Last edited 14 Jun 2018

Selection criteria

Selection criteria (sometimes referred to as award criteria or evaluation criteria) are lists of items against which a prospective supplier can be assessed before a selection is made and a contract awarded. They might also be used to help identify suitable individuals when seeking new employees.

Defining specific selection criteria can help an employer agree among themselves the characteristics that they value. This helps ensure they identify the best value submission, rather than simply the lowest price submission. When the employer is evaluating submissions, referring to the selection criteria, or perhaps even giving marks against each criteria can help focus the assessment and prevent it being dominated by personal preferences or by forceful individuals.

Informing applicants what the selection criteria are can create a fairer process, enabling applicants to consider in advance whether they are suitable, and helping them tailor their submissions. It also makes the application process more transparent and so less open to challenge.

Assessment criteria will vary significantly depending on the nature of the role; whether it is for a consultant, contractor, other supplier or employee, however, some typical criteria might include:

  • Price.
  • Relevant experience.
  • Understanding of the requirements.
  • Past performance.
  • Technical skills.
  • Availability.
  • Management skills.
  • Proposed methodology.
  • Compliance with the requirements of the submission process.
  • Financial standing.

The criteria may be weighted to reflect how important they are to the client. Each submission is then given a score against each criteria. Submissions might be scored by a number of assessors, or different assessor might score different criteria.

The overall score for a submission can be calculated by multiplying the score for each criteria by its weighting and then adding together or averaging the results for each assessor. Where there are very different scores between assessors, a meeting might be held to discuss the reasons.

More complex assessments might include additional benchmarks. For example, there may be certain criteria that are straight-forward pass/fail issues. There may also be criteria for which a very low rating is unacceptable irrespective of scores for other criteria.

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