Rumour has it, the CCS / NHS Health Sector Resourcing tender - Non Medical, Non Clinical will be released on the 23rd April 2019 (St Georges Day).
You may already feel slain by dragons, after years of waiting for your chance to supply workers to the NHS, but what minimum standards are agencies required to meet to be considered for a Government contract? Read on to find out.
CCS Supplier Eligibility Criteria
The Crown Commercial Service and the NHS both use the Selection Questionnaire to prequalify suppliers for a framework agreement. The Selection Questionnaire replaced the Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) in 2015.
The Selection Questionnaire consists of 3 parts, part 1 and part 2 are standard to ALL public sector tenders. Bidders are required to self-declare that none of the exclusion grounds (see part 2 below) have been breached, and that they meet the required selection criteria. Part 3 of the Selection Questionnaire allows the buyer to ask questions specific to the contract.
Part 1 of the Selection Questionnaire
Bidder Information, Sub Contracting and Consortia
If a bidder is relying on a sub-contractor to deliver the service and the sub-contractor’s capacity, professional credentials are essential to passing the selection criteria and they are being relied on, sub contractor's must provide a self-declaration (Part 1 and Part 2 of the SQ).
If the buyer chooses to ask for a separate completed standard Selection Questionnaire Part 1 and Part 2 from all sub-contractors to verify if there are grounds for excluding it or not, and there are grounds for mandatory exclusion then the sub-contractor must be replaced.
Each member of a consortia would complete their own Part 1 and Part 2 (because only they can declare whether they have breached the exclusion grounds or not). Part 3 is completed by the lead supplier for the consortia as a group.
Part 2 of the Selection Questionnaire
Exclusion Grounds - Mandatory and Discretionary
If the business (or the Directors of the business) are found guilty of any one of the following criminal convictions, the bidder will automatically be excluded from a the tender process: bribery, corruption, terrorism, fraud and money laundering.
Discretionary exclusions include: insolvency, conflicts of interest, misrepresentation. CCS will determine if a bidder will be disqualified on discretionary grounds by reviewing the bidders supporting evidence.
Part 3 of the Selection Questionnaire
1) Economic & Financial Standing
Bidders are required to provide at least 2 years financial accounts and pass a D&B credit check. If a bidder does not have 2 years accounts (e.g. they are a start up) they can provide other forms of financial evidence such as: balance sheets, bank reference.
A turnover of twice the annual contract value is acceptable as a pass/fail criteria as are minimum credit rating scores. Bidders who fail the financial assessment are permitted a guarantor, (who must also pass the financial assessment) to guarantee all liabilities for the duration of the contract term.
2) Technical & Professional Ability
Bidders are asked to demonstrate their previous performance, (typically for a period of 3 years). For service contracts, bidders may be asked to evidence a minimum number of hours, value of contract by providing a performance certificate, signed and verified by the customer, whom received the service.
3) Modern Slavery
Bidders who are a relevant commercial organisation, as defined by section 54 ("Transparency in supply chains etc.") of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 ("the Act") are required to provide their Modern Slavery Statement.
Bidders are required to provide evidence (upon award of a contract) they have the appropriate level of insurance in place. Insurance levels vary but £5 million employee liability, £5 million professional/ product liability and £5 million public liability are frequently used. The tender will advise the levels of insurance bidders require.
5) Apprenticeships and Cyber Essential Certificates
Bidders are required to provide details about their participation in apprenticeship schemes and in recent recruitment agency tenders, CCS has mandated the Cyber Essentials Certificate.
A copy of the Selection Questionnaire can be found here.
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