In September, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) released the Selection Questionnaire (SQ) to replace the Standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). Since then, we’ve had some experience using the SQ, and have decided to write a blog listing our thoughts, along with some helpful hints and tips to completing your own SQ.
What’s included in an SQ?
· Section one – basic company information
· Section two – mandatory and discretionary exclusions
· Section three – all selection questions, which can be amended by the buyer.
There are also questions on the Modern Slavery Act, Supply Chain Management, Skills development and apprenticeship initiatives, steel sourcing, and performance on previous contracts.
Is the SQ better than the previous Standard PQQ?
The SQ is definitely more streamlined than the previous Standard PQQ (which was only itself introduced in February 2015).
It means that you will be able to have a standard response for (at least) sections one and two, which will save you time in the long run if you intend to complete numerous tenders.
It is a lot less intimidating a process for small and medium enterprises, or those who have not had much experience in completing tenders. The streamlined questions mean clarity and simplicity, ensuring completing the mandatory sections are as easy as possible.
HealthBid’s hints and tips for completion of the SQ
For those who have yet to see an SQ, or who have found them to be challenging, here’s a list of a few pointers, which will make filling them out a lot simpler!
1. Modern Slavery Act (2015) – please note that this is only relevant for companies with a turnover of £36m or greater. Don’t bother panicking about this section if that does not apply to you (as the SQ does not make this clear).
2. Steel sourcing – again, this is only relevant to works contracts. More information on this can be found here.
3. Performance on previous contracts – another one! This is only applicable to Central Government Departments, their Agencies, and Non-Departmental Public Bodies, and applicable to contracts worth over £20m. If this applies to you, ensure you always keep a list of your supply chain. If this is handy, this section will not be time-consuming. Certificates from your current customers will be asked for later on in the tender process, and are not required at SQ stage.
So there we have it! SQs are not as terrifying as you may have first thought. HealthBid thinks they’re quite handy, streamlined, and clear. If you’re organised, they should make your bidding lift much simpler.
If, however, you’d like any help with your tenders, do not hesitate to contact us for advice and support at firstname.lastname@example.org.