The Benefits of CPD-Certified Bid and Tender Writing Training

The Benefits of CPD-Certified Bid and Tender Writing Training

05 Apr 2024

Executive Compass Business Consultants

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This informal CPD article, ‘The Benefits of CPD-Certified Bid and Tender Writing Training’, was provided by Executive Compass, who provide bid management and bid writer services assisting owner-managed businesses, SMEs and large multi-national companies to win public and private sector contracts.

All public sector contracts over a certain value are subject to a competitive tender process, evaluated on a split between quality and price. As part of this evaluation, bidder organisations looking to become suppliers must respond to a series of forward-facing quality questions detailing how they will deliver the tendered goods, works or services.

Competition for public sector tenders is high, subject to a strict evaluation process, and can include reference to complex and specific terminology. Without adequate expertise, you risk submitting a non-compliant or low-scoring tender, thereby wasting valuable time and resources.

Consequently, bid and tender writing training is essential for organisations looking to do business with local and central government authorities – ensuring you have the confidence and subject matter knowledge to produce high-quality, competitive and winning tender submissions.

What is bid writing?

Ultimately, bid writing is the completion of documents to be completed as part of a compliant tender submission. Although this usually involves the completion of various ‘sign and return’ documents and forms supplying standard company information and data responses, the most arduous and time-consuming part of a tender submission is usually answering narrative responses for the qualification or quality section.

In addition to the rigorous and highly specific regulations governing a competitive tender exercise, competition within bid writing is extremely high. Often, contract awards are decided on a 2–3% difference between submissions. With many different topics to address and strict word or page limits often applied to each response, every word counts in bid writing.

To complete submissions to the required quality standard, bidder organisations will either allocate in-house resource to complete the bid or, more typically, employ a specialist bid writing consultancy or freelancer. If your organisation is completing multiple submissions across a calendar year, investing in CPD-certified bid and tender writing training is the more cost-effective solution in the long term.

Key benefits of bid and tender writing training

Any level of CPD-certified bid and tender writing training will effectively upskill your existing resource to have qualified, informed knowledge of the public sector procurement process. Ultimately, this will benefit in a more competent, confident and competitive internal bid team.

Making an informed ‘bid/no-bid’ decision

Many organisations have a loosely defined bidding strategy, driven either by a need to retain core contracts or increase revenue and sales during off-peak periods. Training on evaluating the requirements of a contract against existing capacity, whether this aligns sufficiently with existing experience and the time/resource investment will support a more strategic, structured approach to tendering.

CPD certified bid and tender writing training

Improving subject matter knowledge

By undertaking CPD-certified bid writing training, internal resource will understand the processes and regulations which govern public procurement. They will also gain knowledge about how to quickly navigate documents within a tender pack, ensuring there are no omissions to the submission and all documents have been appropriately completed and/or referenced.

A detailed understanding of how and why the tender process is structured as such will give your internal bid or sales team confidence and knowledge when the time comes to navigate a ‘live’ tender submission, while also saving valuable time.

Emphasising the benefits to the buyer

Beyond merely describing the ‘what’ and ‘how’ in responses, a good tender submission will describe why this is the correct approach. Bid and tender writing is different from generic sales proposals, as it must address specific evaluation criteria and questions. However, it is important not to neglect how persuasiveness is also a part of the evaluation, based on the description in the above section.

Once your staff have undertaken bid and tender writing training, they will become familiar with balancing information-based content whilst also integrating the persuasive element, resulting in a bespoke, high-quality tender.

Introductory bid and tender training courses

An introductory-level course immerses your delegated subject matter experts in the world of bid and tender writing, whilst also giving them confidence to complete submissions. CPD-certified training courses can often provide certificates to delegates following attendance, supporting their Continuing Professional Development.

Examples of content and relevant skills for introductory bid and tender writing training courses includes:

  • Overview of the bidding process and relevant legislation to gain knowledge of how and why the government’s procurement exercises are structured accordingly
  • Completing both pre-qualification and selection questionnaires in an accurate and compliant manner
  • Searching and sourcing contracts and tender notices using procurement portals and the government’s free-to-use websites, Find a Tender and Contracts Finder
  • Deconstructing tender quality questions and planning responses, ensuring marks are not lost due to incomplete, off-topic or irrelevant content
  • Creating internal processes to support a ‘bid/no-bid’ decision based on your existing resource and capacity and experience delivering against similar contracts.

Following introductory training, delegates will now have the necessary knowledge and expertise to submit a compliant bid.

Intermediate, advanced and specialist bid and tender writing training

CPD-accredited intermediate and advanced bid writing training courses are suitable for delegates with a degree of bidding experience, building and improving on a base level of knowledge. Additionally, more intensive or advanced bid writing training can create efficiencies, improvements and best practice approaches to your tendering processes. Ultimately, this will empower delegates and subject matter experts to complete successful submissions for more competitive contracts and framework agreements.

  • End-to-end bid management and planning: To avoid unnecessary stress or a last-minute race to submit a tender, creating a bespoke management system and plan for each tender submission will result in a smooth and hopefully successful submission. By applying project management principles to each bid, your internal team will feel confident in assigning task owners to each content, tracking progress against the scope of the tender to delay slippage.
  • Deploying persuasive, evidence-based writing: Evaluators for contracting authorities favour qualitative, statistical evidence to support your approaches. Although the majority of questions will be written in future tense, detailing past successes using a similar methodology will reassure them around specific competencies and capabilities, leading to higher marks across the tender.
  • Design and templates to enhance presentation and ‘look and feel’: To gain a favourable first impression from the evaluation committee, the use of colour, images and tables is recommended to avoid a wall of text, along with headers/footers with the company logo and certifications. Although this is rarely (if ever) a part of scored criteria, it is part of best practice and techniques to ensure a clean, professional, easy-to-read submission document.
  • Developing model answers: It is reasonable to anticipate that some quality topics, such as mobilisation, quality assurance and resourcing, will be present in some form on the vast majority of tender submissions. Once you have completed a sufficient number of tenders, there will be existing material on file to create a ‘model answer’ which can be tailored to the opportunity in question – creating significant efficiencies in the process and saving time.

Equally, specialised bid and tender writing training can be used to streamline approaches, support bid planning and respond to specific quality responses. This could involve the creation, management and maintenance of a dedicated bid library, where internal high-scoring responses from previous submissions can inform future success.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Executive Compass, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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Executive Compass Business Consultants

Executive Compass Business Consultants

For more information from Executive Compass Business Consultants, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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