Why the National Procurement Policy Statement is Good News for SMEs

7th June 2021

The National Procurement Policy Statement in a nutshell

Last updated: Dec 17, 2021 @ 9:46 am

The National Procurement Policy Statement was recently released to the public, following the Queen’s Speech in May 2021. The policies require contracting authorities to follow processes in accordance with the priorities of public procurement.

Why should suppliers care about the new changes?

It might not be the most thrilling read, but the National Procurement Policy Statement is crucial for suppliers. At first glance, you might think the information is only aimed at contracting authorities. You would be partially correct. However, suppliers need to also understand the procedures that buyers must adhere to. Understanding how buyers operate and what they want to see will help suppliers formulate winning tender responses.

Any business that is already tendering or looking to grow through tendering should read and understand the policy.

Tendering prior to the National Procurement Policy Statement

In the past, many businesses didn’t embark on the tendering process. They believed that they wouldn’t stand a chance against the larger businesses competing. This is a fair assumption and there are many myths surrounding tendering. But this has caused many organisations to miss out on growth opportunities.

While many tenders require a minimum financial threshold, there are also ways for SMEs to get in on the action. For example, framework agreements, DPS opportunities or even seeking smaller contracts are all methods to beginning your tender journey.

Additionally, the UK Government has a target to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs. This means they are actively seeking to award contracts to smaller businesses. This is just one of the main advantages of tendering. There are many other reasons why organisations implement tendering in their new business strategy.

Even before the new National Procurement Policy Statement was released, buyers were encouraged to award contracts to the MEAT. The MEAT stands for the Most Economically Advantageous Tender. To decipher which supplier offered the MEAT, buyers would evaluate more than just their quote alone.

Social value and tendering

In recent years, we have seen social value become more prevalent in tendering. In 2020, the pandemic sparked new evaluation criteria which placed a 10% (or higher) weighting on social value responses.

Simply stating that your organisation complies with mandatory environmental and employment policies would no longer be sufficient. Now, public sector buyers need to look for suppliers who go above and beyond. This ensures the maximum value for money for the taxpayer.

An overview of the National Procurement Policy Statement

Who does it apply to?

All contracting authorities as defined in section 39(3) and (4) of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. This includes:

  • Central government departments
  • Executive agencies
  • Non-departmental public bodies
  • Local authorities
  • NHS bodies and the wider public sector.

What will public sector bodies need to consider?

In their procurement activities, public sector contracting authorities will need to consider the following:

  • Creating new businesses, jobs and skills
  • Tackling climate change and reducing waste
  • Improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience.

This is again another step to ensure that public sector buyers consider more than just pricing in their evaluation process. This helps to level the playing field between large, more established organisations and SMEs competing for contracts.

Has Brexit impacted procurement?

Public sector procurement after Brexit was a point of discussion long before the UK left the EU. After the transition period, the UK now has the opportunity to overhaul how public money is spent. To do this, the previous public procurement regulations have been revisited to create a simpler process.

Lord Agnew, Cabinet Officer Minister, said:

The public sector across the UK, from hospitals and schools to central government, police force and universities spends about £290 billion a year through public procurement.

The huge power of that expenditure must support us in tackling some of the most important issues we face today, from generating economic growth and helping out communities recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, to support the transition to net zero.

With the new statement published today, procurement teams will have to consider those issues as well as making sure they deliver top-quality services that are good value for the taxpayer.”

Need help with responding to a public sector tender?  

Whether you’re brand new to tendering or a seasoned expert, we all need additional support now and then. With new regulations and considerations to make, outsourcing your bids to experts can increase your chances of winning.

How can we help?

Tender Ready

Our Tender Ready programme is perfect for businesses that have never tendered for contracts before. The package includes:

  • A 12-month subscription to one Hudson Discover portal.
  • 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 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 Writing

Once you’ve found the perfect public sector contract 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.

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written your own tender response and need it double-checking 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.

Discover Elite

Discover Elite will ensure you never miss a tendering opportunity, even when you’re busy. There are two packages to choose from.

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 Technology and Healthcare, 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.

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