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Approved provider lists wiki
Getting your organisation on approved provider lists for public service delivery work.
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In some cases, only organisations on a particular list are invited to tender. Organisations are checked for competence before being placed on these lists. You can normally apply to be put on the list once each year, when the opportunity is advertised.
This means that the contract commissioner does not need to go through an expensive advertising process for every tender and can be confident there are a number of potential suppliers available when they want. Check whether there is an approved list for your type of services in your area.
Provider framework agreements
Public bodies can also set up Framework Agreements that stand for up to four years. This sets up a closed system of providers that named purchasing bodies can buy from in that period. The public body will either approach a listed provider directly or hold a mini competition between listed providers.
Getting onto a framework agreement will be a similar process to tendering for other pieces of work. However, as with an Approved List, being listed itself is no guarantee of receiving work.
Be aware if commissioners want to set up a framework agreement that if you miss applying, or are unsuccessful in getting onto the framework, then you will have missed out and will be locked out for the duration of the framework (up to four years).
Barriers to inclusion in approved provider lists
Some commissioners have been found to discriminate against third sector organisations in preparing these lists, eg through requiring unnecessarily high insurance levels or turnovers. Instances of this kind should be challenged and a local infrastructure organisation, such as a council for voluntary service, could help you with this. will help you to find an appropriate local infrastrcuture organisation.
Have your say
Share your experiences of tendering in the Commissioning and procurement forum.