Single Procurement Document (SPD)

What is the Single Procurement Document (SPD)?

The Single Procurement Document or SPD is a standard questionnaire that contains questions used at the selection stage of a procurement exercise.  The SPD allows buyers to ask questions to identify suitably qualified and experienced bidders for their procurement. This helps to ensure that public money is spent with lawful, capable and financially stable suppliers. 

Questions in the SPD are generic. In some cases, the buyer must add to the standard SPD selection questions with specific minimum requirements relating to their procurement. Buyers must ensure that any such requirements are proportionate to the value and risk of the contract, and are not overly demanding for bidders.

You will use your SPD response to indicate whether your organisation can meet the requirements of the procurement exercise.

The SPD questionnaire is a self-declaration form which means bidders do not need to provide any evidence upfront unless there are clear reasons for doing so.  Evidence may be requested from the successful bidder(s) at the end of the first stage of a two stage procedure, and is requested prior to awarding the contract.

The SPD was introduced to:
  • ensure a consistent process
  • reduce supplier workload
  • remove barriers to bidding, especially for small suppliers.

An SPD is:

  • mandatory to use by buyers for higher value regulated procurements
  • best practice to use by buyers for £50k (excluding VAT) and above i.e. regulated procurements.

The SPD will be issued to bidders in either of two separate procedures:

  • if it is part of a one stage procedure, it will be issued alongside the other procurement documents and will be assessed on a pass/fail basis
  • if it is part of a two stage procedure, it will be issued alone and the buyer will shortlist the number of suppliers to take through to the second stage. In this instance most of the SPD will be assessed on a pass/fail basis but the buyer may wish to score and weight the technical section.

SPD Questionnaire

The SPD questionnaire is split into 3 sections:

Bidder Information:

this section will ask you information about your organisation. This includes questions on:

  • whether you are an SME? 
  • whether you are bidding as part of a group?
Exclusion Questions:

these questions ask about:

  • any criminal convictions and
  • any other activity that could exclude you from the process.

These questions are assessed on a pass/fail basis. If you have committed any offences you will be given an opportunity to provide details of any remedial action you have taken (which may permit you to continue in the procurement process).

Selection Questions:

these questions focus on topics such as:

  • technical and professional ability and
  • financial information

In some instances, the buyer will provide minimum requirements to complete the generic question.  For example, if a procurement exercise requires insurance cover the buyer will provide information on the levels of insurance cover required.


You should answer all questions truthfully and if you need further clarification, contact the buyer.

What do I need to do if I am relying on others or using a sub-contractor?

Where you are relying on others to meet the selection criteria for your bid (for example you are bidding as part of a consortium or you are using a sub contractor) you need to complete a separate SPD response from each of the organisations/groups you are relying on to make your bid.

Each organisation/group must complete the exclusion criteria section of the SPD and whichever selection questions you are relying on them for.

If you are using a sub-contractor (but not relying on them to meet the selection criteria) each sub-contractor should complete an SPD response. In this instance, they will only need to complete the exclusion criteria.

The main bidder is responsible for collecting and submitting all of the SPD’s required as part of the bid being made.

All of the SPD responses will be evaluated alongside the main bidders’ SPD.

Quickfire Guide

Quickfire Guide

The SPD:

  • is a standard questionnaire
  • is used by buyers to ask exclusion and selection questions
  • cannot have questions added or existing questions amended by the buyer and therefore should only contain questions that are relevant and proportionate to the procurement exercise
  • should contain minimum requirements for certain selection questions where relevant e.g. if a procurement exercise had insurance requirements the buyer will include the insurance levels needed
  • is a self-declaration process i.e. bidders do not need to provide up-front evidence.  Normally only the supplier who is likely to be awarded the contract will be asked for this information by the buyer at the award stage
  • you are expected to answer all questions truthfully
  • data previously submitted in an SPD can be re-used by the bidder (as long as it is relevant and correct for the new current procurement exercise).

Format of the SPD

The SPD is available in two formats.  These are:

 PCS SPD Module

  • the module allows buyers to create their SPD requests electronically 
  • you do not need any additional or new log-ins and the SPD will be available as part of your postbox response.
  • the buyer will select the questions that are proportionate and relevant to the procurement exercise
  • the buyer will add minimum requirements beside the relevant question.  As a result this information does not need to be added into the Contract Notice
  • you will complete your SPD response online and submit it with any other documents within your PCS postbox prior to the closing date and time of the tender.  
  • you can create a Profile with all your answers to the SPD  questions saved within it. These can be used to prepopulate future SPD responses.  Please note: you must ensure that the responses are still correct and relevant to any  future procurement exercise.

SPD in PCS-Tender

  • the SPD questions will be built into the relevant PCS-Tender project (procurement exercise)
  • the buyer will select the questions that are proportionate and relevant to their procurement exercise online in PCS-Tender.  These are the only questions you will see
  • if the buyer has any SPD questions which require minimum requirements these will be added into the Contract Notice or within the procurement documents
  • the Contract Notice in PCS will include a link to PCS-Tender
  • to bid, respond to the questions online in PCS-Tender and submit with any other bid documents you may have before the tender deadline;
  • any previous PCS-Tender responses saved as a supplier profile will automatically be pre-populated into future SPD responses.  Please note: you must ensure that the responses are still correct and relevant to any new, future procurement exercise.

What is the Difference between the SPD and the ESPD?

The SPD replaced the ESPD in most procurement exercises and there are only some slight changes between the SPD and the ESPD e.g. in terminology. 

The SPD is the Single Procurement Document and the ESPD is the European Single Procurement Document.  The ESPD was used when the UK was a member state of the EU however since the UK's exit from the EU (and the ending of the trading transition period at 11 p.m. on 31 December 2020) the UK now use the SPD.

In some instances a buyer may ask bidders to complete an ESPD but this will only be when the procurement exercise you are bidding for was advertised before 11 p.m. on 31 December 2020.

Quickfire Guide

Quickfire Guide

SPD Summary

Process in Summary:

  • the buyer will determine which standard SPD questions are required for their procurement
  • the buyer will include any minimum requirements in either PCS SPD Module or in the Contract Notice
  • the Contract Notice is published via Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) by the buyer
  • you decide whether to submit a bid
  • you must respond to the SPD in the format the buyer has specified
  • the buyer will normally only request evidence/certification before contract award.


You should:

  • register on PCS and PCS-Tender
  • raise any queries with the buyer
  • allow as much time as possible to raise clarifications/complete your bid
  • ensure responses are relevant to the particular procurement exercise
  • double-check all responses before submitting your bid