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How To Get Government Construction Contracts in 2023

Bidding on government projects within the construction industry can be a difficult process.

Fortunately, we have years of experience and knowledge in this field, so we are in a unique position to give you the best advice on how to get a government construction contract.

With proper research and understanding of the qualifications and requirements, you can be successful in securing a contract for your company.

That’s why we’ve put together this essential guide to help you better understand the process and create effective government construction bids.

Let’s get into it.

Why should you bid on government construction contracts?

Gaining government construction tenders is a great way to increase your business’s revenue and profitability. With government construction, you can access larger projects with more substantial budgets than what is typically available in the private sector.

The gross spend on public sector procurement across the UK in 2021/22 was a staggering £379 billion.

Through government construction bids, the public sector helps to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the construction industry.

Better yet, businesses can benefit from a compulsory 30-day invoice clearance by a public sector organisation when securing a government construction contract.

How to find construction contracts

Those wondering where to find government contracts to bid on can explore a range of online databases, such as Tenders Direct and Contracts Finder.

These sites are regularly updated with construction tenders from the public sector worth over £12,000, including within the construction industry. The contracts feature detailed information about the project in question to help you decide if it’s worth bidding on.

Additionally, professional industry networks (such as the Chartered Institute of Building) are a great way to stay up-to-date with current construction tenders in your area.

On these platforms, you can also view past tenders to gain a deeper insight into how you can write your bid and the kind of responses you should expect.

How to get construction contracts

Now that you know where to identify government building contracts, it’s time to learn how to get construction contracts within the public sector.

The process of landing government construction tenders can be broken down into five stages:

1) Prior Information Stage (PIN)

Before contracts go live, the public sector will typically inform suppliers about an upcoming contract.

This prior information allows businesses the time to align their practices with the potential bid’s requirements and to ensure the project is in line with their objectives.

2) Selection Stage

Each government construction contract typically comes with certain pre-qualification criteria.

These criteria often comprise a minimum turnover for that sector, social value, past work experience, and ownership of certain qualifications and industry accreditations, such as ISO 14001, ISO 9001, ISO 45001 (formally OHSAS 18001), and PAS 1192.

For these reasons, being compliant with industry regulations and accreditations is essential to gaining government building contracts.

Demonstrating compliance in construction showcases your company’s ability to act responsibly, ethically, and per the law, boosting your chances of landing a valuable tender.

That’s why using a platform like Compliance Chain, is a great way of showcasing your compliance with industry regulations and your business’s capability of succeeding with the potential tender.

3) Invitation to Tender (ITT) Stage

Suppliers that meet the eligibility criteria will be sent an Invitation to Tender (ITT) and will submit a bid for a government construction contract.

The ITT stage of the procurement process requires suppliers to write a detailed and compelling proposal that outlines why their company is the best choice for the project.

A winning bid will include:

  • Information on how you meet the eligibility criteria, with documentation to prove these claims.
  • Details on your ability to deliver the assignment.
  • Completed quality responses to the tender’s questions and criteria.

It is vital to take your time at this stage and ensure that you address every aspect of the tender specification. Be sure that before you bid on government contracts, you have answered the questions the buyer is asking of you, rather than just stating facts about your business’s capabilities.

You should outline how your company can meet the buyer’s requirements with evidence of recent experience, compliance within the industry and relevant case studies. Use this as an opportunity to show the buyer how you have put the customer first in previous projects.

It is also worth considering that high-value contracts (usually >£123,000) are required by law to consider social value, as per the government’s Social Value Model. For this reason, we also recommend placing a large emphasis on the social value you can provide for the project, as this is often the difference between winning a lucrative contract or losing new work.

This means you should outline how you have provided social value in previous contracts and suggest ways in which you could implement social value if you were to land the tender.

Utilising the Compliance Chain platform, suppliers can reinforce their winning bid with evidence of their industry compliance and complete transparency throughout the process.

If there is no selection stage for a bid, then the tender notice acts as the ITT.

4) Evaluation Stage

The public sector will then evaluate each tender submitted by suppliers, assessing the technical and financial elements of each application.

Using the evaluation criteria outlined in the ITT stage, contractors must display competency across various areas such as customer service, the value of money, quality, and sustainability.

The evaluation process can take anywhere from 10 days to several months, depending on the size of the project.

Each application is reviewed and marked based on set criteria, with between 10% and 30% of marks awarded having a key focus on social value, for example.

Other areas that will have marks awarded include, but are not limited to:

  • Proof of industry accreditations
  • Previous experience
  • Evidence of relevant insurance cover
  • Health and safety records
  • Compliance with GDPR

5) Award Stage

After every submission has been reviewed, a bid winner will be selected based on who has obtained the highest score and who fits best with the eligibility criteria.

A Contract Award Notice will be published to inform the winning supplier of the number of responses submitted and the tender requirements.

What else can I do to secure a government tender?

Aside from writing clear, cohesive, and structured bids worthy of winning government construction tenders, what can your business do to improve its chances of success?

We recommend performing due diligence on existing contracts and begin streamlining your business to match frequent tender requirements. 

A great way of doing this is by assigning staff with relevant roles and responsibilities, such as:

  • Bid decision-maker
  • Bid writing manager
  • Proposal team members (to create solutions to problem statements in tenders)
  • Personnel to sign off tenders before submission

It is also worth considering the method of delivery you will choose for your bid. The most common methods are:

  • Construction Management at Risk: Separate suppliers manage the build and design, with a construction manager being hired by the builder to assist in the design phase.
  • Integrated Project Delivery: The project is split between the owner, the construction manager, and the engineer or architect. A contract is signed so that the risks, rewards, and roles are shared between all parties involved.
  • Design-Build: One supplier covers both the design and construction of the project via the same contract.
  • Design-Bid-Build: The buyer manages the design while the designer finalises the project specifications.

As mentioned earlier, having a catalogue of case studies can help showcase your experience working within both the public and private sectors, highlighting the challenges you faced and the inventive ways these issues were overcome.

Testimonials can be another piece of social proof you can use to reinforce your company’s credentials within the construction industry. This can be done by interviewing past customers and collecting reviews from them to showcase their experience with your service.

How to show compliance in construction

Thank you for reading our post on how to get construction contracts within the construction industry.

We may be biased, but we believe that the best way to show compliance in construction is with Compliance Chain.

Using the Compliance Chain platform, suppliers within the construction industry can be transparent with potential buyers and Principal Contractors, showcasing their compliance with industry-related accreditations.

Additionally, buyers can use the platform to find suitable suppliers for their projects and remain on track with the platform’s project management, social value delivery, and supply chain management tools.

Gold members can showcase their compliance with equal opportunity, environmental management, and quality management requirements, in addition to several other accreditations.

Sign up for a Gold membership with Compliance Chain today to improve your chances of securing construction contracts. With an ever-expanding network of buyers and suppliers, Compliance Chain is the perfect platform to start building relationships in the construction industry. Contact us today.

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