SPD Word Document Retiral

Transition to a fully online SPD process from 1 April 2024
From 1 April 2024 the Word version of the Single Procurement Document (SPD) will no longer be supported or updated by Scottish Government.  As a result the Word version of the SPD in the Procurement Journey and Supplier Journey references to the SPD Word document have been removed.  All guidance relating to the SPD and the supplier selection process will continue to be available.

From 1 April 2024, the fully online versions of the SPD, available within PCS and PCS-Tender, will be continue to be updated, supported, and maintained by Scottish Government.

For procurement exercises the buyer will inform you which version of the SPD will be used i.e. either via PCS or PCS-T

Why is this change happening?
Research, especially with SME’s, has shown that the Word document SPD causes issues when engaging with public procurement in Scotland.

What are the benefits of using the SPD module within PCS?
For suppliers, using the SPD online simplifies and streamlines the selection process, enabling suppliers to see the buyer’s requirements within the SPD itself without the need to cross refer to other procurement documents.

Suppliers are also able to store and re-use their answers to standard SPD questions and upload evidence documents, such as company accounts, once but use them multiple times.

The SPD module is integrated into PCS, so there’s no need to re-register or create a separate log-in.

Does this mean an SPD Word document cannot be attached within PCS?
Buyers will still be able to use a Word, or other, offline version of the SPD and issue it as an attachment.  However this approach will not be actively promoted or supported by Scottish Government.

It is the responsibility of buyers to ensure any offline versions of the SPD remain aligned to the latest official Scottish Government versions within PCS and PCS-Tender.


If you need any further information, please contact Laura Martin (laura.martin@gov.scot) or Steve Patterson (Steven.Patterson@gov.scot)


Cyber Resilience Updates

The Cyber Resilience Guidance and links have been updated.  This guidance can be found at:

Guidance on Public Procurement for SMEs and Third Sector Suppliers

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 ​

Guidance on Public Procurement for SMEs and Third Sector Suppliers

Refresh of SPD Guidance - 18 May 2023

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:

Single Procurement Document (SPD) | Supplier Journey

ESPD/SPD Guidance | Supplier Journey

ESPD/SPD Summary & Hints | Supplier Journey

ESPD/SPD FAQs | Supplier Journey


Developing a New Deal for Business - 16 May 2023

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.

September 2022

The Scottish Government’s Flexible Workforce Development Fund - 01 September 2022

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.

June 2022

New Climate Policy Note 3/2022 - 20 June 2022

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 Guidance - 10 June 2022

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:

Climate Emergency

What Do I Need to Do on Climate?

Climate Help and Support

May 2022

Update to Fair Work Statutory Guidance - 31 May 2022

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: scottishprocurement@gov.scot


New Measures to Support Smaller Businesses - 27 May 2022

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.


Prompt Payment - 9 May 2022

Guidance, examples, templates and a standard clause to use on Prompt Payment have been added to the Supplier Journey.

To review this information please refer to the following Supplier Journey pages: Prompt Payment and What Do I Need to Do for Prompt Payment?


Fair Work Practices

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 scottishprocurement@gov.scot.

Please note that information on Fair Work First, which includes payment of the real Living Wage, can be found in SPPN 06/2021.

March 2022

PCS-Tender Update 

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.

August 2021

Food and Drink Grant Scheme Opens - 06 August 2021

Applications have opened for the annual Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation Grant Scheme (FPMC) with a deadline of midnight on 12 September 2021.

Register for Meet the Buyer North - 04 August 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.

July 2021

New Business Accreditation Scheme - 30 July 2021

The new Scottish Living Hours Accreditation Scheme will encourage the provision of secure contracts, flexible hours and payment of the real Living Wage.

The scheme will begin reaching out to suppliers from 1st August 2021 to start accreditation.

New Funding for Seafood Sector Recovery - 28 July 2021

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.

Additional Funding Announced - 02 June 2021

To build a sustainable economic recovery the Scottish Government has announced additional funding for: 

  • businesses in Level 2 areas
  • taxi drivers and operators across Scotland
  • the culture sector.

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

Scottish Employer Skills Survey 2020 - 26 May 2021

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

Single Procurement Document (SPD) Wording Updates - 25 March 2021

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.

What do I need to do?

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?

Annual Report on Procurement Activity in Scotland 2018-19 Published - 22 March 2021

The Annual Report focuses on the procurement activity of more than 100 public sector bodies in Scotland and includes information on areas such as procurement spend by category and SME spend.

This video provides some more information.

2020 News and Updates

EU Exit - December 2020

For more information please refer to the EU Exit guidance.

Forward Plan for Public Sector Contracts - 26 October 2020

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Restrictions Fund Opens - 20 October 2020

£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.

Read more information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Restrictions Fund

Change to the Award of Lots in Public Contracts Scotland - 9 October 2020

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.

Meet the Buyer North - 2 September 2020 PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED

The Supplier Development Programme are running a Meet the Buyer North event on 2nd September from 10 a.m.  You can register here.

Cyber Security Tool Name Change - 20 August 2020

The name of the Cyber Security Assessment Service tool has been changed to the Cyber Security Procurement Support Tool.   This is a name change only.

PPE Supply - 14 August 2020

If you think you could supply PPE to help support the response to COVID-19, please email covid-19-health-ppe@gov.scot with details about what you could offer. 

There is no guarantee of work but all emails will receive a response.

Re-opening Guidance for Micro and Small Businesses - 14 July 2020

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.

Supplier Relief Extended - 17 June 2020

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. 

Further details about the extension can be found in Scottish Procurement Policy Note (SPPN) 8/2020 which is in addition to the original SPPN 5/2020.  These SPPN's will be kept under review.

Further advice can be found on COVID-19 support packages available to businesses and their employees, including details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

ESPD Supplier Journey Updates - 27 May 2020

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:

  • guidance
  • an ESPD summary 
  • hints
  • an ESPD summary diagram

Meet the Buyer Event - 29 May 2020 PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED

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:


COVID-19 Help and Support - 21 May 2020

Specific Corona (COVID-19) advice can be found in several ways.  Please see below:

Health advice

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.

Business Advice

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 - 20 May 2020

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.

Access to the survey and further information can be found here.

Please visit www.sdpscotland.co.uk for more information.

For media enquiries, contact info@sdpscotland.co.uk

Source: SDP

Supplier Journey Development - 18 March 2020

Further to the launch of this Supplier Journey website in June 2019, further developments have now been added to the Supplier Journey.  These include:

  • including navigation menus at the top of each page to allow easier and quicker access to the information you want
  • updated functionality.  Documents and other tools i.e. checklists and quickfire guides, have been added
  • Improved filtering and search functionality e.g. in the Document Library
  • Improved look and feel

All changes are in line with accessibility regulations.

2019 News and Updates

Financial Support and Advice for Brexit - 10 May 2019

Financial support and advice to help small to medium enterprise in Scotland Prepare for brexit is available at the following: Prepare for Brexit website.

2018 News and Updates

Fair Work Action Plan Survey - 8 November 2018 PLEASE NOTE: THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED

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. 

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) - 18 September 2018

The Supplier Journey was updated to include guidance on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Supplier Journey GO Award Nomination - 18 September 2018

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!