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Supplier's guide to selling to the council

Types of procurement process

Depending on the nature of what we need to buy, we might need to use a particular type of process to carry out the procurement. Use this page to understand the different process we use to procure the goods, works and services that we need.

The Public Sector procurement regulations prescribe various procedures for carrying out procurement, all of which have slightly different benefits.

Open (one-stage) process

Any organisation can express an interest and request tender documents. This is a single stage process, where all tender documents are completed and returned at the same time.

You must return your submissions within the mandatory minimum time limit which will be stated in the tender documentation. This is currently the most commonly used procurement process.

Read the step-by-step guide

Restricted (two-stage) process

A two-stage process. Organisations expressing an interest undergo an initial pre-qualification assessment, called a Supplier Selection Questionnaire.

Following the evaluation of the pre-qualification assessment, we decide on a shortlist of applicants and only those shortlisted are invited to tender.

All tender submissions must be returned within the mandatory time limit which will be stated within the relevant documentation.


Interested organisations will undergo an initial pre-qualification assessment. Under very limited circumstances, we will then negotiate with one or two suitable contractors.

Competitive dialogue

We use this process very rarely due to the time and cost implication. It is only used for very complex procurement exercises where discussions with potential suppliers are vital to the tendering process.

Mini competition

A mini competition is a process you need to carry out to place a call-off contract under a framework agreement or DPS, where the best value supplier has not been specified.

This allows the authority to refine its requirements whilst retaining the benefits offered under the collaborative agreement that has been established already.