The Scottish Government's Procurement and Commercial Policy & Strategy Division has created Guidance on Public Procurement for SMEs and Third Sector Suppliers.
This document includes the sources of support available for SME's and Third Sector to help bid for and win public sector contracts.
If you have any questions on this document please contact: Procurement_Development@gov.scot
(file type: pdf)
In response to feedback requesting the Single Procurement Document (SPD) process be streamlined, the Supplier Journey guidance has been refreshed. You can find this guidance on the following pages:
The New Deal for Business Group aims to involve businesses at an early stage of policy development and will focus on: economic conditions and performance; ensuring the best environment to do business; and a transition to a wellbeing economy.
Eligible businesses can apply for up to £15,000 via the The Scottish Government’s Flexible Workforce Development Fund to help retrain and upskill their workforce.
A new policy note SPPN 3/2022 Public procurement - taking account of climate and circular economy considerations has been published which replaces the previous policy note SPPN 1/2021.
SPPN 3/2022 includes information on what public sector buyers are being asked to do to address the climate emergency.
Climate guidance is also available for suppliers in the Supplier Journey at Climate Emergency.
New Climate Emergency guidance has been added to the Supplier Journey. This guidance contains information on what you may be asked to complete (on climate) when bidding, and includes blank climate change plan templates for your use as well as several completed example templates for several sectors.
This new guidance can be found at:
The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 Statutory Guidance has been revised to include an updated chapter on Fair Work First. This change reflects updates to Fair Work and the real Living Wage Policy and it can be found in the Scottish Government's Statutory Guidance.
Any questions can be emailed to: email@example.com
New legislation has been introduced to the Scottish Parlaiment. The Moveable Transactions (Scotland) Bill proposes making it easier for smaller organisations to use their business assets to raise funds.
More information can be found at new measures to support smaller businesses.
Guidance, examples, templates and a standard clause to use on Prompt Payment have been added to the Supplier Journey.
The Supplier Journey Fair Work Practices guidance is currrently undergoing a review. For further information on the real Living Wage please see the What is the real Living Wage information sheet, the Scottish Government’s Fair Work and Procurement webpage or alternatively please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that information on Fair Work First, which includes payment of the real Living Wage, can be found in SPPN 06/2021.
If a tender you are interested in is available via PCS-Tender, from the 21 March you will see PCS-Tender has been updated with a new user interface and streamlined design to help you navigate the system.
None of the functionality of PCS-Tender, or your log in details, will change. The buyer will still be responsible for including the tender questions and documents they require bidders to respond to.
Help files and an on-line help area are available to you from within PCS-Tender after you have logged into this sytem.
Applications have opened for the annual Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation Grant Scheme (FPMC) with a deadline of midnight on 12 September 2021.
The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) are holding their fourth annual Meet the Buyer North event on 7 September 2021.
You can find out more information and register for this virtual event on their website.
The scheme will begin reaching out to suppliers from 1st August 2021 to start accreditation.
Funding of £1.8 million, to be managed by Seafood Scotland, has been made available to help Scottish seafood businesses recover from the severe economic impacts of Brexit and Covid-19.
To build a sustainable economic recovery the Scottish Government has announced additional funding for:
Also a new 10 year National Strategy for Economic Transformation will set out how business and government will work together to create the best conditions for entrepreneurs to flourish.
Find out more information at Transforming Scotland's Economy
The Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020 provides an insight into employers’ views on skill shortages, skill gaps and employer led training activity. It also provides new evidence on the skills related impacts of COVID-19 on employers.
To learn more please refer to the Scottish Employer Skills Survey Findings 2020
Question 3D.15 Misrepresentation (an exclusion question in the SPD (Scotland)) has been updated - the text changes are shown at the end of this message.
Since the ESPD was launched in April 2016, there have been several instances where the wording of this question has led to confusion as to how it should be answered by bidders. The confusion arises mainly because all of the other questions in the Exclusion Criteria section of the SPD required the bidder to provide a negative, “no", answer in order to indicate compliance, whereas the Misrepresentation question required a positive, “yes”, answer.
Following consultation with both buyer and supplier representative bodies, we’re simplifying the text of this question so that it also requires a “no” answer in order to indicate compliance, which will bring into alignment with all of the other Exclusion Criteria questions in the SPD.
Some buyers will have issued SPD requests prior to this change taking place, and some may be using locally-stored versions of the SPD, which may contain the previous version of the question.
Any SPD requests you receive which contain the previous version of the question are still perfectly valid, so you will need to exercise additional care when answering this question. If you are in any doubt, it may be prudent to seek clarification from the buyer who issued the SPD request before submitting your response.
If you have previously saved a response to this question as part of an SPD Profile in PCS, then that saved response will be deleted for this question only. The rest of your saved Profile answers will remain unaffected.
Additional minor wording amendments to simplify the questions are being made. The questions affected are 2A.16, 2A 16.5 and 3D.11. These amendments will not fundamentally alter the meaning of these questions, and no action is required from buyers or suppliers. You can view these changes on the SPD Update area on PCS.
Current wording of question 3D.15:
Can the bidder confirm that:
1) It has not been guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying the information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of the selection criteria
2) It has not withheld such information
3) It has been able, without delay, to submit the supporting documents required by an organisation or contracting entity, and
4) It has not undertaken to unduly influence the decision making process of the organisation or contracting entity, to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the procurement procedure or to negligently provide misleading information that may have a material influence on decisions concerning exclusion, selection or award?
Revised wording of question 3D.15
Has the bidder:
a) Been guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying the information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of the selection criteria,
b) Withheld such information,
c) Been unable, without delay, to submit the supporting documents required by an organisation or contracting entity,
d) Undertaken to unduly influence the decision making process of the organisation or contracting entity, to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the procurement procedure or to negligently provide misleading information that may have a material influence on decisions concerning exclusion, selection or award?
For more information please refer to the EU Exit guidance.
The Forward Plan lists the proposed collaborative public sector contracts that may be advertised over the next 12-18 months. The Forward Plan may help you to prepare for new and/or relet contracts.
£40 million of support is now available to support businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions. You can apply for funding at any time online in the two weeks following 20th October 2020.
£20 million of this support will be administered by local authorities. You can apply for these grants through your local authority website.
A change has been made to Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) that now allows buyers to award different lots in the same procurement exercise at different times. This can now be done by publishing different contract award notices rather than the previous one notice for all lots.
An example where this may happen is where one lot in a procurement exercise has not received any bids but the other lots have. In such a case the buyer can now proceed with awarding the lots which received bids.
The Supplier Development Programme are running a Meet the Buyer North event on 2nd September from 10 a.m. You can register here.
There is no guarantee of work but all emails will receive a response.
Guidance has been published to help micro (less than 10 employees) and small (less than 50 employees) companies safely re-open. This includes four steps to take before and after re-opening.
This guidance is for businesses where there is no sector-specific guidance published. If your business is in a sector for which specific sector guidance has been published then you should follow that.
The Supplier Relief measure has been extended following consultation with suppliers, businesses and Scottish public bodies. This extension comes into effect on 1 July 2020.
Supplier Relief provides guidance to public bodies on the options available to support their suppliers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak under existing contracts.
The Supplier Journey has been updated to include an ESPD section which, for ease of use and access, can now be found at the top of every Supplier Journey page.
This new section includes:
The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) are running a live virtual Meet the Buyer event on Tuesday 2 June 2020 from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. This includes Twitter sessions with public sector buyers and training webinars.
To find out more and to register (free) for the event please go to:
Specific Corona (COVID-19) advice can be found in several ways. Please see below:
Health advice can be found on: NHS Inform.
A free helpline can give advice if you do not have symptoms, but are looking for general advice: 0800 028 2816.
The latest information and advice for professionals and organisations is on the Health Protection Scotland website.
If you run a business you can get advice on the Corona (COVID-19) outbreak by calling the helpline: 0300 303 0660.
This helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Select option 1 to speak to the COVID-19 team.
The Find Business Support website gives the latest information and advice. This includes topics such as: how to apply for a Business Interruptioi Scheme Loan; how to provide testing kits; and relaxation of drivers hours rule.
Benefits and Employment Rights
Advice about benefits and employment rights is on Citizens Advice Scotland.
Help your Community and Volunteering Advice
Information on how to help your community is on the Ready Scotland website.
General Advice and Support
General advice and support can be procided by the organisations and agencies detailed in the following: https://supplierjourney.scot/support-available
Scottish Government and Supplier Development Programme Launch Survey on Supplier Relief.
With the support of the Scottish Government, the Supplier Development Programme has launched a survey on the effects of Supplier Relief. Suppliers in Scotland, especially small, medium and micro sized businesses, can fill in a short survey to share their experience of supplier relief with public sector buyers during the Coronavirus crisis so far.
Please visit www.sdpscotland.co.uk for more information.
For media enquiries, contact email@example.com
Further to the launch of this Supplier Journey website in June 2019, further developments have now been added to the Supplier Journey. These include:
All changes are in line with accessibility regulations.
Financial support and advice to help small to medium enterprise in Scotland Prepare for brexit is available at the following: Prepare for Brexit website.
You are invited to complete the Fair Work Action Plan survey.
The Scottish Government is interested in the views of employers, including suppliers and potential suppliers of Scottish public contracts, to have a voice in helping how to embed Fair Work practices into workplaces by 2025.
The closing date for responses is Friday 30th November 2018.
The Supplier Journey was updated to include guidance on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
The Supplier Journey has been selected as a finalist in the Procurement Innovation of the Year Award category in the upcoming GO Awards Scotland 2018/19. Thank you to everyone for your contributions and support!