The Aspire Housing procurement department has the purchasing accountability for Aspire Housing, PM Training and Furniture Mine. Together, the Aspire businesses procure a wide range of goods, services and works spending in excess of £21m per annum.

Our primary aim is to ensure we comply with current public law legislation, embedding value for money into our group’s services and maximising local prosperity in accordance with the Social Value Act 2012. This page provides information about how procurement works at Aspire Housing. For procurement enquiries please call 01782 854850 or email

Procurement Process

The procurement process operates a stringent procedure from the initial requirement to the award of the contract. A two stage process is adopted by the procurement project manager in conjunction with the contact owner. This consists of a Pre-qualification Questionnaire and an Invitation to Tender.


Pro Contract Due North

Housing procurement portal powered by Due North Ltd helping organisations and suppliers work together to allow the sharing of information about existing contracts and providing opportunities to tender for new ones. Register for free to see details of tendering opportunities with Aspire and other Midlands housing associations.


OJEC stands for the Official Journal of the European Community, in which all tenders from the public sector which are valued above a certain financial threshold according to EU legislation, must be published. The legislation covers organisations and projects that receive public money

What is a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire?

The Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) is designed to evaluate businesses capability and resources for the delivery of a contract and to ensure they have the sufficient qualifications, policies and procedures in conjunction with appropriate requirements set by law and applicable standards.

Our PQQ assessments typically include the following categories;

  • Financial Resources & Insurances
  • Health & Safety
  • Environmental
  • Social Inclusion
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Resources & Capacity
  • Additional Expertise, Technical & Quality assurance

Completing the PQQ

PQQ’s are advertised to all registered Housing Procurement businesses against the appropriate CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) code and businesses who wish to be considered to tender must complete the PQQ. Businesses are encouraged to read the information and instructions given within portal. All returns must be via the Pro-Contract portal and within the stated timescales.

PQQs submitted after the stated time scales will not be considered and therefore will be disqualified.


Each category within a PQQ is provided with appropriate weightings to the importance of the Aspire Group. For example, long term, high value contracts may indicate a higher weighting on financials and likewise construction contracts may indicate a higher weighting on health & safety.

On time submissions will be evaluated by project teams of specialist knowledge and expertise.  Submission will be ranked against each competitive PQQ and the Aspire Group will shortlist the nominated amount of bidders (as stated within the PQQ) to tender.

Aspire Housing has adopted an electronic tool, Pro-Contract, that enables the team to conduct the procurement process over the internet.

Why E-Tendering?

The Pro-Contract system improves transparency, efficiency and captures an auditable procurement process.  The system enables the Aspire Housing procurement team to simplify publishing tenders, engage with suppliers and evaluate tenders.

Pre-Register for future Tenders

Aspire Housing has entered into a partnership with 6 other housing organisations. To pre-register for future tenders visit Housing Procurement (part of Pro-Contract) and click “Register Free” in the top right hand column.  Further information and instructions are located in the bottom right hand column of the Pro-Contract supplier home page on how to use the system.


When you have created your Housing Procurement business profile you will receive generic email alerts from Pro-Contract when Aspire Housing or other housing organisations has advertised a tender.  These email alerts will be automatically ported by which CPV code (Common Procurement Vocabulary) your company is registered against.

Important Points to Remember

  • Do not leave your response until the last minutes/hours before the deadline. If you experience connection problems you will could the deadline and your bid will not be accepted for evaluation. Always upload generic information early to avoid last minute time pressure.
  • Please ensure that you read and adhere to all the required actions and appropriate deadlines within the documentation and any subsequent communications.
  • Keep attachments, where possible, to a maximum of 2MB and make sure that they are attached in the correct section.
  • Use the secure messaging forum to communicate with the Procurement Team and seek clarifications – this will give you an audit trail of all discussions/clarifications.

The Invitation to Tender (ITT) is a process where pre-qualified companies bid for a client’s requirements and is made up of two elements cost and quality.
The quality element of the tender is specific contract questions that form key performance indicators and service level agreements for the contract. The cost element of the tender is the bidder’s price proposal in accordance the appropriate specification.

Completing the Invitation Tender

Invitations to tenders are issued to Pre-Qualified bidders via Pro-Contract. Businesses are encouraged to read the Invitation to tender documentation and complete the ITT questionnaire and appropriate costing documentation. All returns must be via the Pro-Contract portal and within the stated timescales. ITT’s submitted after the stated time scales will not be considered and therefore will be disqualified.


The ITT will be evaluated according to the most economically advantageous tender (‘MEAT’)


The lowest total cost of acquisition will automatically be awarded the maximum score available and therefore all others costs will be calculated as a percentage of this leading score.


The quality element will sub divided the appropriate categories depending on the importance of the contract to Aspire Housing each tender will be weighted on different levels. The evaluation will compromise of quality and cost being added together to identify a preferred bidder. Once the evaluation process is complete, bidders are provided with the outcome as to whether or not their application was successful.

What's involved?

There are several different criteria but in essence: if the total thresholds are exceeded Aspire is legally required to undertake OJEU compliant tendering.

Supplies valued over £139,893*

Services valued over £139,893*

Works valued over £3,497,313*

*from January 2008

These contracts will not be advertised on this website or the local, national or specialist press.Notices will only be published via the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) website – SIMAP.

Notices contains all the information appertaining to the tender, including key milestone dates. Please be advised there is no flexibility with the dates published, compliance with OJEU is governed by the European Courts of Justice.The predetermined timescales are published below.

Companies not familiar with the OJEU process can speak to the VFM Team prior to any notice being published. Once a notice has been published dialogue is restricted to specific issues appertaining to the tender only.

We have submitted a PQQ. What next?

We will evaluate your PQQ and score it against predetermined criteria. Usually we select the top six companies. If you are not selected your PQQ will be retained but will not be used for any future tenders.

In the OJEU notice, we will advise the number of companies we will select for each stage of the process. For example we will usually select up to six companies to progress to the Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage. Following this we will usually select up to three for interviews.

We have submitted a tender. What next?

Tenders are opened when the tender return period has elapsed, the tenders that were submitted in time will be opened at a special tender opening ‘ceremony’. Late tenders are not opened.

A director of the Aspire Group and a procurement team member will open the documents. All documents with financial information in your bid will be verified as not being altered in any way and then signed by each of the ‘opening team’.

The detail of each offer is recorded on a schedule signed again by all three members of the ‘opening team’ and then stored in the official tender log.

How does tender evaluation work?

All offers are re-checked financially and then an evaluation panel is set up using senior company officers.

A scoring matrix is used by the panel to mark the offers according to the specification required and the requirements of the tender. The subsequent result will normally them require formal presentations by the company to Aspire Housing at shortlist stage.

When is the contract awarded?

The preferred tenderer is notified & invited for detailed discussions – unsuccessful companies are advised accordingly.

In the case of contracts procured under EU rules, there is a 10 day standstill period whereby any of the failed tenders may request feedback and in some circumstances mount a legal challenge.

After this period a mobilisation meeting is held with the successful bidder and the contract commences.