The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is committed to making it easier for SMEs to win public sector contracts. They are doing this by developing more routes to market and offering greater opportunities to organisations of all sizes.

Following on from extensive supply chain engagement on the Construction Professional Services framework, the CCS team has reviewed its category strategy and is now planning an offer better suited to regional SMEs. This is planned to go live at the same time, in November 2021.

The Construction Professional Services framework proposal is designed to offer a wide portfolio of construction multi-discipline professional services throughout infrastructure and urban regeneration projects within the built environment at locations across the UK.

To complement the framework, it is envisaged that the new, additional Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) will support the construction professional services market regionally. This will allow businesses of all disciplines and sizes, operating regionally, access to those opportunities.

CCS Deputy Director of Construction, John Welch, said: “The response to the initial Prior Information Notice raised questions as to the opportunities for SMEs to fulfil the framework’s national requirements.

“The purpose of going out to PIN is to set out our ideas for a new commercial agreement and to get feedback from businesses and potential customers to shape the future framework.

“Valid points were raised. We believe this framework requirement suits the bulk of current and future client needs through our engagement and evaluation; however, we also recognise there is a client need to contract with more local, smaller and niche suppliers.”

There has also been a commitment to developing the Construction Professional Services framework to offer opportunities to organisations of all sizes – including through a simplified pricing model.

Professional standards

The framework will adopt the construction industry Common Assessment Standard (CAS) as the common evaluation criteria. This will reduce the need for suppliers to complete a variety of different pre-qualification questionnaires. The framework also has the opportunity for all suppliers to join joint ventures or consortia in order to tender.

The Construction Professional Services framework will be based on the FAC-1 Framework Alliance Contract standard form, which brings to life Government Construction Strategy recommendations in order to add value to CCS customers and the supply chain by promoting innovation and improved digital design contributions, driving more sustainable solutions and establishing effective risk management.

This approach complements CCS’s existing portfolio of frameworks across all its construction categories, integrating solutions for the public sector in a collaborative way, while aligning to the new Construction Playbook.

Modern slavery and prompt payment

Although the professions likely to apply for the framework and DPS are considered low risk with regard to Modern Slavery, all companies will be required to address the risk of Modern Slavery in their supply chain as part of the CCS commitment to social value.

Potential suppliers will also be asked to sign up to the prompt payment code and to comply with green sustainability aims while supporting the delivery of government net zero carbon targets.

Find out more

Market engagement sessions will be planned in the near future for the new DPS and advertised via a separate Prior Information Notice.

During future market engagement Crown Commercial Service will invite suggestions and feedback on the proposed structure of the DPS from the market, including industry experts, specialists, suppliers and potential customers.

The latest Prior Information Notice can be found on Tenders Electronic Daily.

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