What is a PQQ? PQQ stands for Pre-Qualification Questionnaire

What is a PQQ? The easy bit…PQQ stands for Pre-Qualification Questionnaire

When you embark on a tendering process for the first time you will likely encounter several documents that you’ve never seen before. In this guide, and several other guides, we will demystify what the key documents are, what they are used for, and how to understand them. In this one we’ll look at PQQs…

The basics… It is a list of questions, some with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, which needs to be completed by a potential supplier when bidding for a tender under a Restricted Procedure. It is issued to those companies who have officially ‘expressed an interest’.

Then what? The contracting authority will then evaluate the answers of all those who have completed a PQQ and, based on that information, reduce the applicants down to a short-list. Those on said short-list will be the ones who are officially invited to tender.

A PQQ is essentially a way of inviting suppliers to your tender process and then determining whether they have the right products, appropriate level of skills, experience and technical ability to carry out the contract. A PQQ allows the buyer to assess potential suppliers’ commercial, technical and financial competence.

Alongside company details, a PQQ typically request details and evidence of topics such as: your financial situation, relevant experience, quality procedures and processes, insurance levels and the mandatory Pass / Fail section which is based around declaring that you have not been involved in any fraudulent or illegal activities.

Therefore… Essentially it is a tool used to identify businesses most capable of performing the contract if a large number of candidates are anticipated.

It is not intended to assess who will best perform the contract. These issues are dealt with at the ITT stage, and assessed according to the award criteria laid down in the actual tender documents. Neither will it request information pertaining to the potential price of the bid.

The PQQ will be used to evaluate businesses against an evaluation framework with a clearcut “pass” and “fail” mark. If businesses score above a certain level, they pass and are accepted on to the next stage of the process.

When public sector organisations place advertisements for tenders and request expressions of interest, they may receive hundreds of responses. Therefore a PQQ is almost always used as a tool for short-listing these responses.

A similar situation applies in the compilation f approved/preferred supplier lists – referred to as “Qualification System” – only a predetermined number of top scoring businesses are awarded a place on the list.