The New Year is now upon us, bringing with it the biggest shake-up of public sector procurement in Scotland in recent memory. With the implementation of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, 2016 will see a focus on simplifying processes and championing SME’s, along with encouraging sustainability and socially responsible purchasing.

Key changes include:
• Reduced timescales for tenders
• New contract procedures
• Increased likelihood of contracts being divided into lots

Public Contracts Scotland publishes the contract opportunities, and the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) is here to help you maximise your chance of bidding and hopefully winning some of the £8 billion annual spend by the Scottish Public Sector.

SDP offers free bid writing workshops for SME’s in Scotland to help you compete for and win public sector contracts. SDP will be running training sessions throughout Scotland in 2016 to help you navigate the changes and improve your skills when tendering.  So if you have only just started to consider about tendering or want to improve your bidding skills then SDP has a full range of courses to suit all levels.

Use the SDP’s website to access useful resources with hints and tips to bid better. Access the interactive Events Calendar which to view the full range of courses available over the next 6 months- book early as places are limited! Can’t leave the office? SDP offer a series of live webinars letting you enjoy training via your own PC.

The resources on the SDP website are free for anyone to use, but our workshops are only available to Scottish SME’s. To be eligible, you must have less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than 50 million Euros. You must also have commercial premises in Scotland (includes home office for micro businesses).

Forthcoming events are listed below:
12/01/2016 2.1. Understanding framework agreements – Glasgow
20/01/2016 0.1. Introduction to working with the public sector – Perth
21/01/2016 1.1. Is the Public Sector for You? – Fife
25/01/2016 Glasgow & Clyde Valley City Deal Supplier Event – Glasgow
27/01/2016 3.2. Expanding your marketplace – Lothian
27/01/2016 2.3. What the Buyer looks for in your tender - Scottish Borders

Events in February & March:
09/02/2016 3.3. Keeping the contract, the importance of Contract Relationship Management – Edinburgh
16/02/2016 2.1. Understanding framework agreements - Dumfries & Galloway
17/02/2016 1.2. Using Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) & other portals – Fife
17/02/2016 1.3. Winning work through the supply chain – Falkirk
24/02/2016 1.1. Is the Public Sector for You? - Argyll & Bute
08/03/2016 0.1 Introduction to working with the public sector – Edinburgh
15/03/2016 1.3. Winning work through the supply chain – Fife
16/03/2016 1.2. Using Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) & other portals – Dundee
22/03/2016 1.2. Using Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) & other portals - Argyll & Bute
23/03/2016 2.2. Completing a PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) - Dumfries & Galloway
23/03/2016 2.1. Understanding framework agreements – Alloa

More information on these events can be found on the Public Contracts Scotland website.