Do you know where to find tender and contract opportunities? If tendering for public sector contracts is something that you would like to pursue, but are unsure of where to start… Read on to find out more!

There are a number of ways in which you are able to find tenders that are suitable for your business to bid for. There are paid subscription services available, in addition to free to access tender and contracts databases such as Contracts Finder (for lower value tenders), the Government’s Find-a-Tender Service (for higher value tenders), and also TED (Tenders European Daily) for high value opportunities in the EU.


Most tender sites and procurement portals can be set up to email alerts to you regarding forthcoming opportunities. In order to set up these email alerts you will need to register and create saved searches using keywords and codes.

Once you have located a tender opportunity that you wish to pursue, you will need to register with the procurement portal being used by the buyer to express an interest and access the tender documents. When registering with such portals, you are usually asked to select category codes that match the products/services that your business supplies. These category codes are then used to alert you of any future opportunities listed on the site that match your area of business. Assuming you are correctly registered, alerts of new tenders and opportunities are emailed to you automatically from the portal(s).

If the product or service that you supply is relevant to a particular region, county or geographic area, you can use portal registrations as a way of being automatically alerted to contracts in those specific areas. Many portals now have the functionality for you to specify a search area or region. However, be aware that sometimes opportunities are recorded against the location of the buyers office. This may not always relate to the location where the products/services are required, so you may need to look more closely into the specific details of the tender in order to make the right decision about bidding. Please also be sure that your registrations allow for tenders for national frameworks and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) that may have regional lots (more about frameworks and DPSs here).

You can also consider identifying your potential public sector customers by authority type, for example, Emergency Services, Councils or NHS and registering with their e-tendering sites. For example, numerous emergency services use the Bluelight portal.

Identifying e-tendering portals by region covered or authority type in this way can enable you to receive tender alerts without having to pay a subscription fee to one of the independent tender subscription services.

If you would like to set up your own registrations for tender alerts, you will find our eSourcing Directory an excellent resource as it lists all free-to-register buyer procurement portals that we are aware of. The directory is also updated quarterly.


In summary:

Q: How to find tenders and contracts?

A: To find tenders and contracts without subscription fees, decide which authorities you would like to work with and register on their e-procurement portals – a list of which, organised by region, can be found here.

Q: Where to find tenders and contracts?

A: To find tenders and contracts without subscription fees, register with Contracts Finder and Find-a-Tender (or TED for the EU) in addition to registering with buyer specific portals as described above. If you are happy to pay a subscription fee, register with Tenders Direct or BiP’s Tracker and they will set up alerts specific to your business activities and email opportunity alerts directly to you.

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