Guidance Note for Suppliers on the Standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire
PQQ is a term used to describe the process under EU legislation used by public
sector buyers to ascertain the suitability, capacity and capability of prospective
suppliers. This is a necessary process to ensure that public money is spent with
lawful, capable and stable suppliers.
Buyers will use a PQQ to assess the resources and capability of suppliers who
express interest in a contract opportunity. This is usually but not always done when
there is a lot of interest in the contract opportunity and it is not feasible to invite all
interested suppliers to submit a bid. The intention of this stage of the procurement
process is to identify the suppliers who are most capable of performing the contract.
The government is committed to ensuring the public contracts are awarded to
legitimate businesses which is why any supplier convicted of one of the criminal
offences listed under regulation 23 of the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations
2012 will not be invited to bid for a public contract.
How is a PQQ used?
A PQQ should be proportionate to the value of the purchase, its sensitivity,
estimated risks, and the complexity of the requirement.
Under Route One of the Supplier Journey, the supplier appraisal may be no more
complicated than confirming potential tenderers are experienced in their business,
can supply the requirement and have not been convicted of any of the criminal
offences listed in regulation 23(1) of the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations
However, even a small purchase could involve some detailed supplier appraisal work
should the item be of strategic importance or involve a frequent servicing
After evaluating PQQ responses, buyers will provide an evaluation report that clearly
identifies the reasons for rejecting suppliers and suppliers will be advised in writing of
the outcome of the PQQ evaluation stage. If you are unsuccessful at this stage,
remember that you can and should ask for feedback from the buyer.
Introducing a National sPQQ
The inconsistency and over-bureaucracy in the use of PQQs has been highlighted by
suppliers as one of the greatest barriers to their participation in the public sector
To reduce the burden of the PQQ process on both suppliers and buyers, the Scottish
public sector have worked together and as a result of listening to these concerns,
Scottish Procurement have introduced a sPQQ, which is now available for use
on the PCS-Tender system. This includes a standardised question set for use by all
public sector buyers, and will allow suppliers to answer these questions once, and
store those answers online.