaps looking for lower value opportunities to get started in public procurement.

Supply2Gov is a powerful service which draws on BiP Solutions’ database of contract opportunities of all values researched from the whole UK and beyond. Supply2Gov sends tender alerts straight to inboxes every day. These tender alerts are relevant to your business interests, can even be tailored to a geographical area of your choice and save organisations like yours valuable time and resource searching through databases.

Register for free on Supply2Gov

So, your organisation is looking to win a slice of UK procurement business? This is incredible news.

It is no secret that 2019 has been a year of political uncertainty in the UK, and it seems likely this uncertainty will continue for some time to come. Brexit has been looming over UK businesses and clouding the future direction of the UK economy, with some organisations sitting tight for now on their cash reserves instead of making investments to support jobs and growth.

However, for organisations looking to secure their share of the public sector procurement market, in the shadow of Brexit it is essential to remember that the demand for goods, works and services will never disappear. Procurement will always be crucial to UK business, connecting and strengthening the public and private sectors and promoting their mutual interests. New UK tenders across multiple sectors are still being published every day and waiting to be won. Supply2Gov sends the relevant tenders straight to your inbox, saving your organisation precious time and resource costs.

UK tenders – what to know before you start

Below is a list of the potential costs to your business that might be incurred during the procurement process, from finding the perfect tender for your organisation to recruiting staff to complete the work. By understanding these costs before you jump into the world of UK tendering, you will avoid making common but unnecessary mistakes and, by extension, save a good deal of money.

1. Time

Procurement is an extensive process which can take huge amounts of time to actually get proceedings off the ground. The lengthiest part of the tendering process is finding opportunities that are the right fit for your organisation. When scrolling through your Supply2Gov tender alerts, ask yourself – is this tender feasible for my organisation? Will we be able to complete the contract specification, taking into account all of the goods, works and services that are required? Is this an area that our organisation really sees itself thriving in? If the answer is yes, then your next step will be responding to the tender notice, which can be quite a time-consuming commitment. The importance of factoring in the time element should absolutely not be understated – unfortunately, no one can win UK tenders overnight.

2. Resources

The procurement process requires an immense amount of resource. To demonstrate just how much, Supply2Gov has its own team of dedicated researchers whose full-time job is to scour every inch of the internet, searching for tender opportunities all over the globe that we can pass on to our subscriber organisations. With contracts published every single day across all sectors in the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond, it is pretty much beyond the capacity of any one business to search through all of these tenders itself. If you attempt to, and further down the line your organisation does not win the tender opportunity it chooses to pursue, it will feel like a great waste of effort and, most importantly, money.

3. Knowledge

You may have already discovered that procurement can be a complicated process. With changing regulations and different requirements for certain sectors and industries, it can take years to fully understand the process. Searching and bidding for UK tenders can be an overwhelming experience if you have never done it before, and we guarantee at some point you will feel like a fish out of water. That’s why Supply2Gov’s sister company, PASS, offers procurement training and expert consultancy services across both the public and private sectors, so that you have all the guidance and information you need at your fingertips before you start out.

4. Other costs you might not have thought of

All the points we have mentioned so far will cost businesses money. However, there may be further costs to procurement to consider that you may have overlooked. For example, after winning the contract your organisation may have to travel to the location where its performance is based, or you may have to recruit additional staff to fulfil the contract specification. These are potentially hefty costs that could quickly add up. Ensure your organisation is prepared for ‘hidden’ costs like these before you start tendering.

The sheer size of the opportunity

With these potential costs, however, come incredible opportunities for your organisation to grow. Procurement is a hugely lucrative market with numerous potential benefits for your organisation, no matter what its size or procurement experience. Develop your understanding of procurement and UK tenders by exploring the Supply2Gov website and reading more of our blogs in our Resources section. Build Your Knowledge of the OJEU and Procurement Hotspots in 2019 are great next steps to take from here.

In the meantime, don’t forget to register for free to Supply2Gov.


Today marks World Mental Health Day, an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the wide range of mental health illnesses that people suffer from. By opening discussion around mental health and all that it entails, communities around the world can work together to remove negative stigmas that are attached to them and make the day to day lives of people more manageable.

With attitudes surrounding mental health gradually changing, mental health services are becoming an increasingly significant necessity in people’s lives. The future of mental health is evolving for the better, which means there has never been a more crucial time to work in the mental health sector and play your part in making a difference.

Investment into mental health

What exactly are mental health tenders? It is a valid question. Mental health tenders are included within the larger sector of healthcare tender opportunities. The contracts can be published by charities, NHS Foundation Trusts, Mental Health Trusts or privately-owned businesses, so the private sector and public sector tenders in mental health are continually there to win.

NHS England has increased its mental health funding by £1.4 billion in real terms compared to 3 years ago. In people-numbers, this has equated to 120,000 more people getting specialised mental health treatment this year than 3 years ago. 2019 marked the year that the NHS has introduced, and met, the first-ever national waiting times standards for mental health services. This is a milestone to be celebrated and points to an exciting and evolving future for further improvement of services.

Examples of mental health tenders

The range of mental health tenders available are far-reaching, because it affects everyone, everywhere – no person, organisation or industry is immune to it. Some examples of the tenders your organisation could work in are:

  • Children and Young People – provide materials, skill sets and trained professionals to run family support services and community support in schools and universities.
  • Community mental health tenders –helping to support people with mental health issues with accessible training, education and counselling support so that they can remain in employment.
  • Developing digital technology to provide digital solutions to mental health issues. Much discussion has been had around this area, with the NHS and local and central governments looking to improve services with accessible online solutions.

Win mental health tenders

With the NHS and other public sector bodies investing in the UK public’s mental health, there is a range of tender opportunities being released to support this regularly.

Explore tenders with Supply2Gov’s free registration.

Register today

If your organisation is looking to break into the government procurement market for the first time, then we have great news for you – you have come to the right place. Here at Supply2Gov we have a well-established history of helping organisations of all sizes grow their business in public sector procurement, and there are numerous UK government tender opportunities available.

Why work with the government sector?

The government is a hugely desirable client. For one thing, it will always pay its suppliers and the wider supply chain on time – there is a legal requirement for invoices to be paid within 30 days. It constantly requires a huge volume of services to keep it running, and contracts can be immensely valuable. All UK government tenders worth over £10,000 are published in the OJEU and viewable via the Supply2Gov online database.

Save time and resource with tender alerts

Winning government tenders is not as scary as it sounds. The first step is to find the opportunities that are right for your business. Supply2Gov’s tender alert service is a great way to start and refine your search. Receive UK government tender opportunities relevant to what your organisation is looking for straight to your inbox, without wasting valuable time and resources.

If you haven’t already, register for daily tender alerts and follow the steps below.

Do your research

If you have a specific area of government or local authority procurement that you want to grow business in, it is good practice to research which buyers have a history of publishing contracts in the area you are interested in. Find out which suppliers they have previously worked with and the services that these organisations offer. If you’re able to, pick up the phone and speak directly to the buyers and find out more specific details about the contract. Once you have researched thoroughly, ask yourself if the contract is suitable for your organisation’s capability and what you want to achieve.

The government may be looking for a service that can be provided in a variety of ways, and you can guarantee they will analyse all of them. For example, a supplier could propose the same service as your organisation offers but for a lower price. They could propose a different service for the same price, or they could propose an enhanced service for which the buyer would pay more but achieve longer-lasting, quality results. A top tip for small or medium-sized firms is to prove that you have the flexibility and innovation to offer all of these options.

Initial research can prevent you from making costly mistakes further down the line and give you the best chance of nailing the contract bid the first-time round.

Provide evidence

It is no use writing general statements about why your organisation is a great fit for working on a government tender. The UK government procurement market is often described as ‘lucrative’ – a great deal of money is involved which can be game-changing for a small business – which means contracts are highly competitive to win. You will need to provide examples of case studies, statistics on projects you have already completed, accreditation details or awards that your business has been granted, off the back of your hard work to prove that your business really stands out from the crowd.

Don’t rush your bid writing

How you write your bid can make or break your chances of winning the contract. Your bid states how you propose to provide the goods, works or services the buyer requires. It is often a lengthy document – persuasive, informative, detailed. Therefore, it is vital that you take the appropriate time you need to write the bid and include all the information that must be in it. Multiple people will need to proofread it to spot mistakes. If your bid is submitted late then it will be automatically disqualified, wasting time and effort. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Win UK government tenders

Not a Supply2Gov 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.

Register now