Route 3 - Open & Evaluate Tender - Technical Evaluation

Prior to commencing this stage you will already have assessed and determined the successful tenderers at the Selection Stage.

Technical and quality evaluation is one of the most important stages of the Procurement Journey. This stage of the Journey ensures that:

  • The Contract Award decision is objective and uses the disclosed criteria

  • The decision making process is fair, transparent and auditable

  • Your Organisation can demonstrate best value in the tender process

Tender evaluation can only take place once the deadline for tender submissions has passed. The time taken to evaluate the returned submissions will vary from project to project depending on the complexity and the number of responses received. However, the Procurement Officer should endeavour to provide approximate timescales for this stage as part of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document.

The tender evaluation timescales may reduce if PCS-Tender evaluation is being utulised as the comments and scores from all evaluators can be collated automatically. This information can also be used as the basis of the de-briefing report.

Evaluation must always ensure equal treatment and be undertaken in a proportionate, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory manner.   An evaluation panel of at least two people should be established and consist of individuals familiar with the organisation’s priorities and goals and  with demonstrable technical ability to evaluate tenders individuals.  It is helpful if panel members can be briefed and be familiar with the organisation’s priorities and goals . An organisation may also consider including a member on the panel with relevant knowledge or experience across particular aspects of the technical and quality evaluation, for example to help evaluate bidders’ responses to a Fair Work practices criterion, a human resources or trade union representative could be helpful.  Ideally the panel membership will be consistent throughout the entire process from pre-​qualification to presentations and site visits. The evaluation panel should be able to withstand any scrutiny and it is the responsibility of the Organisation to ensure that, as for any other stage of the procurement exercise, no member has a conflict of interest which would prevent them from making a fair and objective assessment of the tenders, or which might give rise to accusations that they were unable to do so.

[For the procurement for services which have a direct impact on the public, for example Care and Support Services  an organisation should consider whether it is appropriate for people who use services and their carers to be involved in decision making, through, for example, participation in site visits and interviews with service providers or representation on the evaluation panel. The participation of these people must be consistent throughout the process. For example if they are involved in interviews with service providers, they must participate in all of the interviews arranged with service providers. Care must be taken, when involving people who use services and also their carers in the evaluation of tenders, to ensure that they:

  • understand the evaluation process and are clear about their role in it;

  • understand the criteria against which tenderers are to be evaluated;

  • understand their obligation to be objective and impartial and to treat tenderers equally;

  • understand issues relating to the commercial confidentiality of service providers;

  • are able to commit the necessary time; and

  • receive appropriate training and support.

The involvement of people who use services and their carers, if appropriate, in decision making should be considered on a case-by-case basis. It may, for example, be appropriate to involve them in the evaluation of tenders for the delivery of a discrete service for a small number of individuals.]

The panel members should read and score the quality/technical aspects of the tenders independently using the pre-defined evaluation criteria and scoring system already communicated as part of the tender process, which, for example, could include an agreed approach on how to handle responses from different sizes or types of bidders to ensure a consistent, non-discriminatory evaluation in line with the fundamental principles of the TFEU.  Following collation of scores by the Procurement Officer, a moderation meeting will take place to allow discussion and ratification of the scoring submissions. At the moderation meeting the evaluators come together to agree their final scores. The process to agree the final scores must be fully transparent and documented. The Procurement Officer should evaluate the commercial aspects of the tenders separately, including the price evaluation

As a matter of good practice, no member of the evaluation panel should assess both the quality/technical elements and the commercial elements of the tender. The evaluation criteria and scoring methodology should have been determined as part of the Develop Documents stage and published to tenderers in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) or OJEU advert.

The role of the Procurement Officer in the evaluation panel is to ensure an impartial and objective approach is taken to the evaluation of tenders. Some suggested 'Dos and Don’ts':

Dos and Don’ts of Tender Evaluation



Make note of areas that are unclear for clarification with the bidder

'Read between the lines' or make assumptions

Read the submission at face value and score on the basis of the information provided

Collude with other panel members to agree scoring collectively

Score tenders independently and discuss any irregularities at a Tender Evaluation Meeting

Make changes to the evaluation criteria during the process - the criteria MUST be the same as that published in the ITT

Ensure full justification for scoring is provided for each question to assist with debriefing


The tender evaluation stage may be accompanied by Presentations/Site Visits.

Where a bidder proposes to use subcontractors as part of contract delivery, particularly where subcontractors are likely to deliver a significant portion of the contract, how those subcontractors propose to deliver aspects of the contract should be considered as part of the evaluation. Consideration should also be given to any measures a bidder will take to ensure any subcontractors, which are not yet known to it, will deliver aspects of the contract, for example, adopt appropriate Fair Work practices when they engage on contract delivery.

Evaluating Fair Work Practices

When evaluating a Fair Work criterion, the complete package of Fair Work practices a bidder offers must be taken into account, taking particular consideration of the impact those practices can have on the way the contract is performed.  A bidder’s package of Fair Work practices would normally be expected to include fair pay and equal pay, including the real Living Wage.  Individual elements of a package of Fair Work practices must not be scored separately .  
Best practice guidance and tools have been developed to help with the evaluation of a Fair Work criterion, this includes additional guidance on evaluating responses from bidders from other countries.
Specific tools include:

​Information Sheets are also available which will help evaluators become familiar with the subject matter:


Evaluating Cyber Security Requirements using the Scottish Cyber Assessment Service

Buyers using the beta Scottish Cyber Assessment Service will be presented with standardised Supplier Assurance Questionnaire reports and (in some circumstances) Cyber Implementation Plans (CIPs) from suppliers, detailing how minimum cyber security requirements will be met, Guidance on how to evaluate SAQs and CIPs can be found in the SCAS Guidance for Buyers document, available here.

Unsuccessful bids

You should ensure that the evaluation panel provides justification for their scoring to help when preparing standstill notices and debriefing suppliers. A full justification of scoring is especially important where a bid has failed to meet the 'acceptable' expectation set out in the evaluation criteria. A record should be kept to ensure fairness and transparency of the process.

If PCS-Tender is being utilised, the justification for scores should be recorded on the system.


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