Public Sector Frameworks: Everything You Need to Know Before You Apply

12th April 2023

Applying for Public Sector Frameworks

Applying for public sector framework contracts can become a complex business, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the process or lack the expertise to execute your tender response effectively.

In this blog, we will guide you through what you need to do in order to prepare your business. We will also cover the importance of contract compliance, pricing accordingly and finally, the benefits and drawbacks of public sector framework agreements.


How to prepare your business to bid for public sector frameworks:

  1. Research the framework landscape: Familiarise yourself with the public sector frameworks that are currently available and the ones that may be coming up. Make sure that your business is eligible to bid for the framework and that it meets the requirements outlined.
  2. Develop a bidding strategy: Analyse the framework requirements and create a comprehensive bidding strategy that outlines how your business can provide the services or products required.
  3. Utilise the right resources: Utilise the resources available through the framework to ensure that you have the right information to make an informed bid.
  4. Create a compliant bid: Ensure your bid is compliant with all relevant regulations and standards, and that it meets the framework’s requirements.
  5. Follow bidding guidelines: Familiarise yourself with the bidding guidelines in the specification and follow them exactly.
  6. Establish relationships: Develop relationships with the relevant public sector bodies and other bidders to increase your chances of success.
  7. Monitor the process: Monitor the process closely to ensure that your bid is progressing as expected and that you have the best chance of being successful.


What resources do I need to bid for a public sector framework contract?

  1. Knowledge of the public sector framework: You will need to understand the terms and conditions of the framework, the requirements of the customer, and the evaluation criteria.
  2. Knowledge of the customer’s needs: You will need to understand the customer’s requirements and how they align with the framework. Most importantly, you must make sure that you can provide the solution to their exact requirements.
  3. Experience in the sector: Understanding the sector the customer operates in and the competition they face will help you to tailor your bid.
  4. A track record of success: Demonstrating previous success in bidding for public sector contracts will strengthen your bid — you will need evidence, usually in the form of relevant case studies!
  5. Access to resources: It is advised that you have access to resources such as legal expertise, financial advice, and project management expertise before choosing to bid.
  6. An understanding of procurement processes: It is important to understand the procurement process and the different stages involved, so you can get a greater understanding of the process from the buyer’s perspective.
  7. A compelling submission: You will need to present a compelling and well-structured submission that meets the customer’s requirements.


Compliance with the Framework:

Below is a checklist you should follow to make sure you can comply with the framework requirements:

  1. Make sure that you are aware of the eligibility requirements for the framework and that your business meets them.
  2. Ensure that your business is properly registered and has all the necessary licenses and permits.
  3. Develop a clear understanding of the bid process and timeline.
  4. Prepare all documents required for the bid, such as business plans, financial statements, and any other supporting documents.
  5. Create a detailed pricing structure and service offering that meets the requirements outlined in the framework.
  6. Identify key contacts and stakeholders within the public sector framework and create a plan to build relationships and secure support.
  7. Identify any risks associated with the framework and develop strategies and processes to mitigate them.
  8. Prepare a detailed response to the framework’s evaluation criteria and ensure that it meets the requirements.
  9. Develop a clear statement of work and contract that outlines the services, deliverables, and payment terms.


Consequences of non-compliance with the framework:

  1. Loss of reputation: Non-compliance with public sector framework contracts can result in damage to the reputation of the company. As a result, government agencies and other public sector entities will be less likely to do business with a company that has failed to comply with the rules stipulated in framework contracts.
  2. Financial penalties: Companies that fail to comply with public sector framework contracts may be subject to financial penalties, including fines, damages, and other punitive measures.
  3. Disqualification from future contracts: Companies that are found to be non-compliant may be disqualified from future public sector framework contracts, thus limiting the company’s ability to do business within the public sector.
  4. Criminal prosecution: In some cases, companies that fail to comply with public sector framework contracts may also face criminal prosecution.


How to price accordingly and competitively for public sector framework contracts:

When pricing for a public sector framework contract, it is important to consider a variety of factors such as the current market rate for similar services, the quality of services offered, the cost of materials if any, the amount of time required to complete the project, and any additional costs associated with the project.

Additionally, research should be done to ensure your pricing is competitive with other suppliers offering the same services. It is also important to consider the cost of compliance with applicable laws and regulations (this varies sector by sector), as well as any additional costs associated with the framework.

Finally, it is important to consider the long-term cost savings that may be achieved by entering into a framework contract.


What are the benefits of securing public sector framework contracts?

  1. Access to a larger pool of customers: Public sector frameworks, such as government-managed contracts, allow businesses to bid on and win contracts from a much larger customer base than the private sector.
  2. More stability and predictability: Public sector frameworks offer more stability and predictability than private sector contracts, as they are often long-term contracts and the terms are fixed and predictable.
  3. Easier to access: Public sector frameworks are also typically easier to access than private sector contracts, as they often require fewer qualifications and certifications.
  4. Faster payment process: Public sector contracts typically have a faster payment process than private sector contracts, as the government is legally bound to pay on time and in full.
  5. Increased visibility: By bidding for public sector frameworks, businesses can increase their visibility to potential customers, as government-managed contracts are often highly publicised and well-known.


What are the drawbacks of public sector framework contracts?

  1. Lack of competition: Public sector framework contracts typically involve a limited number of suppliers, meaning that there can be little competition or incentive to offer the most competitive rates or services.
  2. Lack of innovation: Framework contracts can limit the ability of public sector bodies to access the most innovative solutions or services.
  3. Limited capacity: Public sector framework contracts can limit the capacity of public sector bodies to respond to changing needs or requirements.
  4. Risk of corruption: Public sector framework contracts can often involve complex processes and procedures, leaving them open to abuse and corruption.

Hint: If you want to read more about public and private sector contracts, we have a blog on common misconceptions here!


How we can help!

Tender Writing

Once you’ve found the perfect bid for your business, send it our way. Our Bid Writers can take care of the whole thing for you they’ll even submit it on your behalf. They’ll let you know what they need from you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown.

Tender Ready

Our Tender Ready 4-week programme is perfect for businesses that have never tendered before. A Bid Writer will work with you to ensure you have everything in place to tender successfully. Tender Ready offers your business:

  • A 12-month subscription to one Hudson Discover
  • Access to Global Bid Directors and Senior Bidding Professionals.
  • An Organisation-wide Bid library, including 3 case studies, 5 CVs and policies.
  • Additional flexible benefits. 

Tender Improvement

If you’ve been tendering but aren’t seeing success from your current efforts, our Tender Improvement package can help. Our Bid Team will assess your previous responses and tender documents. They will work with you to improve for future submissions. This package includes a 12-month subscription to a Hudson Discover portal and additional tendering development services. 

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written your tender response and need it double-checked for errors, Tender Mentor can help. A Bid Writer will proofread your work for any inconsistencies, grammar, or spelling mistakes. They will also ensure it’s in line with the specification before you submit it. This is a great way of improving your skills and understanding of how to polish your tender.


Contact us:

Contact us to find out how we can help your business SUCCEED!


Additional support:

Do you only require assistance with PQQs or SQs? We can help!

Submit the relevant information regarding the work you need, and we will provide a quote for the work agreed upon.

We provide support at all levels of the bid writing process, so if you simply need it proofread before you submit it, we can also help with that!


Discover Elite

Upgrading to Discover Elite can optimise your tendering efforts!

Our two new time-saving tools can improve competitor awareness and success rate when bidding for a contract:

The Ultimate Time Save Package (for those on the go!)

  • Five tender breakdowns per month.
  • Annual subscription to two sector-specific portals.
  • Dedicated account manager.

The Become a Pre-Bid Master package

  • All of the above.
  • Seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager (minimum five years experience). Our Global Bid Director will manage the bid strategy.


Our other divisions:


Wanting to impress a buyer? Our creative content agency Vocal is always on hand to help!

Our Vocal team are never afraid to be heard – we’re a loud bunch!

From micro-businesses to large organisations, we provide ways to make your business stand out from the crowd. We can transform your bid into a professionally designed tender document!

Vocal specialises in:



Our online virtual learning environment for Education, Enterprise and Home Learners is currently being used to power our platforms – Tender VLE and Procure VLE (Coming soon).

We believe in learning at your own pace, wherever you are!


Find more helpful tips and advice in our blogs. We cover topics including:

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