- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 21 Sep 2020
Traditional contract: tender
 Starting the work stage.
The lead consultant co-ordinates a start-up meeting with the consultant team and the client to agree the programme and procedures that will be adopted for tendering. The client gives any instructions necessary regarding lists of approved contractors, OJEU requirements, preferred form of contract, contract conditions, the allocation of risk and the appointment of the contract administrator. The contract administrator agrees with the client their delegated limit for issuing instructions in relation to the contract.
The lead consultant and client prepare selection criteria for contractors and if appropriate, pre-qualification questionnaires. If it is necessary and has not already been done, OJEU or other adverts are prepared although, ideally, in order to avoid serious delays, this should have been done when planning approval was received.
 Preparing the tender documentation.
The lead consultant co-ordinates advice from the consultant team on the form of contract and contract conditions and advises the client. The client considers advice on the form of contract and contract conditions and instructs the lead consultant.
The lead designer co-ordinates the preparation of tender documentation and any other information required for the preparation of the pre-tender estimate, cash flow projection and tender pricing document. The cost consultant prepares the pre-tender estimate, cash flow projection and tender pricing document.
From responses received to any adverts placed, or from recommendations received, the contract administrator co-ordinates the preparation of a long list of potential tenderers (the client may wish to include particular tenderers on this list). The contract administrator issues pre-qualification questionnaires to the long list of potential tenderers.
The contract administrator receives completed pre-qualification questionnaires from the long list of potential tenderers and the cost consultant carries out financial checks on potential tenderers (ideally the contract should not be more than 20% of the annual turnover of the potential tenderers).
The contract administrator prepares a short list of tenderers for client comment or approval. The client accepts or alters the initial short list of tenderers and instructs the contract administrator to arrange pre-tender interviews with the initial short list of tenderers.
Following the pre-tender interviews, the contract administrator co-ordinates any amendments to the initial short list of tenderers and agrees the final short list of tenderers with the client. If necessary, following comments received during the pre-tender interviews, the contract administrator co-ordinates amendments to the tender documentation.
 Identifying the preferred tenderer(s).
The contract administrator compiles queries from tenderers and co-ordinates responses, which should be issued to all tenderers. If necessary, the contract administrator arranges mid-tender interviews or site visits for the tenderers. If queries from the tenderers or discussions during the mid-tender interviews result in significant clarification of, or changes to, the tender documentation, the contract administrator may recommend to the client that the tender period is extended.
The client receives the tenders. They may follow a formal procedure for opening and recording tenders. The contract administrator co-ordinates the assessment of the tenders. This may include further interviews. The lead designer co-ordinates assessment of any contractor's proposals submitted by tenders.
The client receives the tender appraisals from the consultant team, and instructs the contract administrator to enter into negotiations with the preferred tenderer(s). A reserve tenderer may be retained in the event that negotiations with the preferred tenderer are unsuccessful.
 Entering into negotiations with the preferred tenderer(s).
The contract administrator co-ordinates negotiations with the preferred tenderer(s). Negotiations may be led at different stages by the cost consultant, contract administrator, lead designer, architect or by a client representative such as a project manager. It is paramount in any negotiation that the individuals at the negotiating table either have authority to fully negotiate terms or make it clear from the start the limits of their authority. This may mean re-convening with the right people empowered to make decisions.
The contract administrator co-ordinates the preparation of a tender report. The client considers the tender report; and if necessary instructs changes to the tender documents. If instructed the contract administrator co-ordinates adjustments to tender documents and requests a revised tender from the preferred tenderer(s).
 Appointing the contractor.
The contract administrator (or sometimes the cost consultant) collates the contract documents and arranges for the printing (engrossment) and execution of two copies, one for the client and one for the contractor. Alternatively, the client might retain one executed contract, with certified copies being issued to the contractor, this can avoid potential errors in preparing two contracts for execution. The contractor may be required to provide: a performance bond, warranties and evidence of insurance cover.
Featured articles and news
Engineers pay tribute by sharing their memories.
The hidden price of infrastructure.
BREEAM incorporates wellbeing into its Building Back Better programme.
Administration signals policy changes on some building-related issues.
From inns and coaching houses to boutiques.
Survey reveals green skills gap.
America's economic collapse produced scores of PWA Moderne projects.
The benefits of glowing aggregates and cement.
Urgent need for open communication to address mental health issues.
Guidance offered on COVID-19 green recovery, building safety and more.
Providing strength and support above the joists.