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Invitation to Tender – Tips for Bidders

Invitation to Tender – Tips for Bidders


The guidance below will help you when preparing your bid for submission to South Downs National Park Authority.

The first thing to do is to read through the Invitation to tender (ITT) document and all other documents provided with it, before you start.

Section 1

Have a look at the timetable and note all key dates such as deadline for submission, date for any site visits, etc.  Please ensure that your bid is submitted via the In-tend portal by the due date and time as we do not accept tenders submitted after this deadline.  Please also make a note in your diary if we have specified a date for clarification meetings.  If these are required as part of the evaluation of your bid, we will contact you to arrange a meeting on this date.

You can ask questions during the tender process.  There is a deadline by which all questions must be received.  Questions must be submitted using the In-tend portal’s correspondence option.  All questions asked, together with SDNPA’s answers, will be made available to all bidders who have expressed an interest in the tender, and these will be issued as a clarification via the In-tend portal.

What you must submit

You should ensure that you submit all the required information, as an incomplete submission may be rejected.  In all cases, make sure you include:

  • Completed and signed pricing document (Section 6)
  • Completed Supplier Questionnaire (Section 7)
  • Completed Form of Tender (Section 8)
  • Completed Certificate of Non-Collusion (Section 9)
  • Section 5: Information on your approach to the contract (methodology) and project resourcing information (this information is sometimes missed out by tenderers, but is a key aspect and is required in order to evaluate your bid fully.
  • (If required in Section 5), information on how you will add social Value (economic, social or environmental benefits) to the contract, in addition to the specification. More information on Social Value can be found here.  SDNPA will include Social Value in the evaluation criteria wherever it is felt to be appropriate and proportionate in a contract, and must include it at 10% weighting for any contracts that are above the relevant GPA Threshold

Approach and Resourcing

You may wish to submit your response to Section 5 on approach to the contract (methodology) and project resourcing as a separate document or documents.

  • Approach: have you explained how you will deliver the work and how you will meet the requirements in the specification?
  • Project resourcing: what human resources do you have for deployment on the contract and how will their knowledge and experience benefit the performance of the contract? Will you need to recruit new staff, or sub-contract? What equipment (if required) do you have? How can you demonstrate your ability to deliver the contract to any required deadlines?  What lead times (if any) are required? How can you build resilience into the contract, for example in terms of sickness, equipment breakdowns, etc?

Consider Evaluation Criteria

We publish the criteria by which we evaluate your bids within the ITT (Section 4).  Bear these criteria in mind, including the weighting that is applied to each, when you are writing your submission as it will help you understand what is important to the contract manager.

Don’t assume that the evaluation panel will know anything about you and/or your organisation, even if you have carried out work for the National Park Authority in the past.  The panel can only evaluate on what is contained within your bid, so make sure you have addressed all requirements fully.

Help the evaluation panel

To make it easy for the evaluators to score your bid:

  • Use headings and bullets
  • If the question includes bullet points, adopt these as subheadings
  • Break down the elements of the requirement to provide a structure
  • Keep sentences short and use plain English
  • Minimise jargon and acronyms

General tips

Proof read your submission for spelling and grammatical errors.

Avoid cutting and pasting from other bids – it shows!

Pay attention to detail, show your understanding of the requirement in the setting of the National Park.


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."