Route 2 - Develop Documents - Contract Notice and Advertising

Contract Notices

Contract Notices must be used to advertise all Route 2 procurement exercises, other than for Care and Support contracts between £50,000 and €750,000, where an organisation has choosen to award a contract or framework agreement without seeking offers. However, a Prior Information Notice (PIN) can be used by sub-central organisations (any Organisation which does not belong to Central Government nor National Health Services) as a call for competition instead of a Contract Notice.


Using a PIN as an Advance Notice


All Organisations may give advance notice of planned procurements through the publication of a PIN (when the PIN is not being used as a call for competition). This can allow potential bidders to prepare themselves to bid in time for the contracts announced.

  • The PIN should contain details of supply and services contracts for which the organisation expects to seek tenders during the forthcoming 12 months.
  • The standard PIN form should be used.

Using a PIN as a Call for Competition


Where a sub-central Organisation (any Organisation which does not belong to Central Government or National Health Services) uses a PIN as a call for competition, the PIN should:

  • Refer specifically to the supplies or services that will be the subject of the contract to be awarded;
  • Indicate that the contract will be awarded without further publication of a call for competition and invite bidders to express their interest;

The period covered by a PIN should be a maximum of 12 months from the date on which the notice is transmitted for publication.


Availability of Tender Documents when Publishing OJEU Notices

Regulation 54(1) of the new Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 provides that “a contracting authority must offer on the internet unrestricted and full direct access free of charge to the procurement documents from the date of publication of a notice”. The Regulations define ‘procurement documents’ very widely meaning that the literal interpretation of this provision is that all documents related to the procurement, including technical specifications, terms and conditions and tender documents to be used at subsequent stages must be available at the commencement of a procurement. From an operational perspective however, it is recognised that having all documents available at the commencement of the procurement is not always practical. In general, only in an Open Procedure is an organisation required to make the ITT available from the outset however, in all other procedures, the organisation must provide sufficiently precise information to enable bidders to identify the nature and scope of the requirement and decide whether to request to participate.

Contract Notices

Contract Notices must  be published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS).  PCS is the national advertising portal which provides free access for suppliers to contract opportunities and guides Procurement Officers through the process of creating a Notice on its website.   Contract Notices published via PCS will contain all of the mandatory information required.


[For Care and Support Services in the case of Route 2 procurements, you may decide if you wish to advertise the requirement or not. In the case of:

  • direct award without advertising the requirement: you only need to publish a Contract Award Notice on PCS, but not a Social and other Specific Services Contract Notice advertising the requirement;
  • advertising the requirement: you need to publish a Social and other Specific Services Contract Notice advertising the requirement and also a Contract Award Notice on PCS.]


The Contract Notice should contain the minimum and specific requirements for your procurement exercise, and should include statements relating to the relevant ESPD (Scotland). You should include appropriate statements in the Contract Notice that are aligned to the relevant exclusion and selection questions that are being used in the ESPD (Scotland) for the particular procurement exercise.  Standardised statements relating to the ESPD (Scotland) questions have been developed to support you in adopting a standard approach to defining minimum requirements in your Contract Notice and are available in the ESPD (Scotland) station.


Unlike the questions in ESPD (Scotland), Procurement Officers can create new, or amend the statement(s) in the Standardised Statements document  which will be included in the Contract Notice. Any amended or additional statements must reflect the selection criteria and minimum standards of the particular procurement exercise.


It is important that the Contract Notice provides the scope of the requirement, either by volume or by value and, in the case of Contract Notices for Framework Agreements, that it clearly identifies the bodies which will be entitled to use it. If the proposed contract is to be a reserved contract the Contract Notice must state this.


It must also state if:

  • the organisation intends to hold an electronic auction (this cannot be used for Care and Support Services)

  • presentation of tenders in the form of electronic catalogues is accepted or required

  • whether or not variants will be allowed or required

  • information in respect of any lots.


Your Contract Notice must state how the bidders will be able to access the Procurement Documentation e.g. if PCS Tender is used, it must provide the relevant reference numbers for the specific procurement. 

If uploading Procurement Documents to PCS (Advertising), please note size restrictions currently apply (10Mb per document and a maximum of 40Mb for the Procurement Officer, and 10Mb per document with a maximum of 30Mb for the Supplier) on PCS Advertising.


All Contract Notices must be published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS).  PCS is the national advertising portal which provides suppliers with free access to contract opportunities. It also guides Procurement Officers through the process of creating a Notice on its website and automatically creates a Notice on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Contract Notices must set out the information in Part C of Annex V of the 2014 EU Public Procurement Directive [as provided for in PCS].


If using PCS-T or the ESPD (Scotland) word document, Procurement Officers must set out the specific requirements and minimum standards that are relevant and proportionate for the procurement exercise in the Contract Notice (or the PIN if that is being used as a call for competition).

This is not necessary if using the online ESPD (Scotland) Module on PCS as the relevant information is contained within the module.

Additional Contract Notice Guidance

Two sets of examples have been developed to help you complete the Contract Notice. Both sets contain an example OJEU Contract Notice and a corresponding ESPD (Scotland). The Contract Notice for below OJEU procurements has the same structure as the OJEU Contract Notice, so these examples may help you in developing the Contract Notice for below OJEU procurements. These examples are for guidance and are not intended to be definitive templates for procurement procedures.  You are therefore required to make a professional judgment about the questions/statements used on a case by case basis.

It is not necessary to insert the Standardised Statements into the Contract Notice if using the online ESPD (Scotland) Module on PCS as the relevant information is contained within the module.  However the Standardised Statements can be used as a guide for adding. 

​Contract Notice Overview (for Non-Care and Support Services Procurements)

In some instances the Contract Notice does not specify the exact field where information should be added in line with legislation e.g. where to add text when lotting has been considered but it has been determined not to lot.

The aim of the table below is to detail which fields should hold that information and also specifies the character limits in the Contract Notice.

Further information on the Contract Notice for Care and Support Services can be found at the bottom of this station (after the below table).

Contract Notice Field                                                

ESPD (Scotland)

Information to be included

Character Limit

Section I. Contracting Authority

I.2. Joint Procurement


When different countries are involved in a joint procurement, the applicable national procurement law must be detailed in this field


I.3 Communication


Advise bidders where to access and submit documents, and how to communicate the Procurement Officer.

200 per URL field

I.4 Type of Contracting Authority


Type of organisation

200 in ‘Other’  field

I.5 Main Activity


Main activity of organisation

200 in‘Other’ field

Section II. Object

II.1.1. Title


Title and reference number of procurement exercise


Title 200

Ref No 100

II.1.4. Short Description


Short description of procurement.


II.1.5. Estimated total value


Total value of the contract including any extension options (numbers only)


II.1.6. Information about Lots


If the contract is divided into lots, then all lotting information must be detailed here

4 (number of lots field) and 400 (combination of lots field)

II.2. Description

II.2.1 Title


Title and lot number


Title 200

Lot No. 100

II.2.3 Place of Performance


Main site or place of performance


II.2.4. Description of the Procurement


Full description of procurement which should also include the reasons for not lotting if appropriate.


II.2.5. Award Criteria


Minimum award criteria


Criterion(description) 200

Weighting 20

II.2.7. Duration of the Contract


Duration should include all possible extensions to the contract.

Duration Months 3

Duration Days 4

Description of renewals 400

II.2.9. Information about the limits on the number of candidates to be invited


All selection criteria, including weighting and scoring of the relevant ESPD (Scotland) questions, and any pass/fail criteria being used must be included in this section.

It is not required to insert this information into the Contract Notice when using the online ESPD (Scotland) module on PCS as you will have detailed the relevant criteria within the module.


II.2.11 Information about Options


Description of Options


II.2.13 European Funds


If the project is financed by EU funds, it must be identified here.


II.2.14. Additional Information

Part III. Exclusion Grounds

It is mandatory that the exclusion grounds statement from the standardised statement document is included in the Contract Notice, and for consistency it is recommended that it is also included in this section.

Any specific exclusion grounds (e.g. modern slavery) can be specified here

Where necessary to also verify exclusion grounds in respect of sub-contractors as part of the selection process this must be specified here.


​It is not required to insert this information into the Contract Notice when using the online ESPD (Scotland) Module on PCS as you will have detailed the relevant criteria within the module.


Section III. Legal, Economic, Financial and Technical Information


(overview – individual details below)

Part IV

Selection statements for Part IV of ESPD (Scotland) should be included in this section, unless you are using the online ESPD (Scotland) Module on PCS.

If there are any sections of the ESPD that you choose not to use, the corresponding section in the Contract Notice should be marked non-applicable and on no account left blank.

If impacted by character limitations, you may upload an additional word document with the Contract Notice.

25,000 in total

III.1.1 Suitability to pursue professional activity

Section A of Part IV.

Suitability statements


III.1.2. Economic and Financial Standing

Section B of Part IV.

Economic and financial standing statements go here (please use ‘GBP’ instead of the ‘£’ symbol).

Brief description 4,000

Minimum levels 4,000

III.1.3 Technical and Professional Ability

Section C and D of Part IV.

Technical and professional ability statements

Quality Assurance Schemes and Environmental Management Standards (Section D of Part IV of ESPD (Scotland)) should be included here.

It is not required to insert this information into the Contract Notice when using the online ESPD (Scotland) module on PCS as you will have detailed the relevant criteria within the Module.

Brief description 4,000

Minimum levels 4,000

III.2.1 Particular Profession


Reference to the relevant law, regulation or administrative provision


III.2.2. Contract Performance Conditions


Contract performance conditions


Section IV: Procedure

IV.1.1. Type of Procedure


Type of procedure with justification

1,000 per procedure justification

IV.1.3. Framework Agreement or DPS


Information about a framework agreement or Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). If the notice involves the establishment of a framework agreement, the justification and the maximum number of candidates must be detailed here.

Number of candidates 3

Justification 400

IV.1.6. Electronic Auction


Additional information about electronic auctions


IV.2.6. Time Frame


Minimum time frame during which  the tenderer must maintain the tender


IV.2.7. Opening of Tenders


Conditions for opening of tenders

Place 400 Information etc 400

Section VI. Complementary Information

VI.1. Recurrence


If it is a recurrent procurement,  the estimated time for further notices to be published needs to be given.


VI.3. Additional Information


Award criteria, such as scoring and weighting should be detailed here.,

Community benefits (if appropriate) should be detailed here

Given that PCS pre-populates this field (based on previous answers), the number of characters available here is flexible and can range between 2,000 and 4,000 characters.

Subcontractors – where necessary to do so, state that bidders must list the subcontractors they intent to use, in so far as they are known.

2,000 to 4,000

VI.4.1. Review Body


We advise that the name and address of the relevant contracting authority should be inserted here as in Scotland there is not a review body.

Suppliers are encouraged to approach the contracting authority in the first instance to resolve any concerns regarding the procurement procedure.


VI.4.3. Review Procedure


Information on deadlines for review procedures.

Although suppliers should approach the contracting authority in the first instance, the contracting authority may wish to insert some guidance to advise bidders that the only formal remedy is to apply to the courts. " An economic operator tthat suffers, or is at risk of suffering, loss or damage attributable to a breach of duty under the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 or the Procurements Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, may bring proceedings in the Sheriff Court or the Court of Session."





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