WHAT ARE CPV CODES? THE PAINS AND PITFALLS OF PROCUREMENT

22nd March 2018

What are CPV Codes? The Pains of Procurement

Last updated: Feb 16, 2022 @ 5:24 pm

CPV Codes – the abbreviation most people assume is Complex, Problematic, Valueless.

In actual fact, the term stands for Common Procurement Vocabulary – although the prior may still apply.

 What are they?

CPV codes are used to categorise tenders into a ‘subject matter’ – allowing for buyers to classify a criterion of what they want to procure and helping suppliers source these business opportunities more efficiently and effectively.

Or so we had hoped.

CPV Codes are 8-digit signifiers, followed by a classification number (e.g. 12345678-1). This is to electronically source tender/business opportunities and publish them in front of the eyes of the right businesses that offer the required service.

Basically – when a Council needs to tender for a Security contract (for example) over 5 years costing approximately £700,000 per annum, they have to post this on OJEU (due to the high-value amount), publicise this to both UK and European companies (due to the value) and list the code in order for it to be recognised by relevant Security Companies nationally and internationally. In this case, the code is 79710000-4.

This opportunity is then broadcast on various websites across the country specifically appealing to those companies who are registered on various platforms to receive opportunities with the code 79710000-4. Following so far?

What’s next?

Now, the initial concept of CPV codes was destined to be the answer to buyers and supplier’s prayers nationally, as procurement moved closer toward the digital age over a decade ago. However, somewhere along the line, things got a tad confusing and more complex, somewhat complicating the tendering process.

Because UK procurement is so vast and wide, there is literally a CPV code for every service and product you can think of that is mainstreamed in the UK/EU and it’s apparent that a lot of buyers are either not aware of this, are using codes incorrectly or not using them at all.

Want to find out about CPV codes and love a little light reading? Feel free to read this 375-page document – it tells you every code from the supply of Petroleum jelly (09221100-5) to the supply of Beetroot (03221111-7).

In 2016, there was a large piece of research carried out by the European Commission which stated that out of the sampled 405 contract notices tested, 23% had the wrong code associated with the scope of work tendered. That is nearly a quarter of notices not being sourced and published in the correct way through using these codes, making it HARDER for buyers to get their opportunities in front of the right businesses. Now imagine if they had tested 1000 contract notices – how many of these would have been seen by a minority and not the majority.

A recent example of this (from Feb 2018 – below) shows a DPS for the Provision of One-to-One Tutors.

CPV Codes
CPV Codes

Please also see ‘DPS – What is a Dynamic Purchasing System?’ for more information on this type of opportunity.

The buyer AND online portal in question have used the following code – 80000000-4 Education & Training Services, and probably unbeknownst to the buyer, there is a more specific code available for use – Tutorial Services 80590000-6. This is a prime example of how opportunities aren’t filtered across sub-sectors and are typically kept general and as a supplier (for let’s say ‘Business Enterprise Training’, who don’t offer 1-2-1 tutorials to children) you are either inundated with irrelevant opportunities or depending on what codes are used and which portals you are registered with (as not websites use CPV coding) – receiving no opportunities at all.

Now, what if the buyer had only used the code Tutorial Services 80590000-6 and the supplier wasn’t receiving notifications due to them clicking an incorrect code upon sign-up or if the portal doesn’t use the CPV code option all at.

WE HOPE YOU’RE STILL WITH US!

It’s worthy to note that a contract for the ‘COLLECTION OF KEY QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE INFORMATION ON THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S MERGER DECISIONS’ was never awarded due to the code for ‘market research’ being used, when in fact, something more appropriate like the code for ‘economic research’ or ‘research services’ could have been used.

 This is where Hudson Discover steps in.

We NEVER rely on CPV codes and through using procurement specialists, we filter through all opportunities in the Creative Sector across hundreds of notification platforms daily to ensure our customers receive the bespoke opportunities that apply to THEM!

The majority of national portals have electronic algorithms that scour and publish opportunities based on CPV codes alone, meaning that a quarter of these are not being publicised as effectively as they can be.

Please see our ‘Why use Hudson Procurement Group?’ blog for how this works in full.

If you require further information on tender codes or how we can help you write a winning bid please contact one of our Bid Writing Consultants. Our Bid Writers can help you tender for contracts today.

Need assistance when writing your next bids and tenders?

Now you’re a bit more familiar with what’s required, you may be looking for some writing support. Writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit and that’s ok. Outsourcing a bid you’ve found to bid writing specialists can help you secure that next contract.

Here at Hudson Succeed, we pride ourselves on being bid writing experts. We hold an 87% success rate and have over 60 years of collective bid writing experience. We offer four levels of bid writing support to suit every business need. You may not need the whole bid written for you; you may simply need it proofread before you submit. We can help with that. Our services include:

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 own 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. This is a great way of improving your skills and understanding of how to polish your tender.

Discover Elite

Upgrading to Discover Elite can help optimise your tendering efforts – even when you’re busy. Our two new time-saving tools can improve your competitor awareness and success rate when bidding for a contract.

The Ultimate Time Saver package offers your business:

  • A maximum of five tender breakdowns per month.
  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Hudson Discover sector-specific portals. This option can help businesses that overlap two industries such as Healthcare and Technology, for example.
  • Pre-market and award engagement notices monitored on your behalf.
  • Buyer portal management, including registration, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid or no-bid strategy.
  • Weekly phone calls with your dedicated Account Manager to discuss viable tendering opportunities.

The Become a Pre-Bid Master package also includes:

  • All of the above.
  • Up to seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.

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

 

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