The Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) website, provided by the Scottish Government, is where all public sector buying organisations must advertise regulated procurements. Regulated procurements are all contracts valued at £50,000 or above excluding VAT for goods and services but excluding utilities and concession contracts.
Anyone can use PCS to browse for current contract opportunities and award notices. You do not need to register on PCS to do this.
Main Contractors on public sector contracts can use PCS to advertise their sub-contracting opportunities.
Take 15 minutes now to register for a Supplier account and set up your profiles.
Alert Profiles are a free feature on PCS which you can use to find relevant opportunities being advertised by the public sector.
When setting up your Alert Profile you will select categories, key words and CPV codes relating to the areas you are interested in bidding for contacts under.
Once you set up your Alert Profile you will receive emails letting you know about opportunities that procurement officers have added to PCS when they have used these categories, key words and or CPV codes.
View the step-by-step guide on how to set up your alert profile.
Supplier Finder is a free feature you can use to promote yourself to procurement officer and setting up your Supplier Finder profile only takes a few minutes.
Once set up your Supplier Finder profile make your goods and services searchable for buyers. When a Buyer is looking for suppliers for a low value or low risk quote they will use the supplier finder directory to search for suppliers. If you provide the goods or services they are searching for they may select you for a Quick Quote.
View the step-by-step guide on how to set up your Supplier Finder profile.
Further PCS information and support including User Guides and Frequently Asked Questions, can be found in on the PCS Help & Support section.
Procurement officers may use Quick Quote on PCS to obtain competitive quotes for low value/low risk purchases from suppliers who are registered on the website. Only suppliers selected to quote by the procurement officer can access the details of the contract opportunity and submit a quote. More information on this process is covered in the quotation section of the Supplier Journey.
Please note that suppliers do not need to register separately in order to receive quick quotes.
For higher value contracts (regulated procurements of £50,000 or more excluding VAT for goods and services) procurement officers will publish Contract Notices on PCS which give information about the planned tendering process. Registered PCS suppliers will receive emails when Contract Notices matching the commodity codes (known as CPV codes) in their profile are advertised.
Through PCS you can then:
More information on the tendering process is covered in the Tenders section of the Supplier Journey.
Further preparation information can be found in Analyse your Business.
All procurement exercises are different so ensure you fully read (and reread) the procurement exercise documents to understand:
Some Contract Notices include the estimated budget for the contract: use this information to help you decide if your organisation should bid or not.
After your bid has been submitted, please ensure that you have key individuals available from your organisation to answer any questions (clarifications) the Procurement Officer may raise about your bid.
Being registered on PCS is not a guarantee of business. You will still need to undertake marketing and networking activities to grow your organisation. Find out more about the opportunities that are out there by understanding your market, your competitors and public sector procurement officers. Please refer to Understand the Market for more information.
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
There are several organisations who provide training, advice and support for free on bidding for public sector contracts. Further details can be found in Support Available.