Achilles launches supplier training courses

4 Aug 2015
Article by Achilles

More than 80 per cent of the suppliers that belong to one or more Achilles’ communities are classed as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

SMEs account for around 90 per cent of all UK business, employing 59 per cent of the nation’s workforce and providing almost half (48 per cent) of the country’s total commercial turnover.

Earlier this year, a key legislative change took place when the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 were introduced; this is to encourage public sector organisations to engage SMEs more often, in line with targets set by the government.

This has presented suppliers with a whole new world of growth opportunities, but how exactly can they be found? What knowledge and tools do suppliers need to be equipped with to find and respond to business opportunities in regulated markets? And, arguably most importantly, what are the regulated procurement rules and regulations that SME suppliers need to understand?

To support our many supplier members together with anyone else who is interested, we are launching new supplier training courses from October 2015 with the aim to answer these questions for SMEs.

The Achilles Consultancy & Training team, commented: “We really want to be adding more value to suppliers interested in finding new opportunities with central government, local government, rail, nuclear, emergency services, housing associations, NHS and utilities. We’re excited to be launching our new training offering for suppliers and in the future expand on the type of courses we run to ensure we support and equip suppliers for opportunities with regulated buyers.”

Our initial training programme for suppliers will include the following courses:

What does regulated procurement mean for a supplier?

This course will cover the EU procurement directives, as well as providing suppliers with information on the procedures to be followed by contracting bodies when carrying out covered procurement.

It will also look at the perceived risk of discrimination that may affect supply chains that do not use national or local suppliers and how this can breach the EU Procurement legislation.

This training course is designed to ensure that SMEs understand the EU procurement regulations & procedures buyers are mandated to follow.

Where can I find opportunities?

This course will look at where suppliers can find new business opportunities with regulated organisations.

We will discuss how to get the most out of collaborative regional procurement portals throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as contract finder tools, and an overview of the differences between contract notices, contract award notices, PINs and QSNs.

Suppliers toolkit to win more business

The aim of this workshop is for SMEs to leave with a ‘must-have toolkit’ that includes all the necessary knowledge they need to begin competing for regulated procurement contracts, including:

CPV codes – We’ll cover the hierarchical structure, supplies/services/works categories (and number ranges) and help you understand the CPV codes for your products to run opportunity searches

OJEU notices – This acronym stands for Official Journal of the European Union, but what exactly is an OJEU notice? We’ll make sure you understand how to take away the key elements you require from them

Standstill rules – What are standstill rules? What’s a standstill letter? Can you challenge during a stand still period? Achilles will answer each of these questions in this training session

Procedures – The five main EU regulated procurement procedures will be covered in this workshop, as well as the differences between procurement rules in the utilities and public sectors

Selection and award – This session will explain the purpose of each of these factors, what is required of suppliers at each stage, the desired outcome of each, what information needs to be communicated to suppliers and what a standard pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) covers.

If you have any new training course suggestions for us that you’d like our EU Procurement experts develop, contact us.



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