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Public Sector Tendering in the Engineering Sector

Host: Sheffield City Region Growth Hub
Venue: Tapton Park Innovation Centre, Chesterfield, S41 0TZ
Date: Wednesday 20th February, 2019
Time: 8.30am - 12.30pm
Cost: Free

This one-day Masterclass provides an essential introduction to public sector tendering for small businesses in the engineering sector, including new start-ups, SMEs, micro-businesses, and social enterprises. The learning objectives for the day include: preparing your business to tender; how and where to find tender opportunities; understanding tender requirements; commercial considerations, and; how to respond to and submit a tender.

This Masterclass will cover:

• Preparing your business to tender: Devising an organisational bid strategy; pros and cons of public sector markets; common supplier requirements (e.g. insurances, key policies, accreditations, audited accounts, case studies); tendering thresholds; different types of tendering (e.g. framework, restrictive, open etc.); procurement rules; assigning bid responsibilities; setting and measuring bid objectives.

• How and where to find tender opportunities: Horizon scanning for future opportunity; online tender portal demonstration (e.g. Contracts Finder, YORTender); using subscription services; supply chain opportunities with other contractors; other opportunity sources (internet, social media, newspapers, trade associations). This masterclass will include an overview of:
• the public sector market for engineering (e.g. mechanical engineering, civil engineering, maintenance services, telecommunications, calibration/testing etc.);
• Engineering, Procurement Construction (EPC) contract models;
• Sector context and opportunity in the SCR (e.g. steel sector, high speed rail, advanced manufacturing, aviation support, etc.)
• the supply chain procurement portals of major engineering firms (e.g. Linde, Betchtel, Arup, Sheffield Forgemasters);
• key engineering frameworks (e.g. NEPO Civil Engineering & Infrastructure Framework, Scape Group Civil Engineering Frameworks);
• procurement features specific to construction (e.g. Engineering Council registration);

• Understanding tender requirements: different tender documents (PQQ, SSQ, ITT, etc.); identifying key information; TUPE considerations; required accreditations, making bid/no-bid decisions (e.g. SWOT resources); different procurement procedures (open, closed, frameworks, DPS); interpreting tender specifications; understanding scoring/evaluation criteria (quality vs. price); social value; solution design.

• How to respond to and submit a tender: Managing bid projects; interpreting tender questions; structure and storyboarding; writing winning content; using evidence and case studies; best practice answers (with examples): ensuring compliance; using space effectively (character/word counts); pricing strategies and commercial considerations (e.g. payment mechanisms); effective proof reading; submission and upload

What are the benefits to my business?

Key business benefits for attendees will include:
• Customised content to look specifically at tender issues in the services sector;
• A more informed understanding of competitive tendering;
• Greater insight in how to source and identify bid opportunities;
• Greater ability to qualify opportunities and make informed bid/no-bid decisions;
• Better understanding of the bid process, to inform investment decisions;
• More insight into the characteristics of winning bids;
• A foundation from which to achieve an improved success rate on bid wins.

Who is leading it?

The masterclass facilitators are:

Laura Shepherd, Managing Consultant, Carley Consult Ltd: Laura was previously a Commercial Bid Manager and Commissioning Manager with Nottingham City Council. She is studying towards Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) accreditation and has led on our procurement projects with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Anna Galbraith, Managing Consultant, Carley Consult Ltd: Anna previously worked in senior business development roles for A4e and the Newcastle College Group. She has a career record of winning bids submitted to the likes of the ESFA, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly, and Sheffield City Council

Who is the Masterclass for?

This Masterclass is for all growing SMEs within the Sheffield City Region, as long as the below eligibility criteria is met.

The masterclass is aimed at High Growth SME’s based in the Sheffield City Region in the engineering sector who may be new to the tendering process and looking to start bidding for public sector tenders, or to improve their bid writing process. All attendees must be eligible for the SCR Growth Hub Enhancement Project.


Q/ How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

A/ Email

Q/ What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?
A/ There is free on-site parking available. Chesterfield Station is approximately 0.5 miles away.

Q/ I would like to bring a colleague, is this ok?

A/ No, only one attendee per company is permitted.

Q/ Will refreshments be provided?

A/ Tea and coffee will be available on arrival, with a further refreshment break mid-way through the masterclass. Lunch is not provided.


Only one registration per business via Eventbrite will be confirmed. If additional people from your business would like to attend, they can be added to a waiting list by emailing with the business name, name of additional attendee and contact telephone number. If this Masterclass isn’t fully subscribed upon the closure of registrations, we will contact you to offer the additional place. The waiting list will be prioritised on a first come first served basis. Businesses that register more than one attendee via Eventbrite will be contacted and asked to nominate one person to attend.

This Masterclass is open to small and medium-sized enterprises based in the Sheffield City Region. If you are unsure whether you fall into this region you can use the postcode checker.

A part of your business must be based in one of the following districts: Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire. Rotherham or Sheffield.

Please note that if your firm that is part of a larger Group you may need to include staff headcount, turnover, balance sheet data for the Group too, to ascertain whether it is eligible.

We are pleased to be able to provide this masterclass free of charge due to funding from the European Regional Development Fund. There are a number of eligibility criteria for attendees which we will check using the online registration questions and in a phone call to every attendee prior to the event.


This event will be delivered by the ‘Sheffield City Region Growth Hub Enhancement Project’ that is part-funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The project, for high-growth businesses in the Sheffield City Region, aims to increase their competitiveness and so help them grow and prosper.


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