Everything You Need to Know about Tendering in Scotland

In Scotland, the public sector spends approximately £11 billion in purchasing goods and services, a vast majority of this is through tenders. This means that for businesses looking for lucrative opportunities to tender, looking beyond Hadrian’s Wall may be a wise move as the opportunities are plentiful. Scotland’s public sector is overwhelmingly made up of local government and NHS jobs, meaning there is a high likelihood of these two bodies providing the majority of tenders. 

The Scottish Government have worked to develop the process of tendering by introducing new processes and resources to aid businesses in establishing relationships that are mutually beneficial and lasting. One such move is putting place collaborative contracts and frameworks for the public sector which aims to maximise efficiency and save money. The Scottish Government also aim to foster more transparency and accountability in the world of tendering by publishing contract details, strategies and annual reports, and monitoring performance. By promoting transparency in tendering the aim is to ensure the world of tendering and procurement is fairer. 

The Government themselves are publishing their public procurement priorities for 2021 to 2022 which demonstrate their commitment to using the power of procurement to deliver and influence outcomes that are good for the people of Scotland. This means that businesses can research what opportunities are available in Scotland that can complement their business operations and can align with the goods and services provided by a company. These priorities also outline the Scottish Government’s aims and aspirations for tendering and procurement following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. It is important for any business aiming to tender with Scottish businesses to review these goals and develop an understanding of them. Read this information here.

Another opportunity to be mindful of in Scotland that is less present in England and Wales is the opportunity to tender with the Department for Forestry and Land. Scotland has significantly more wild spaces and national park land than elsewhere in the UK and with this comes unique contracts for businesses that work in various aspects of maintenance and grounds management. The maintenance of Scotland’s natural spaces is no small feat and sometimes the public bodies that manage them require outside assistance to ensure they are managed appropriately. This can mean contracts relating to surveillance technology, grounds management, road maintenance, and a number of other different services.

Scotland’s tendering opportunities go beyond maintenance of its natural spaces, the NHS in Scotland, as it is in England and Wales, is heavily reliant upon tenders to fulfil its operations. A number of trusts in Scotland will require medical equipment, technological assistance, and a number of other services and goods. Find out more about the possibilities in the medical field here. 

One of the best places to find a tender in Scotland is through Public Contracts Scotland (PCS-Tender) which is a national digital etendering system centrally funded by the Scottish Government. This service can be used to advertise tenders you can bid for from the Scottish Government, Fire and Police, the NHS, Local Authorities, Education, Third Sector Businesses, and other public bodies via the Scottish Government. This platform centralises where to find tenders in Scotland and allows a business to find the best tenders for them across a number of different sectors. 

Ultimately tendering in Scotland does not differ greatly from how it does in England and Wales, however it does have additional opportunities, new challenges, and additional guidance and regulations from the devolved Scottish Government. Scotland offers businesses excellent opportunities to form new business relationships and great ways to expand their operations through lucrative and long-lasting tenders.

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