ESPD – (European Single Procurement Document)

ESPD stands for European Public Procurement Document.

Due to the European Public Procurement Reform which kicked off in April 2016, one of the key elements that were featured was the introduction of the ESPD. This made way for a firm structure of pre-qualification questions being asked and being formatted in a non-adjustable way for consistency.

What is it?

An ESPD is an online electronic form that any supplier can complete, download and submit as part of their bid for a growing number of public procurement agencies, both nationally and internationally.

As part of the reform, this process simplifies cross-border procurement, cuts down on paperwork, and helps provide access to new opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

The procedure remains the same as a pre-qualification questionnaire stage (or PQQ for short), where buyers can assess your response to specific criteria to determine the capability of your delivery in order to be invited to tender (ITT).

CLICK HERE for further information about the PQQ process.

What does it include?

This contains all of the similar exclusion criteria and selection criteria that enables your company to subsequently be invited to tender (ITT), which remains from the prior PQQ document. It’s the YES/NO questions that ensure you are an upstanding member of the national business community and are not faulting in certain areas, such as criminal convictions, tax evasion, fraud etc.

*Don’t worry if (e.g.) a previous director has been bankrupt, or past employees have committed offences against national regulations. This process allows you to undergo a self-cleansing exercise, which allows the opportunity to describe what measures have been implemented since then, and how these won’t negatively impinge your delivery on the tender/bid at hand.

CLICK HERE for further information about Self-Cleaning.

The biggest new element is the idea of self-certification. During our team’s procurement careers, what happened in the past was that on a typical PQQ, you had to attach endless amounts of financial accounts and policies. Now, as per the reform and introduction of an ESPD, you must self-certify that you maintain all this documentation and provide the evidence later at any time. So, make sure you have your policies and financial documents in place, ready to attach when prompted by the buyer.

Some other new elements include Modern Slavery compliance.

How does it affect you?

This has been put in place to ensure that you don’t need to keep completing the same old questionnaire time and time again. Many buyers now will ask you if you have completed this generic document and you can attach this in order to save time (see example below). 

One thing to remember is the Technical & Professional Capability section as part of the PQQ (or Selection Questionnaire-SQ). You must adopt this for every contract, because no two contracts are the same and you’ll need to show off your technical capability and experience in different ways, for different previous contract examples. Make sure this is adjusted based on the new contract requirements at hand.

Other than this, this affects you minimally. If you have tendered before you’ll be used to the questions asked here. It’s purpose is merely to make it simpler and save you time.

What about Brexit?

As mentioned, the ESPD comes from the European Procurement Reform and is, itself, considered a European document.

When Brexit eventually takes flight, as well as the majority of other procurement-affiliated processes, this should remain the same or similar. The procurement world, as we all know, needs some big changes, which our Group are working on continuously. The effects of Brexit have not been fully established yet and in time we will be notified of major changes to the procurement and tendering world if any.

If you need help with an ESPD or want further information in relation to how to complete this form, feel free to join in our LinkedIn forum discussions or get in touch directly with our Bid Management Consultants.