End of the PQQ – long live the new SQ

End of the PQQ – long live the new SQ

End of the PQQ – Long live the new SQ.

For those of you not close to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), you will probably not have seen the latest news…

On the 26 September 2016, the CCS released the new Selection Questionnaire (SQ). This has replaced the Standard PQQ we have become used to since its release during February 2015.  At BIZphit we keep an eye on these things, this is what we do – provide tendering expertise to clients.

We investigated the new questionnaire to discover what exactly the excitement was all about.  More importantly what does this mean for our clients and for all who aspire to supply into the public sector.

The new questionnaire has been changed to create a much closer alignment with the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). The Crown Commercial Service (CCS), aspires to invoke the use of the SQ with immediate effect.

How this will work practically we are not sure at this point. Public Sector bodies will probably need some time for transition from the old to the new at a time when procurement officers are ever pressured to do more with less.

To simplify the background, CCS have simply stated:

“The standard Selection Questionnaire was developed to simplify the supplier selection process for businesses.  In particular for smaller businesses, supplying to the public sector. In developing the SQ, an opportunity has been taken to ensure the questionnaire is compliant with the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD), also amending the rules on the selection of suppliers”.

Source CCS –  PPN 8/16 Standard SQ

The use of the ESPD was mandated across Europe and will be rolled out across the UK in the future. What that means practically is not so easy to predict. We believe that it will be difficult to assess the impact on smaller suppliers who are already pressed to complete the PQQ and ITT documentation.

The ESPD has of course been created to make tendering easier for smaller businesses.  This was a key driver of the amendments to the Public Contracts Regulations in 2015. Again practically this means that suppliers can submit their ESPD during the selection stage rather than full tender documents.

The major reason that we need the SQ is to standardise and simplify the tendering process, we live that problem with our clients every day, they know just how difficult the process and procedure can be.

In our next blog post we will look at the actual changes inside the SQ, and how clients can help themselves to be further prepared for the changes over the coming months.