Supplier opportunities within the public sector
Public Contracts Regulations
Further Education Colleges are required to comply with EU tendering directives which are set out in the Public Contracts Regulations. Their purpose is to encourage open, fair and transparent competition which is delivered via competitive tendering throughout the European Union.
If the College spend exceeds the EU threshold, the College has to carry out a full OJEU tender which has to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Thresholds apply to the total contract value, which for calculation purposes is usually determined over a 48 month period. These thresholds are:-
- Supplies and Services - £164,176
- Works - £4,104,394
Further competition and the Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC)
Due to the College spend exceeding the above thresholds, in many product and service areas, we are obliged to carry out most of the College requirements through a full OJEU tender.
However, the College is able to run a ‘further competition’ tender through a consortium, such as the CPC which is a national purchasing consortium, owned by, and run on behalf of the Further Education sector. The CPC produce EU-tendered purchasing framework agreements which cover a wide variety of products and services specific to the Sector, and continue to develop this portfolio in line with member demands. Membership of the CPC is free for FE institutions and academies and has over 3,000 full member institutions nationwide, who access the framework agreements.
Becoming a supplier to the CPC
To become a CPC supplier, it is not a case of going through a quick approval process to be put on a 'preferred suppliers' list, but it is necessary to be awarded a place on one of the framework agreements.
The CPC website shows the framework agreements that have been tendered and are currently in place, the Lots and the suppliers that are currently on the frameworks.
It also shows the forthcoming tender opportunities for new frameworks or refreshing existing ones. It is necessary to find a framework that is relevant to your organisation, and the length of the framework, in order to assess when it is due to be re- tendered.
The CPC, like many other procurement bodies, use ‘In-Tend’ as a tendering and correspondence portal with any potential suppliers, so in order to have sight of the Invitations to Tender when they are released, it is necessary to register your organisation, and a main point of contact, usually the person who carries out the bids, on the CPC In-Tend portal.
The process of re-tendering a framework usually starts 6 months prior to the end date of the current contract as identified on the CPC website. An Invitation to Tender (ITT) will be released on the In-Tend portal.
If the CPC does not currently have a framework agreement relevant to your organisation, it is also possible to keep a look out for any future relevant tenders through registration on In-Tend.
The CPC can be contacted at:
Please note: the CPC doesn't hold relationships with suppliers outside of frameworks, and will only put together new frameworks at the request of our members.
The College carries out the majority of its tenders via the electronic tendering portal 'In-Tend'. Suppliers registering will have access not only to those further competitions and tenders run by West Nottinghamshire College, but those of other colleges and institutions who also use the software.
Contracts Finder is a free new service for businesses, government buyers and the public, and allows access to live opportunities, tender and contract documentation published by government departments and agencies.
Local public sector advertised tender opportunities
Some public sector opportunities can also be found on locally-based websites such as those below.
Partner supply chain fees and charges