Published19th April 2018

PQQ is something you?ll hear most often in the tendering and procurement world.

The term can take many forms including SQ (Selection Questionnaire), Stage 1 Tender and the recently established ESPD (European Single Procurement Document).

PQQ stands for Pre-qualification questionnaire and it does exactly what it says on the tin!

This is typically the first stage of a tender process and helps the buyer filter through organisations that are more suited to deliver upon their requirements and needs, allowing a select few to be invited to tender (ITT) and making it easier to narrow down competent suppliers. It also ensures any previous convictions or misconduct is declared as per procurement regulations.

A lot of people assume that this is the easy part of the tender process. If you have all of your business affairs in order, then you?d be right! Think of it as an application form. It doesn?t necessarily win you the contract, but it?ll get you to the next stage!

The image below represents what?s featured in a typical PQQ ? where you, as the supplier, would complete all relevant fields, including basic company information and registrations etc.


The PQQ is predominantly a ?tick-box? exercise, where you and your organisation state compliance against key legislative requirements in order to do business.

This includes compliance with the likes of:

  • Legal Compliance
  • Financial Standing
  • Insurance Cover
  • Modern Slavery
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Health & Safety Regulations
  • and Environmental Standards etc.

One of the most important aspects to a PQQ is your response regarding technical and professional capabilities. This is where you must list [usually 3] references/contract examples to show the buyer of your capabilities to undergo the required works based on your past experience (see extract below).

ResponseMost questions throughout a PQQ are quite clearly ?pass and fail?. If you don?t commit to providing the correct insurance cover (for example) – you fail and that?s that!

However, the technical and professional capability is one of the few questions that is scored based on the quality of what is provided.

See our ?Importance of Relevant Case Studies? blog to make sure you are ahead of yourself when it comes to contract examples and case studies.

You?ll find PQQ information is quite repetitive and as long as you aren?t breaking the law in any way or have been found guilty of any misconduct, you?ll find you are answering the same information over and over. The more PQQs you complete, the easier they are to submit.

In 2017, the Crown Commercial Service wanted all procurement bodies/suppliers to stop using the typical PQQ and now use an SQ (Selection Questionnaire). This is nothing to worry be concerned about. The bulk of the PQQ questions still remain, with just a few tiny amendments, such as the inclusion of Modern Slavery compliance.

Also, due to the European Public Procurement Reform which kicked off in April 2016, one of the key elements to this was the introduction of the ESPD (European Single Procurement Document).  This is an online electronic form that any supplier can complete, download and submit as part of their bid for a growing number of public procurement agencies, both nationally and internationally.

In a nutshell, a PQQ is a document you complete to show you are both capable of delivery and compliance against specific regulations. Once you?ve passed this point. You?ll then move onto the core part of a tender process ? the Invitation To Tender (ITT).

Need further support with your PQQs? Get in touch now with our Tender Consultants!

Start by receiving those all-important opportunities today by receiving a free demo from one of our 10-industry-specific portals that are dedicated to helping you DISCOVER the right tender opportunities to bid for!

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