Tender & Prequalification

Questionnaire Support

Winning a tender can be critical to the income structure of your organisation, as well as the kudos of being selected as a supplier. Though for many growing organisations, completing tenders and Prequalification Questionnaires (PQQ) can be both time consuming and require significant input and insight to meet the needs of the tendering body. At UKHSE we can help with this activity, and this section gives you a flavour as to how we can support you.

Nearly all PQQs feature a health and safety section. As with all sections of a PQQ, it is important to give these questions full attention, as a failure to answer them properly can exclude you from the ITT stage. It can be easy to attach your outdated health and safety policies and procedures without another thought, but this will not add value to your response and could ultimately lose you the contract.

To write a winning PQQ you must aim to score highly in each section. Irrespective of your industry, health and safety provides you with the opportunity to gain marks by evidencing safe systems of work that provide reassurance to the assessor of low accident rates and the continuing safety of staff and members of the public alike.

Information typically requested:

Health and Safety (H&S) Policy

Details of your organisations health and safety advisor/consultant

Details of any enforcement notices or prosecutions served on the organisation or any of its directors/managers by the HSE or Local Authority in the last 3 years.

Example supplementary questions you may also be asked:

  • Details of the individuals with overall executive responsibility for H&S
  • Details of the person responsible for carrying out risk assessments.
  • RIDDOR statistics (number of fatalities, major injuries, reported cases of disease in the last three years).
  • For Construction related contracts the Buyer may also include additional questions from the British Standards Specification PAS 91:2010 PQQ.

Practical Advice

Write a health and safety policy for your business which is signed and dated by the individual with overall executive responsibility for H&S for your organisation.

Carry out and record findings of appropriate risk assessments.

Record all RIDDOR incidents and details, including corrective actions taken.

Make sure all employees understand the policy and have a copy.

Review the policy annually and whenever there are changes in your business such as premises move or new equipment.


On the whole, health and safety is evidence driven and it is necessary to provide reassurance to the contracting authority that you can adhere to safe processes and procedures. There are many professional health and safety certifications available to companies, with the leading and most reputable ones being CHAS, Construction Line and SAFEcontractor, who are part of the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP), an area in which UKHSE have helped many companies achieve certification. SSIP contains 30 member assessment schemes and UKAS accredited certification bodies who offer OHSAS 18001 certifications in health and safety. Providing evidence of membership of any of these schemes immediately shows the contracting authority that your organisation has a fully assessed and certified health and safety system.

In tandem with a fully qualified and experienced health and advisor (UKHSE retained service provides clients with access to a team of advisors and CV’s for inclusion in tender documents), this will act as evidence to reassure the assessor of your capabilities.

Supporting Evidence and Compliance

As well as having a reputable image through certifications, it is vital to provide supporting evidence within your submission of all your policies and procedures. For the health and safety section of your response these are likely to be fairly standardised and will include: risk assessments, safe systems of work, equipment assessments and fire hazard assessments. You may even be asked to provide completed and anonymous assessments as evidence of everyday use so make sure that you have these available. It is important that these are current documents and should never be more than 12 months old.

It is important to show the contracting authority evidence of how your supporting documents are kept current. All policies, procedures and supporting documents should be regularly reviewed to ensure their suitability and compliance, signed by the responsible person; and provided with both a review and next review date as evidence of your quality assurance processes.

You will also need to show how your systems are managed and integrated into all daily working practices, namely through inspections, audits and observations of staff. Don’t just attach template forms, use well completed example documents.

Further support can be provided through evidence of communication to, and the involvement of, employees in your health and safety processes. This will include providing evidence of the health and safety training with which they are provided; evidence of the communication of policies and procedures through meetings, emails and memoranda, for example; as well as staff’s involvement in safety committee meetings.

Added Value to Your Submission

Ultimately, the health and safety section of a PQQ exists so that the contracting authority is reassured that your company minimises and eliminates all risks, and their associated effects and that they are engaging with a reputable organisation.

This can be shown by both adhering to all health and safety aspects outlined in the specification and by providing supporting evidence. This can be the difference between you submitting a winning response and losing out to a competitor.

Added value can be achieved when responding to the health and safety section in a PQQ to ensure that you score as highly as possible, especially given the importance and legal aspects of health and safety. You may be able to provide evidence of where you have worked with contacting authorities to implement or develop health and safety systems, showing that you can be as site and client specific as possible. This will show that you are aware of both general hazards, but also specific or previously unrecognised hazards inherent in the work provided under a contract, and that you can manage them safely.

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