The tender

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The tender stage of a path project is the process of selecting and appointing a suitable contractor (or principal contractor when more than one contractor involved).  This stage is generally named as 'tender' rather than 'tender process'.

The selection and appointment of suitable contractor will make sure you receive best value for your money.  If you work for, or with, a local or national park authority, they will have procurement policy and procedures for when competitive tendering is needed and, how the tender selection and award of contract is carried out.  You may find that your funders, who are going to fund your project, also have procurement conditions so best if you check this out first with them.  If you are not working to formal guidelines, the following criteria below will help you to decide on the appropriate method to obtain contractors services, based on the value of the project.  You will usually find that competition is the best means of securing a good price, but also take into account the reputation and skills, knowledge, and experience, and organisational capability of the tendering contractors.

  • Low cost projects (e.g. £1,000 - £5,000) can be implemented by acquiring a single tender from one contractor. This informal tender can be based on a outline specification and bill of quantities

  • Medium cost projects (e.g. £5,000 to £25,000) can be undertaken by invitations to tender with a more formal tender, and a fairly comprehensive tender document.  As the client, you could select the contractors that you wish to invite to tender, but you should aim for a minimum of three tenders to be returned in order to assess cost: quality: capacity

  • Large cost projects (e.g. greater than £25,000) can be carried out using a formal tender based on an open tendering approach of two stages.  Open tenders are usually advertised through procurement advertising websites (such as Public Contracts Scotland) to attract suitable contractors.  Contractors, who express their interest to tender, are sent a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) to complete and return by a set date and time.  The PQQ asks contractors to give specific information about their business activities e.g. finances, health and safety, management, etc.  Each returned contractors' PQQ are assessed, scored, and maybe shortlisted.  The shortlisted contractors are then sent invitation to tender and comprehensive tender document to provide a tender. Returned tenders are assessed, evaluated and scored against selection criteria set out in the tender document.

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