This is a core competency for a range of different pathways and is used by many candidates for their critical analysis
The procurement and tendering competency is an important competency and one which anyone undertaking the APC through any of the construction related pathways will need to be familiar with. It is a core competency for the Facilities Management (to level 2/3), Project Management (to level 3) and Quantity Surveying and Construction (to level 3) pathways.
Procurement and tendering is a popular topic and a large number of candidates use it as a subject for their critical analysis. At a recent meeting of APC assessors this issue was discussed and assessors were encouraged to ask detailed and in depth questions of candidates in relation to this competency if it formed part of their critical analysis.
Although procurement and tendering are closely related there are a number of distinct differences between the two topics which candidates must have a clear understanding of, as well as an ability to explain.
In essence these differences amount to the fact that while procurement relates to how the services of a contractor are purchased, tendering relates to how the successful contractor is ultimately selected. The distinction might seem slight but is in a candidate’s best interest to have a clear picture in their minds of where the division lies.
The preparation of the relevant documentation and the selection of the correct form of contract, as well as being covered under the T017 – Contract Practice competency, is also covered to a certain extent under the procurement and tendering competency. As a result it is advisable to have an awareness of how the selection of the correct form of contract interacts with the procurement and tendering process.
You will be expected to have a knowledge and awareness of the more popular types of procurement currently in use within the industry, as well as an understanding of the factors which influence the choice of a particular procurement strategy. Close attention should be paid towards the more common procurement routes, namely Traditional, Design and Build, Management Contracting, Construction Management, Serial/Term Contracting and Partnering. The perennial question which catches candidates out in this respect is to explain the difference between construction management and management contracting.
You should be able to satisfy the level 1 requirements from the knowledge and experience gained during your training period or primary degree qualification but it is imperative that you know the main procurement routes in detail and the distinguishing features of each. You will be expected to have a detailed knowledge and understanding of the various factors which influence the choice of procurement route (Time, Cost, Quality, Contractual Relationships, roles/responsibilities, cost control/certainty change management and risk allocation). You must also be aware of how these factors interact with one another and the extent to which the various procurement routes satisfy the requirements of each.
Due to the scale and scope of this topic candidates will not be expected to have a detailed knowledge of all the various tendering and procurement routes and at level 1 a more general level of knowledge should suffice.
At level 2 you should have first hand experience in the selection of a procurement route having due consideration for all the components outlined above. You must also have an awareness of how the other types of procurement operate in practice and how these might be adopted for use in different situations.
At level 3 you should ideally have given advice to a client or project team on the selection of a procurement route. Failing this you may be able to satisfy the level 3 requirements by demonstrating a detailed knowledge and understanding sufficient to give reasoned and practical advice if so required.
At level 1 you will be expected to have an understanding and awareness of the more popular tendering methods currently in use within the industry (e.g. single stage, two stage and negotiated). You must also have a satisfactory knowledge of the procedures and requirements to be followed during the tendering process itself, particularly in relation to items such as pre-qualification, issuance of addendums, tender opening, tender evaluation and tender reporting. It is extremely important to have an awareness of any codes of practice or regulations that relate to the tender processes you have been involved with, particularly if the project chosen as part of your final submission has a tendering or procurement aspect.
At level 2 you should be able to demonstrate having first hand experience of the tender process, ideally from involvement with the initial compilation of the tender list right through to involvement in the ultimate appointment of the successful contractor/supplier. If you can demonstrate this level of experience in relation to any of the different tendering methods you will be in a very strong position. If you don’t have this level of experience you should focus on having a strong theoretical understanding of the process itself and how each element operates in conjunction with one another.
At level 3 you will be expected to have given advice to a client in relation to the tender process. If you have not had an opportunity to provide such advice you should aim to have a comparably detailed depth of understanding which would allow you to give reasoned and practical advice if required.
This is an expansive competency which requires a high level of knowledge from a candidate. Due to the nature of the competency it is not possible in most cases for a candidate to gain first hand experience in all the relevant areas. You can overcome this deficiency by having an in depth and detailed knowledge of the various aspects involved.
A large amount of the required knowledge will come from your primary degree as well as the knowledge gained during your training period. However, this will most likely need to be supplemented by additional outside study on the subject. It is important to remember that any outside study undertaken on this topic can be counted as CPD and included towards the required number of hours.