Business Development

A Guide to Tender Training Courses

By Hudson Procurement Group
July 2020

Tender training courses can offer lots of guidance, hints, tips and tricks. How do you choose which course is right for you?

For anyone seeking to learn about tendering, the resources available online might seem overwhelming. There is a huge variety of free, useful information which you can draw from. So where do you even start, without feeling overwhelmed?

Let’s start from the basics – what do you want to learn?

Many training courses unrelated to tendering cover the core essential skills crucial to tendering. That is not to say that tendering is simple. However, if you develop the following core skills below, your overall tendering efforts can be more effective.

1. Excellent time management.

This is an absolutely crucial skill for writing winning bids. The tendering process is always filled with deadlines, which are using held tight and don’t alter. This means you must be able to keep track of your time and dedicate the right amount of time to certain sections of a bid/tender.

Relevant course topics here can include:

Effective time management
Project management
Strategic thinking
Decision making in the workplace
Prioritisation and planning

2. Effective communication skills.

You must be able to communicate well with a range of stakeholders on any given project. Effective communication also involves different approaches to communication, depending on the situation. This also connects to time management.

Relevant course topics here can include:

Business communication
Conflict management
Interpersonal communication
Non-verbal communication
Presentation skills

3. A good eye for detail.

The success of a tender can hang in the balance of ensuring you have read all the relevant information. Ensuring that you have covered essential information will also help you to tailor your bid responses. Effective research skills will enable you to be selective. Effectively choosing relevant information and discarding irrelevant information will ultimately support your bid.

Relevant course topics here can include:

Positive mindsets
Attitudes to business
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules, specific to your organisation
Writing skills.

You must be able to write for a range of audiences, in a range of styles. No two bids are the same – so you must adapt your writing approach. Writing skills link to time management, communication and attention to detail skillsets. Writing creative tenders can offer more space for enthusiasm and flair. On the other hand, technical tenders need to be to-the-point. You must be able to produce high-quality copy which is free of grammar and punctuation errors. All writing must read well and be engaging.

Relevant course topics here can include:

Business writing
Writing for SEO and social media
Creative writing
Report writing
Grammar and punctuation

Write out what you want to improve or learn. Using a mind map, list, or diagram can help. It will allow you to visualise what skills you need to prioritise and which skills require less work. Planning your learning approach now can save you time and effort in the future.

Each bid writer has their own method and style of working. However, they must also develop these essential skills in the process. This is in addition to tender specific training.

These key skills form the backbone of tendering. They will complement any tender training courses you may find and help you immensely.

Understanding your sector is just as essential as specific tender training courses

You must fully understand your sector. This sounds obvious, but lack of knowledge in specific areas can cause trip-ups during the tendering process.

Understanding your sector includes understanding sector-specific ‘jargon’, or terminology. For example, if you are based in the construction industry, you must be familiar with terms including:

RIBA Stages of Work;
Passivhaus;
ISO 9001;
ISO 45001;
ISO 14001; and
CHAS

Whilst you may have delivered work for years, consider if your ideal tender requires ISO 14001 accreditation. What if you don’t have this in place?

On the other, if you work in the care sector, you must be familiar with the following:

The Care Act 2014;
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS);
The Care Quality Commission; and
Care and Support Plans.

Fully understanding all associated terminology within your sector will benefit your tender writing by:

Giving you a head-start with any future requirements
Enabling you to respond swiftly with the right information
Deliver the work more effectively to the specification
Understanding your industry’s terminology inside and out is crucial. It will enable you to write about it in the best possible way.

Tailor learning to your needs

You can find lots of tender training courses online, however, these skills don’t exist in a vacuum. You must be able to apply them effectively, in context. So tailor your learning to your needs. This will greatly benefit your work, productivity and motivation.

Of course, there is always time to research your interests. However – focused, purposeful learning will make your tendering efforts more productive. Consider what motivates you to learn. Use this to your advantage, through increasing your sector-specific knowledge.

Go back to basics

Consider your writing from a buyer’s perspective. The purpose of developing the above skills is enabling you to respond appropriately and effectively to the specification.

You must respond to what they ask for – not what you wanted them to ask.

When selecting any tender training courses, consider your learning style. Use this to your advantage. Whilst bid writers use a specific type of core strengths, they may approach a task in different ways. Therefore, reflect on your learning and writing style. Do you need to modify it, or develop a new skill set? Often changing the approach to a problem can provide new inspiration and motivation.

For example, what about if you love writing, but don’t know how to structure it? Then focus on this. You can write pages and pages of content. However, if it is not relevant, is cluttered, and unfocused, this can damage your tendering efforts. Consider points which you may have overlooked previously.

Reflect on strengths and weaknesses within your skillset. Are there any issues you have been ignoring? Tackle these first – in a few months, consider how your tendering efforts have improved.

So what about specific tender training courses?

Whether you are a business who tenders or a tender writer – there is a lot to know. A useful starting point is to understand tender specific terminology. It will arise time and time again.

For example:

You need to understand the difference between a PQQ, an ITT and a DPS.
It’s important to understand how to navigate and use different tendering portals.
You need to know how to complete a Selection Questionnaire correctly.
You also need to know how to correctly provide documentary evidence to accompany your tenders.
Applying training in context

So where do you begin to learn tender specific content? One option is Tender VLE. This is Hudson’s free, online video training platform. It offers a huge range of tendering resources for beginners to tendering professionals.

Tender VLE is guided by experts in their field –

Jill Hudson, Growth Director
John Hudson, Group CEO
Daniel Hall, Head of Bid Management
Kathryn Johansen, Head of Creative

They discuss tendering in context, to help you really understand essential tendering information. We offer are incredible video tutorials suited to all learning levels. Whether you have tendered before, or are completely new to tendering, there is relevant content for you.

Our bid team break down key tendering points. They explain exactly why and how these key points are relevant. In addition to this, we also offer useful links, tips and tricks to accompany the video. Our Tender VLE resource contains a full suite of learning videos. This will ensure that all your learning bases are covered.

Hudson Helpline

What if you only need support with a specific query, and Google can’t provide the answer? Hudson Helpline offers 20 minutes of free tendering support. Our consultants are on hand to support you with your tendering efforts. The team has multi-disciplinary experience across a range of sectors to help you in your learning journey.

Our experts have a wealth of tendering knowledge to share with you, to help you succeed in your tendering efforts. We offer services like:

Tender Ready: This service will support your organisation in becoming ready to tender. It includes case study and policy development.
Tender Mentor: This service will help you to fully master your tender responses. Our bid writing professionals will review your completed tender with a fine-tooth comb. We will ensure that the specification is fully covered. We will also support you in presenting your tender in the best possible way to the buyer.
Tender Improvement: This service will support you in maximising your bidding potential. We review your current bid resources and optimise them.
How about specific tendering training bespoke to you and your organisation?

Contact us today, to find out how we can support you in your tendering efforts.

Our dedicated consultancy team can ask you some questions and devise a training programme that is suitable for you and your team today!

For more information, or to speak to a consultant, please visit our website

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