Choice of procedure decision tool

Choosing the right contract award procedure is a critical decision that must be made before a procurement process is commenced.

Choosing the right contract award procedure is a critical decision that must be made before a procurement process is commenced. A wrong choice can result in a breach and the risk of supplier challenge, or an insufficiently flexible procurement process, limiting choice and potentially reducing value for money.  We have prepared a decision tool to provide some initial guidance around which of the available procedures is likely to be appropriate.

This tool is intended to provide an indication of the appropriate selection procedure to use for a procurement based on five general questions. The outcome of the decision tool should be tested against the detailed criteria for selecting an award procedure set out in Regulations 26 to 32 of the PCR 2015, and against the expected commercial outcome of the relevant procurement process.

Note that, while the tool refers to the use of the negotiated procedure without notice, this is available only in very limited circumstances and we would recommend legal advice is sought before the procedure is followed to confirm that it is appropriate.

Please note also that the scope of the tool does not cover the use of the Innovation Partnership process set out at Regulation 31 of the PCR 2015. If your requirement is for the research and development of an innovative product, service or works that cannot be supplied by the current market, you should also check Regulation 31 to see if this would be the most appropriate route.

If your procurement is valued at over £663,540 inc. VAT and is for any of the health, social and other services listed in Schedule 3 of the PCR 2015, these will be covered by the so-called "Light Touch" regime set out at Regulation 74 onwards.  In particular, although the contract must be advertised in accordance with Regulation 75, there is no requirement to follow one of the procurement processes set out in this tool.  Instead, the principles set out at Regulation 76 should be observed in the design of the procurement process.

Note that from 1 January 2024 the procurement of NHS healthcare services will drop out of the Light Touch Regime altogether and instead be regulated by the Provider Selection Regime. Click here to read our guidance note on the PSR. This decision tool does not cover the award routes available under the PSR. 

The tool also assumes that the procurement is for a contract that exceeds the relevant value thresholds set out at Regulation 6 of the PCR 2015. If this is not the case, you should be aware of Regulation 111 which in general prohibits the use of a selection (SQ) stage in under-threshold procurements.

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