Is Public Sector Tendering Right for Your Business: A Commercial Opportunit...

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Barnsley Business Innovation Centre

Business Innovation Centre

Innovation Way


S75 1JL

United Kingdom

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This one-day Masterclass provides an essential introduction to public sector tendering for small and medium -sized enterprises (SMEs) and an opportunity to evaluate if tendering is right for their business.

The workshop will commence with an opening session focusing on Preparing your Business to Tender (Session 1) and How and Where to Find Tender Opportunities (Session 2) and will continue with an In-Depth Review of the Commercial Considerations (Session 3) a business should take into account when considering if tendering is right for their business.

This masterclass is complimentary to the 'Public Sector Tendering - What You Need to Know' and 'Public Sector Tendering: Writing a Winning Bid - How to Respond and Submit a Tender' Masterclasses which we are running.

Session1: Preparing Your Business to Tender:

  • Explanation / contextualisation of public sector tendering, the opportunities and challenges

  • Tendering thresholds, different types of tendering (e.g. framework, restrictive, open etc) and procurement rules

  • How to be tender ready, consideration of supplier requirements and the policies, accreditations, finance information, insurances, case studies needed to apply and organisational management of the tendering process

  • Attendees will undertake an organisational Tender Ready Review to identify the information they need to be tender ready and develop their own action plan for implementation. They will also take away a free Tender Ready Guide containing examples of policies and procedure templates which they will be able to adapt for their own organisation.

Session 2: How and Where to Find Tender Opportunities

Live demonstrations of the main tender portals (Contracts Finder, Due North/Proaxis, Intend) and other ways to find tenders (social media, newsletters, web searches), commercial tender search services, paid for tender portal e.g. Achilles, Local Authority contract registers and upcoming bid opportunities, Crown Commercial portal

  • Explanation of how to find opportunities, register interest and download tender documents.

  • Clarification of the different types of tender documents, Standard Questionnaire (SQ), on-line questionnaires, ITT’s, Form of Tender, Collusive Tendering Form.

Session 3: Is Public Sector Tendering Right for Your Business: A Commercial Opportunity?

  • Devising and implementing tender driven growth strategies.

  • Identifying barriers to success

  • How to reflect your organisational voice, values, and ethos.

  • Exploring whether to bid and using SWOT to help make an effective decision

  • Implications on resources and management considerations

  • Pricing strategies and discounting

  • Social Value Act and its implications

  • Cash flow/working capital requirements and investment requirements.

  • Allocating the right skills sets and resources to different elements of the contract

Workshop Tender Surgery: After the presentation element of the workshop is complete all attendees will be offered a minimum 15-minute surgery with Rachel or Julia to discuss and formulate either a Tender Development Plan for their organisation to support them to put into practice the information they have learnt or the opportunity to discuss a current tender they are working on.

Session Structure

The 1-day workshop will be a combination of presentation of key information and individual and group activities and one to one surgeries to discuss a tender they are working on currently or to review a previously unsuccessful tender.

Benefits to the Business

Businesses will be able to gain a greater insight into what is involved in bidding for public sector tenders, where and how they can find out about opportunities and what information they need to have in place to be able to respond quickly and effectively.

The session will also look at ‘real’ tender questions and how responses were formulated and drafted.

Businesses will also be able to focus on a specific tender of interest to them, supporting them to draft a tender response and gain support with addressing challenging tender questions from the Workshop Speakers.

Who is it for?

This Masterclass is for all growing SMEs within the Sheffield City Region, as long as the eligibility criteria is met.

It is primarily for those who are new to the tendering process and looking to start bidding for public sector tenders and also those looking to improve their bid writing processes.

Who is leading it?

Rachel Fletcher (MD) and Julia Fletcher (Management Consultant) of FCS Associates will be leading the session.

Both individuals have extensive experience of bidding for public sector tenders for FCS Associates and supporting SMEs to bid for and win new public sector tender business. The two individuals have a wide range of expertise across a variety of sectors including IT, healthcare, construction, business services and trade and have worked on both small and large singular and framework bid opportunities.


Only one registration per business via Eventbrite will be confirmed. If additional people from your business would like to attend, they can be added to a waiting list by emailing with the business name, name of additional attendee and contact telephone number. If this Masterclass isn’t fully subscribed upon the closure of registrations, we will contact you to offer the additional place. The waiting list will be prioritised on a first come first served basis. Businesses that register more than one attendee via Eventbrite will be contacted and asked to nominate one person to attend.

This masterclass is open to small and medium-sized enterprisesbased in the Sheffield City Region. If you are unsure whether you fall into this region you can use the postcode checker here: A part of your busiuness must be based in one of the following districts:

Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire. Rotherham or Sheffield.

To find out if your business meets the definition for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), please visit:

Please note that if your firm that is part of a larger Group you may need to include staff headcount, turnover, balance sheet data for the Group too, to ascertain whether it is eligible.

We are pleased to be able to provide this masterclass free of charge due to funding from the European Regional Development Fund. There are a number of eligibility criteria for attendees which we will check using the online registration questions and in a phone call to every attendee prior to the event.


Q/ How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

A/ Email

Q/ What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

A/ 2 miles from Barnsley Train Station and a regular bus service is available. Free parking is available at this venue

Q/ How accessible is the venue?

A/ There are no accessibility issues at the venue.

Q/ I would like to bring a colleague, is this ok?

A/ No, only one attendee per company is permitted.

Q/ Will refreshments be provided?

A/ Refreshments (tea, coffee, fruit teas and water) are available throughout the session and a light lunch is included.

This event will be delivered by the ‘Sheffield City Region Growth Hub Enhancement Project’ that is part-funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The project, for high-growth businesses in the Sheffield City Region, aims to increase their competitiveness and so help them grow and prosper.

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Barnsley Business Innovation Centre

Business Innovation Centre

Innovation Way


S75 1JL

United Kingdom

View Map

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