ITT, RFQ, PQQ, RFP, RFI, PIN, what is this strange language I am speaking?
In this blog post, I demystify common tender process acronyms for you. I provide a list of the most important acronyms, tell you what the acronym stands for and at what stage it appears in the public procurement tender process.
What is an acronym?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines acronym as
an abbreviation consisting of the first letters of each word in the name of something, pronounced as a word.
Why are acronyms important in procurement?
Acronyms are important in procurement because their use (for convenience and speed) provides universal understanding.
Even our procurement qualification and chartered institute is better known by their acronym! And over 66 percent of all organisations I’ve previously worked for - are better known by their acronym – National Health Service (NHS).
If you want to succeed with procurement, having a basic understanding of procurement acronyms is useful.
What are the most important tender acronyms?
Invitation To Tender
Request for Quote
Request for Proposal
Request for Information
Request for Tender
Pre Qualification Questionnaire
Standard Selection Questionnaire
European Single Procurement Document
Prior Information Notice
Expression of Interest
Most Economic Advantageous Tender
What does each acronym mean?
Below I provide a concise description of the tender acronym and it's purpose in the procurement tender process.
What is a Request for Information RFI ?
The Request for Information (RFI) is a procurement tool frequently used to obtain high level information from the marketplace about products, services and business activities.
What is a Prior Information Notice PIN?
The Prior Information Notice (PIN) is the procurement tool used by procurement to communicate their intention to tender a requirement at a later date. The PIN may request any interested supplier submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The PIN may also include an RFI.
What is a Pre Qualification Questionnaire PQQ ?
The Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) is a questionnaire for suppliers to provide information about their organisation.
The PQQ was replaced by the Standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ) in 2016 to fully align the UK to the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD).
However, the PQQ is still used in construction tenders.
What is a Standard Selection Questionnaire SQ ?
The Standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ) is a questionnaire for suppliers to complete to provide information about their organisation.
The SQ consists of 3 parts.
Part 1 and part 2 consist of questions that must be asked as part of all public procurement tender processes.
Part 3 replicates the Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) in that procurement has the freedom to ask their own questions.
Why is the Standard Selection Questionnaire acronym SQ and why isn’t the Standard Selection Questionnaire acronym SQQ ?
Why does the Standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ) break the acronym rule?
In short, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) are the ultimate procurement authority for the Standard Selection Questionnaire acronym, and they chose SQ.
Procurement professionals (I included) have always referred to the questionnaire as the Selection Questionnaire (SQ).
What is an Invitation to Tender ITT?
Procurement is responsible for issuing an instruction manual that advises suppliers how to respond to the tender.
In the public sector, this instruction manual is known as the Invitation to Tender or ITT for short.
However, I’ve also seen the public sector call their instruction manuals Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Tender (RFT) and Request for Quote (RFQ).
Remember to comment if you found this post useful.
About the Author
Naomi Clews is a public procurement consultant and professional writer with over 17 years of UK public procurement tendering knowledge, skills and experience.
27/10/2019 10:19:05 am
Thank you Louise for your comment. I am pleased you found the blog post helpful.
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Naomi Clews Consultancy
Procurement, Tendering, Business Skills