The Ultimate Bid Writing Jargon Buster

In the tender or bid writing industry, there are many buzzwords and acronyms that can be confusing to those in-experienced in the field. We have compiled the ultimate list of bid writing keywords to help you better understand what you are reading. If there are any that have not been included on here that you need help clarifying, please get in touch with our team or submit a question here.

Accreditation

Nationally and internationally recognised standards that demonstrate an organisation’s competency, adherence to specific standards, or qualifications in a particular field.

Added Value

Additional benefits, features, or improvements provided by a bidder that enhance the value and attractiveness of the bid compared to competitors.

Appraisal

The evaluation and assessment of a bid, project, or proposal to determine its suitability, quality, and potential for success.

Approved List

A pre-qualified list of suppliers or contractors who have met specific criteria and are deemed eligible to participate in bidding or procurement processes.

Award

The act of granting a contract, project, or opportunity to a successful bidder or proposal that best meets the requirements and criteria set forth by the buyer.

BAFO (Best and Final Offer)

The final revised offer or proposal submitted by a bidder in response to a request for improved terms or pricing.

Best Practice

Widely recognised methods, processes, or strategies that have consistently shown superior results and are considered the most effective or efficient approach in a particular field or industry.

Bid

A formal proposal submitted by a supplier, contractor, or organisation in response to an invitation to tender or request for proposal, outlining the terms, pricing, and conditions for the provision of goods, services, or projects.

Best Value

A procurement approach that considers both the price and quality factors when selecting the most advantageous bid, focusing on achieving the optimal balance between cost and value.

Call Off Contract

A type of contract where specific goods, services, or works are ordered or “called off” as and when required, often based on pre-agreed terms and conditions.

Competitive Contract Addendum

An additional document or clause that modifies or supplements the terms and conditions of a contract, typically introduced during a competitive bidding process.

Competitive Dialogue

A procurement procedure that allows for interactive discussions between the buyer and shortlisted bidders to clarify requirements, explore innovative solutions, and refine bids before a final submission.

Confidentiality

Refers to the protection of sensitive information shared during the procurement process, ensuring it is not disclosed to unauthorised parties.

Consortium

A collaborative group or alliance formed by multiple organisations or entities to jointly bid for and deliver projects or contracts that may require a diverse range of expertise and resources.

Constructionline

A pre-qualification service and database that verifies and assesses the capabilities and credentials of suppliers and contractors within the UK construction industry.

Contract

A legally binding agreement between two or more parties that outlines the rights, obligations, and terms for the provision of goods, services, or works.

Contract Documents

The collection of written or digital materials, including specifications, drawings, schedules, and terms and conditions, that form the contractual agreement between the buyer and the supplier or contractor.

Contract Notice

A formal public announcement or advertisement that invites potential suppliers or contractors to express their interest or submit bids for a specific project or contract opportunity.

Contract Notice Award

The official notification issued of the outcome of a bid, indicating the selection for the contract award.

Contract Notice Opportunities

The various projects, contracts, or opportunities advertised through contract notices, providing suppliers and contractors with information on the requirements and procedures to participate.

Contractor

An individual or organisation that agrees to provide goods, services, or works as specified in a contract, typically on a project-by-project basis.

Core Competencies

The essential skills, knowledge, resources, or expertise that differentiate an organisation from its competitors and enable it to perform key tasks or deliver distinctive value.

Corporate Governance

The system of rules, practices, and processes by which an organisation is directed, controlled, and managed, ensuring transparency, accountability, and ethical behaviour.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The commitment of an organisation to operate in an economically, socially, and environmentally responsible manner, considering the impact of its activities on stakeholders and society.

CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary)

A standardised system of codes used to classify and categorise goods, services, and works for procurement purposes, facilitating better communication and understanding between buyers and suppliers.

Culture

The collective values, beliefs, behaviours, and practices that define and shape the identity, working environment, and relationships within an organisation or community.

Debriefs

The provision of feedback, evaluation, and explanation of the decision-making process to unsuccessful bidders, offering insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the bid.

Default

The failure to fulfil contractual obligations or meet specified requirements, which may result in penalties, termination of the contract, or other consequences.

Deliverables

Tangible or intangible outputs, goods, services, or results that are required to be provided or achieved under a contract or project.

Diversity

The presence and inclusion of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and perspectives, promoting equality, creativity, and a broader range of ideas and solutions.

e-Procurement or e-Tendering

The use of electronic platforms, technologies, and systems to facilitate and streamline the procurement and tendering processes, enabling online submission, evaluation, and management of bids.

Equal Opportunities

The principle of treating all individuals and groups fairly and without discrimination, providing equal access to opportunities and resources, regardless of characteristics such as gender, race, age, or disability.

Equality

The state of being equal, ensuring fairness and justice in the treatment, rights, and opportunities available to all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.

EU Rules

The regulations and directives established by the European Union (EU) governing various aspects of public procurement, including competition, transparency, and equal treatment.

European Union Regulations

Legally binding acts that are directly applicable in all EU member states without the need for national implementing legislation, designed to ensure uniformity and consistency in areas such as procurement, trade, and competition.

Evaluation

The systematic process of assessing, analysing, and comparing bids, proposals, or solutions against predetermined criteria to determine their suitability, quality, and value.

Feedback

Information, comments, or opinions provided to bidders or participants regarding their performance, strengths, weaknesses, or areas for improvement, aiming to facilitate learning and development.

Firm Price

A fixed and non-negotiable price stated in a bid or contract, which remains unchanged unless specific predefined circumstances or conditions occur.

Framework Agreement

A predetermined contractual arrangement between a buyer and one or more suppliers, establishing terms, conditions, and pricing that can be utilised for multiple projects or procurements within a specified period.

Freedom of Information Act

Legislation that grants individuals the right to access and obtain information held by public sector organisations, promoting transparency and accountability.

IEO (Information and Electronic Order)

An online platform or system that facilitates the electronic exchange of information, documents, and orders between buyers and suppliers, streamlining procurement processes.

IIP (Investors in People)

A recognised standard or accreditation that focuses on an organisation’s commitment to improving its people management and development practices.

Innovation

The process of introducing new ideas, methods, products, or services that result in improvements, advancements, or solutions to existing challenges or needs.

Invitation to Tender (ITT)

A formal document or announcement that invites potential bidders to submit detailed proposals or bids in response to specific requirements and criteria.

ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation)

An international standard-setting body that develops and publishes globally recognised standards for various industries, processes, and systems, ensuring consistency and quality.

Joint Ventures

Collaborative partnerships or alliances between two or more organisations, typically formed to pursue a specific project or contract by combining resources, expertise, and capabilities.

Letter of Acceptance

A written document issued by the buyer to the successful bidder, formally accepting their bid or proposal and outlining the terms and conditions of the contract.

Letter of Intent

A preliminary written statement expressing the intention of a party to enter into a formal agreement or contract, typically outlining the main terms and conditions.

Master Vendor

A vendor or supplier appointed as the primary point of contact for the provision of goods or services, responsible for managing and coordinating other subcontractors or suppliers as required.

MEAT (Most Economically Advantageous Tender)

A criterion used in bid evaluation to select the bid that offers the best overall value for money based on a combination of price and non-price factors.

Method Statement

A document submitted as part of a bid that outlines the step-by-step approach, methodologies, and procedures the bidder intends to follow in executing a particular task or project.

Mission Statement

A concise statement that defines the purpose, values, and goals of an organisation, expressing its fundamental reason for existence and providing direction and focus for its activities.

NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)

A legally binding contract that establishes confidentiality obligations between parties, protecting sensitive or proprietary information from being disclosed to unauthorised individuals or entities.

NSV (Non-Specific Value)

A term used in bid evaluation to refer to non-financial factors, such as quality, innovation, or sustainability, which contribute to the overall value of a bid beyond the price alone.

Parent Company Guarantee

A written assurance provided by the parent company of a subsidiary or affiliated entity, guaranteeing the fulfilment of contractual obligations or financial liabilities of the subsidiary if it fails to do so.

Partnership

A collaborative relationship or arrangement between two or more entities or organisations, working together towards a common goal or objective, often involving shared resources, risks, and rewards.

Prior Information Notice (PIN)

A public announcement issued by a contracting authority to inform the market of an upcoming procurement opportunity, providing advance notice of the intended contract and allowing interested parties to express their interest.

Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)

A document or questionnaire used to pre-screen potential bidders or suppliers, assessing their suitability, capabilities, and compliance with specific requirements before inviting them to participate in a formal bidding process.

Procurement

The process of acquiring goods, services, or works from external sources, typically involving activities such as supplier identification, bid solicitation, evaluation, and contract award.

PSA (Public Service Announcement)

A message or communication issued by a public sector organisation to inform the public about important information, events, or initiatives.

PSL (Preferred Supplier List)

A list of pre-approved suppliers or contractors that a buyer has identified as meeting specific criteria and who are given preferential consideration for future contracts or projects.

Public Sector Organisation

An organisation that operates in the public sector, providing public services and is accountable to the government or the public, such as government departments, local authorities, or public agencies.

Quality Assurance

The systematic process of ensuring that products, services, or processes meet specified quality standards and requirements, aiming to achieve consistency, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

Quotation

A formal document provided by a supplier or vendor in response to a request for pricing, outlining the cost and terms for the provision of specific goods, services, or works.

Request for Tender

A formal invitation or document issued by a buyer or organisation to solicit bids or proposals from potential suppliers or contractors, detailing the requirements, specifications, and conditions for the contract.

RFI (Request for Information)

A document or process used to gather information and details from potential suppliers or contractors regarding their capabilities, experience, and solutions before launching a formal bidding process.

RFP (Request for Proposal)

A document or invitation issued by a buyer or organisation to request detailed proposals from potential suppliers or contractors, seeking comprehensive solutions, pricing, and contractual terms.

RFQ (Request for Quotation)

A document or request issued by a buyer or organisation to solicit pricing information from potential suppliers or contractors for specific goods, services, or works.

Selection Criteria

The predetermined factors or attributes used to evaluate and compare bids or proposals, including elements such as price, quality, experience, technical capabilities, and compliance with specifications.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A formal agreement or contract between a service provider and a client that defines the expected levels of service, performance standards, and responsibilities of both parties.

Shortlist

A narrowed-down list of potential suppliers or contractors that have been selected for further consideration or evaluation after an initial screening or pre-qualification process.

SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise)

A business or company that falls within a certain size threshold, typically determined by criteria such as the number of employees, annual turnover, or balance sheet total.

Specification

A detailed description or set of requirements that outlines the desired characteristics, features, or performance criteria for a product, service, or project.

Stakeholders

Individuals, groups, or organisations that have an interest, influence, or are affected by a particular project, decision, or organisation, including employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and the wider community.

Standstill Period

A mandatory period of time following the notification of the successful bidder in a procurement process, during which unsuccessful bidders can challenge the decision before the contract is formally awarded.

Sub-contracting

The practice of delegating specific tasks, responsibilities, or portions of a contract to another contractor or subcontractor, while maintaining overall responsibility for the successful completion of the contract.

Supplier Engagement

The process of actively involving and collaborating with suppliers or vendors throughout the procurement lifecycle, fostering communication, feedback, and the establishment of mutually beneficial relationships.

Supply Chain

The network of organisations, resources, activities, and processes involved in the creation, sourcing, production, and delivery of goods, services, or works to the end consumer.

Sustainable Development

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, balancing economic, environmental, and social considerations.

Sustainable Procurement

The practice of integrating sustainability criteria and considerations into the procurement process, aiming to minimise environmental impacts, promote social responsibility, and ensure long-term value.

Tender/Tendering

The process of submitting a formal bid or proposal in response to a request or invitation, typically involving the preparation and submission of relevant documents, pricing, and detailed information.

Tier 1 Supplier

A direct supplier or contractor that provides goods, services, or works for the buyer or main contractor, usually occupying the highest level in the supply chain.

Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE)

Legislation that protects employees’ rights when a business or undertaking is transferred from one owner to another, ensuring continuity of employment and safeguarding employees’ terms and conditions.

Value for Money

The optimum balance between quality and cost and risk, ensuring that goods, services, or works deliver the desired outcomes and benefits on time at the most advantageous price or investment.

Values

The fundamental beliefs, principles, or guiding ethics that shape the culture, behaviour, and decision-making within an organisation or individual, influencing its actions and relationships.

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