Tender process overview

Tendering thresholds

The Council’s Contract Standing Orders (part of the Council’s Constitution) set out the Council’s tendering procedures and thresholds which are in compliance with UK legislation procurement legislation.

Total contract value Procedure
£0 to £1,000 We will obtain one written quotation
£1,001 to £177,000 We seek value for money by inviting at least three written quotations
£177,000 to UK Threshold A formal competitive tender process will be carried out
Over UK threshold A procurement procedure will be carried out in line with UK Public Contract Regulations. The opportunity will be advertised on UK Government Portals as required, our website and other trade journals if appropriate.

Total contract value is calculated on the total spend over the life of the contract. For example, a service contracted for a period of four years, costing £40,000 a year, has a total contract value of £160,000.

Tendering process

Anyone can register an interest in a tendering opportunity. You can find instructions in the tender advertisement.

On registering your interest, there are two main procurement routes most commonly used.

Restricted Procedure (two stage process)

All suppliers who have expressed an interest will receive a Selection Questionnaire (SQ) to complete and return.

All SQs submitted on time will be assessed against certain qualifying criteria. This includes experience, financial suitability, insurances required and other required minimum standards. The successful suppliers at this stage will be invited to submit an Invitation to Tender for evaluation.

Open Procedure (single stage process)

We may choose to run a tender through the Open Procedure. All suppliers who have expressed an interest are given the opportunity to complete the Invitation to Tender. There is no down-selection process.

For both procedures you must complete and return your tender by the given date and time. We will not accept or read tenders submitted after the deadline.

The tender documents will contain all evaluation criteria, scoring method, scores available for each question and any weightings.

We will notify all unsuccessful tender applicants in writing and provide feedback on why your tender was unsuccessful.

Insurance and Business Risk Score

During the tender process, contractors and nominated sub-contractors must provide evidence of appropriate insurance. As a guide, our standard insurance levels are detailed below and these are most commonly used. However, as appropriate, these are risk assessed as to whether they need to be increased or decreased further depending on the nature of the contract/framework being procured.

Type of insurance (where appropriate) Minimum cover
Public liability £5 million
Product liability £2 million
Employer's liability £5 million
Professional indemnity £2 million. The period of cover should include the period of contract and at least six months after the end of the contract period
Motor Unlimited for personal injury and death, £10 million for damage to property

Business Risk Score

The Council uses information from Creditsafe to review a potential suppliers business risk. Suppliers tendering for public sector contracts should be aware of business risk information held about their organisation. If your organisation does not have a business risk score available from this system, a risk score will be calculated using an in-house financial assessment model maintained by the Council.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Climate Change

Hampshire County Council declared a Climate Emergency in June 2019.  Two targets have been set for the County Council, and these also apply to Hampshire as a whole:

  • To be carbon neutral by 2050 and
  • To prepare to be resilient to the impacts of temperature rise

The Council has prepared and published a Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan which will impact both our current and future supply chains and the requirements of future goods and services we procure. 

Modern Slavery

Hampshire County Council is fully committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its business activities and across its supply chains – and to being open and transparent about any specific instances of slavery identified.

In line with best practice, and in compliance with Section 54 of The Modern Slavery Act 2015, the Council has published its Modern Slavery Statement setting out the actions the Council will take to understand, prevent and address modern slavery risks within its services (directly provided and commissioned) and supply chains.

Disability Confident

The Council is committed to the Government’s Disability Confident accreditation and we encourage our existing suppliers and those suppliers seeking to work with the Council, to share our ethos to also become a Disability Confident organisation. The Disability Confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to your workplace. The County Council’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and equality is laid out in the new Inclusion Strategy.

Payment of Taxes

The Council encourages both existing suppliers, and those suppliers seeking to work with the Council in the future, to pay the right amount of corporate income tax at the right time and in the right place. We expect our suppliers to comply with UK tax laws and ensure their sub-contractors supporting delivery of Council contracts, share this ethos and responsibility.

Tendering opportunities

Hampshire In-tend Portal – tendering opportunities for Hampshire County Council, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner for Hampshire

UK Government’s Find a Tender Service

UK Government's Contract Finder service

South East Business Portal to view other south east opportunities

Defence Contracts Online (DCO) to view all Ministry of Defence contracts

Tendering Tips for Suppliers

There are some key tips for suppliers when engaging in any public sector tendering opportunity:

  • Review all tendering documentation and raise any queries you have as soon as possible – never be afraid to ask a clarification question
  • Familiarise yourself with the procurement timetable, particularly noting the clarification deadline and the submission deadline
  • Review any minimum standards (Pass/Fail) to ensure you meet these
  • Review the evaluation criteria and scoring methodology to ensure your responses are in line with expectations

When making a submission

  • Ensure you submit all required documentation by the stated deadline
  • Don’t leave submissions to the last minute – a late submission will not be accepted
  • Check you have completed all of the questions and check you have actually answered the question (exam technique – read the question and check you have covered all aspects of it)

Showcase your organisation

  • Explain clearly what you will provide, how you will provide it and why it is the right solution to meet the requirements
  • Showcase your systems, capabilities and people
  • Tell us about your organisation’s unique selling point
  • Provide relevant case studies and examples where asked
Goods and services we buy

We buy:

  • property maintenance and construction projects
  • civil engineering and highways works
  • passenger transport
  • social care
  • supplies and services

Goods we buy

  • aggregates
  • animal feed
  • audio visual equipment
  • books and publications
  • building maintenance supplies
  • catering equipment
  • cleaning and janitorial supplies
  • clothing
  • curriculum supplies
  • daily living aids
  • electrical equipment
  • flooring
  • food and beverages
  • fuel, energy and water supplies
  • furniture and furnishings
  • gardening equipment
  • IT equipment
  • lighting and lighting consumables
  • medical equipment
  • nursery equipment
  • office consumables
  • paper
  • photocopiers
  • photographic equipment
  • plant and machinery
  • sports equipment
  • stationery supplies
  • street furniture
  • telecommunications
  • tools
  • timber
  • tyres
  • uniforms and protective clothing
  • vehicles and vehicle servicing equipment
  • vending equipment and consumables
  • water coolers
  • whiteboards and display screens

Services we buy

  • advertising
  • agency staff
  • building cleaning
  • bus services and taxis
  • catering
  • conference and meeting venues
  • consultancy services
  • design and construction of buildings, highways and other civil engineering projects
  • environmental services
  • financial and insurance services
  • funeral services
  • grounds maintenance
  • highway and bridge maintenance
  • hiring of vehicles
  • IT services and telecommunications
  • landscaping services
  • mailing and distribution
  • maintenance works e.g. glazing, plumbing, heating, roofing
  • personal hygiene
  • pest control
  • photography
  • printing, publishing and graphic design
  • recruitment
  • refuse collection and waste disposal
  • repair and maintenance of equipment
  • school transportation
  • security personnel
  • snow clearing
  • social care at home, nursing and residential homes placements, day care
  • travel
  • vehicle servicing and repairs
  • veterinary services
  • window cleaning