What is Selective Tendering?

16th February 2022

Types of procurement… let’s look at selective tendering!  

Have you come across the term ‘selective tendering’ when bidding for contracts, but are unsure what it actually means? Luckily for you, our Bid Writing Consultants are on hand to help!

In this blog, we’ll help you get to the bottom of selective tendering. You’ll be ready to tender for contracts for your business in no time. Keep reading to find out more!

What is selective tendering?

So, let’s dive right in – what is selective tendering?

Selective tendering is sometimes referred to as restricted tendering.

With this tendering procedure, only suppliers that have been invited by the buyer can tender for the contract. Typically, buyers will select suppliers that are known for being suitable for a contract. For example, the buyer will ensure that the chosen suppliers have experience with contracts of the same size and complexity.

Once the buyer has determined a list of suppliers, the selective tendering process can begin. The buyer will start the process by asking the suppliers if they’d be interested in tendering for the work. Depending on the response they receive at this stage, the buyer will then invite a number of suppliers to tender. The exact number will differ from contract to contract, but this is generally no more than six.

The chosen suppliers are then asked to submit a tender response, outlining their suitability for the contract.

Why do buyers choose selective tendering?

There are several reasons why a buyer might use selective tendering to find a supplier for their contract.

Most buyers choose this method of procurement if the contract at hand requires specialist or complex services. Especially if there are limited suppliers that are able to deliver the work. Instead of searching through unsuitable suppliers, the buyer can quickly identify prospective companies that are capable of completing the project.

Are there any downsides?

Selective tendering can offer many advantages to buyers and suppliers alike, but are there any downsides to this procurement method?

In some cases, selective tendering can exclude or discourage smaller suppliers from tendering for work. This is because buyers are likely to choose suppliers that have a track record of success or relevant case studies.

It could also reduce the potential for innovation, as suppliers are unable to present new ideas to the buyer.

What are the other types of tendering?

Now you know about selective tendering. Are there other types of tendering procedures out there?

  • Open tendering

Open tendering is arguably one of the most common types of tendering procedures. Unlike selective tendering, all suppliers are invited to submit a tender to try and secure the contract.

This method usually begins with an invitation to tender (ITT) notice being published on a tendering portal. In some cases, the buyer might ask for suppliers to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire (PPQ) or selection questionnaire (SQ) first.

  • Negotiated tendering

With negotiated tendering, the buyer might approach a single supplier about a tender. This is usually based on a previous relationship or the supplier’s track record.

Like with selective tendering, buyers might choose this method of procurement if their contract involved specialist works or services.

  • Framework agreements

When a buyer establishes a framework agreement, they usually invite suppliers to join the framework over a period of time. This can range from months to several years, and can be extended to meet the demands of the project.

This method of procurement is generally used when the suppliers are required on a continuous basis.

In summary

So, now you know all about selective tendering and what it can mean for your business. Remember, with selective tendering, the buyer chooses and invites a number of suppliers to tender for the contract.

This method can be used for many reasons. However, it is generally used when there are limited suppliers available or when the project involves specialist works or services.

While there are many benefits on offer, selective tendering might appear exclusive to certain suppliers, especially SMEs. This is because they might not have the same track record as larger suppliers or relevant case studies to offer.

Finally, it’s important to know and understand the different procurement methods out there. After all, when you’re tendering for work, you’re likely to encounter more than just selective tendering!

When trying to secure contracts for your business, you could come across open tendering, negotiated tendering, framework agreements and more. Each method comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Buyers will use different methods to suit their needs, the needs of the project, and the suppliers available to them.

How Hudson Succeed can help

Still have questions about selective tendering? Why not consider our bid management consultancy services? We’re always happy to help!

We have over 60 years of bid writing experience and an 87% success rate. Whether you’re completely new to tendering or aren’t seeing results – we can help. There are four bid writing packages available:

Once you’ve found a tender you’d like to go for, send it over to us. One of our Bid Writers will write the tender response for you. We’ll provide a full Tender Writing breakdown and even submit it on your behalf.

Tender Mentor can give your tender response a once over before you submit. Our Bid Writing Team will analyse your response, notifying you of any errors and opportunities for improvements prior to submission.

During the Tender Ready service, our team will create professional policies, procedures, and case studies in your company branding. If you already have this content, we will review everything carefully to ensure that nothing is missed. This service also helps businesses who are new to tendering with terminology and industry knowledge.

The Tender Improvement package can help those who have tendered before but aren’t seeing results. Our Bid Writers will assess your previous responses and work with you to develop improved content.

Get in touch to find out how we can help your business grow.

Need help searching for tenders?

Now you know about the different tendering procedures, it’s time to find a contract opportunity for your company.

You may be wondering where you can find a tender for your business. There’s no shortage of websites offering multi-sector tendering opportunities and leads.

Ideally, you should be searching for a sector-specific site that posts all unique, public and private sector opportunities.

Our sister company, Hudson Discover, has 11 sector-specific tendering portals.  One centralised and easy-to-navigate portal can help you save time, streamlining the process.

Once signed up, you’ll have access to your own dedicated Account Manager. They’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about public sector contracts. You’ll also get an email alert when new and relevant tenders are uploaded to your sector.

A subscription to one of our industry-specific portals will include:

  • Unlimited portal access. You can browse your industry’s portal to your heart’s content. See the hundreds of opportunities that are available, intuitively categorised and easily accessible.
  • A daily email bulletin. When you sign up to a portal, you’ll receive an email alert when new tenders are uploaded.
  • A dedicated Account Manager. They’ll handle any questions or queries you may have about the portal.
  • A free 20-minutes phone consultation with a Bid Writer. Our expert bid consultants will chat with you about anything tender related.

What opportunities can I expect from a tender search on a Hudson Discover portal?

We host all kinds of tenders in both the public and private sectors. These are inclusive of, but aren’t limited to:


Our support doesn’t end there! Our creative content agency, Vocal, are on hand to help.

The Vocal Team are not afraid to stand up and be heard. And we make sure our clients aren’t either! From small, micro businesses to large organisations, we are vocal about the things that make your business unique.

Our creative service is dedicated to growing your business through striking and thought-provoking content. We’ll take your bid and give it a complete makeover. With professionally designed tender documents, you’re sure to make an impression on the buyer!

Our team specialise in six areas, including:

If you’d like to know more about what we can do for your business, introduce yourself to the team!

Contact us to find out more!

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

Share This Insight

A Bid Writer


Similar Insights

Tendering Process for Technology Contracts
Latest Insights 29th June 2023

Tendering Process for Technology Contracts

Tendering Process for Technology Contracts  Winning technology contracts relies on a combination of experience in…

Read More
Win Tenders in the Hospitality Sector: Laundry, Catering and more!
Latest Insights 12th June 2023

Win Tenders in the Hospitality Sector: Laundry, Catering and more!

Win Tenders in the Hospitality Sector: Laundry, Catering and more! Winning hospitality tenders relies on…

Read More
Tender VLE: Our Virtual Bid Learning Environment
Latest Insights 5th June 2023

Tender VLE: Our Virtual Bid Learning Environment

Tender VLE It’s simple — to win contracts, you must have the necessary skills of…

Read More
How to Win Healthcare Tenders: Our 10 Top Tips!
Latest Insights 23rd May 2023

How to Win Healthcare Tenders: Our 10 Top Tips!

How to Win Healthcare Tenders: Our 10 Top Tips! Winning healthcare tenders is a skill…

Read More
How to Become a Tender Expert
Latest Insights 10th May 2023

How to Become a Tender Expert

How to Become a Tender Expert Becoming a tender expert is a surefire way to…

Read More
Top 10 Tendering Secrets
Latest Insights 3rd May 2023

Top 10 Tendering Secrets

Top 10 Tendering Secrets It is no secret that the tendering process can be complex…

Read More

Let’s get started.

Call for a FREE consultation with our Tender Writing Consultants or simply send us an email and a team member will contact you.

Request a Callback