Type of Tender

There are two main types of tenders which are 'open' and 'restricted'. Below is a short description of both to help you understand the process which as a tenderer you are going through.

Open tender

All suppliers responding to an open tender are given the tender documents to complete and return. There is no opportunity to shortlist suppliers using this approach. You will be asked to submit an expression of interest for the contract, however you will receive the tender documentation at the same time. The expression of interest will be considered at the same time as your bid.

Restricted tender

This is a two stage approach where we invite interested suppliers to express an interest in the contract. We will send you a pre-qualification assessment and, if you meet the criteria, you will receive the tender documents. This method can be useful where large amounts of responses are expected, for non-standard items or high value tenders.


When a contract opportunity is available, we may advertise in many different places:

  • Local newspapers
  • Trade journals
  • Public sector publications
  • Supply2Gov website
  • Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)
  • Our website

For contracts under £172,514 (for supplies and Part 'A' services) and £4,322,012 (for works) we are not required to advertise and reserve the right to draw up a select list for invite to tender.

Contracts over £172,514 (for supplies and Part 'A' services) and over £4,322,012 (for works) must be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in accordance with European Procurement Directives.

Procurement timescales

Download the OGC guidance document for EU procurement timescales followed by Trent & Dove here