Basic Tender Tips


Always start early, it will always take longer than you think! Once you have obtained the documents ensure you have registered your interest with the contracting agency. The following points should come in handy when planning your response:

  • Write down the time and date the tender is required to be returned and also don’t forget to note the last day questions can be asked.
  • Identify how to respond, ie by hard copy (take note how many copies they may want) or electronic submission, and where you are required to lodge your response.
  • Ensure that you comply with any conditions for participation that are listed in the documents.
  • Read the contract terms and conditions and make sure you are able to comply with them, there is nothing worse than spending a week on something to then find out it was all for nothing!
  • Make sure you understand what is required – do you need to ask more questions? Are you required to attend a pre-tender briefing session?
  • Develop a checklist to ensure you cover all aspects required.


Clients will be looking for a tenderer who distinguishes itself from the competition, is innovative, customer focused and provides value-added services. Keep the following points in mind when preparing your tender response:

  • Know how your tender will be evaluated and maximise your compliance with the specification requirements and any other relevant conditions – give particular attention to any conditions for participation as well as any mandatory conditions.
  • Present your response in the format requested by the agency. If no specific format is required, then keep it simple by give a clear list of contents.
  • Demonstrate (not just assert) your ability.
  • Complete the price or cost schedule – include all the items you are tendering and check whether prices should include or exclude VAT. Ensure you pitch competitively.
  • Provide additional information if appropriate. Giving extra information and extra services you think they might need shows you really understand what they are looking for.
  • Always have in mind that your submission might not be read by one person, they might split it up. So always provide all the information within that section.


Keep the following points in mind when submitting your tender response:

  • Late tenders will usually not be accepted, unless there are exceptional circumstances involving the submission and it has been approved by the evaluation committee.
  • Sign all appropriate forms.
  • Submit at the right location and before closing time.