learndirect eCourses is offering the Winning the Contract course free of charge.
Each year the public sector spends around £236 billion buying a huge array of goods and services. The government needs to be able to purchase the most innovative, flexible and cost effective solutions to meet its needs and to ensure that taxpayers get value for their money. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are often best placed to offer such solutions but, at the same time, the government is aware that smaller companies can find it difficult to win public sector contracts. On 11 February 2011, the government announced a broad package of reforms designed to significantly open up the public marketplace to SMEs. Full details of these measures are available on the Cabinet Office website.
"Winning the Contract" has been updated to reflect current government policy aimed at making the procurement process transparent and easier to access by businesses, and in particular small businesses. It's hosted by learndirect on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with input from cross-government teams, and the public and private sectors, ranging from Cabinet Office, the Federation for Small Businesses, and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Winning the Contract provides an introduction to the public sector, explains the procurement process and offers practical advice to help you identify new business opportunities. As well as details on the newly launched, free, online procurement portal "Contracts Finder", this course has information on apprenticeships, forming a social enterprise and useful resources with helpful hints and tips on drafting and submitting bids.
Who is the course for?
This course is for people with responsibility for developing their business, such as business owners, managers and business development managers. It is aimed at growing businesses in all sectors.
Winning the Contract will be useful to businesses who want to access public sector contracts, but are confused by the processes involved.
No prior knowledge or experience is needed and there are no formal entry requirements.
The course has three key objectives:
- To demystify and explain the way the public sector buys supplies and services
- To help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) find opportunities and understand how to respond to them effectively
- To facilitate high quality bids for public sector work from a broad range of small- and medium-sized suppliers
What will you get from this course?
When you have completed this course, you will be able to:
- identify the advantages and disadvantages of dealing with public bodies
- understand how different types of contract are defined, advertised and dealt with
- understand approved supplier lists, frameworks, and consider alternatives when bidding for large contracts
- identify the key stages in the tendering process
- search for and find public sector opportunities
You can start the course straight away and use it at any time, as long as you have access to a computer with an internet connection. The course is available for six months from the date of purchase.
Winning the Contract contains a wealth of useful information, divided into modules and presented in an interactive and engaging format. There is an optional audio track to aid learning, as well as additional resources such as case studies, a glossary and website links.
Each module is divided into sections, allowing easy access to any section at any time. The screens can be printed individually, and your progress is saved each time you exit the course. Following completion of all sections in all 6 modules you will receive a learndirect Statement of Completion.
Module 1: Course Introduction
Module 2: The Public Sector
- Public sector defined
- What the public sector buys
- Procurement defined
- Tendering advantages and disadvantages
- Useful resources
Module 3: Types of Contract
- EU procurement directives
- EU thresholds
- Stepped procurement
- Requirement to advertise
- Competitive tendering
- Approved suppliers
- Framework agreements
Module 4: Tender Process - Bidding for a Contract
- Expression of interest
- Pre-qualification questionnaire
- Invitation to tender
- Preparing the tender
- Contract award
Module 5: Challenges and Barriers
- The procurement challenge
- Your experience
- Meeting challenges and barriers
- Your approach
Module 6: Finding Opportunities
- Setting your goals
- Direct selling
- Considering alternatives
- CPV and NUTS codes
- Local searches
- National searches
- International searches
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