How Frameworks Work

A framework is an agreement with suppliers to establish the terms governing contracts to be awarded during the life of the agreement with regard to scope, quality, price, quantity envisaged and importantly the terms in which organisations can award call off contracts throughout the framework duration. SPA frameworks give our Partners the option to either Direct Award or run further Competition via a Mini Competition when calling off from the frameworks.

Suppliers compete through a competitive procurement process to be awarded onto the Framework agreement and are evaluated on a price/quality ratio to ensure best value at all times.

SPA frameworks are eligible to be used by any organisation that is publicly or partially publicly funded to procure works, goods, and services for consultancy, construction, refurbishment, and maintenance of social housing and public buildings.

SPA frameworks have been developed to provide an efficient route to market for our partners whilst ensuring value for money continues to be achieved.

All SPA frameworks are procured in accordance with all Scottish procurement regulations and are developed to ensure nationwide coverage whilst providing opportunities for SMEs and national companies alike.


Advantages of using Frameworks


Quicker route to market than other procurement procedures

Both Direct Award and Further Competition Call-Off options are available

Compliant with Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015

Supports the Sustainable Procurement Duty

Further assessment of supplier capability optional

Potential improvement on framework prices via Mini Competition process

Call-Off contracts awarded under a framework agreement can access the length of the framework itself


The Five Stages

Stage 1: Pre-Tender Engagement

  • To ensure SPA Frameworks are fit for purpose and meet the needs of our Partners, we carry out extensive Pre-Tender Market Engagement with both Partners and Suppliers.

  • We host in-depth engagement sessions with both our Partners and Supplier network which informs our procurement process including route to market, lotting structures, value bands, regional breakdown, technical specifications and pricing schedules.

  • These sessions also allow us to gather feedback from framework users on any improvements required, potential future requirements and how we can provide innovative solutions via our frameworks.

  • We monitor procurement legislation, building standards and regulations and innovations that create a need to adapt and improve the way good works and services are procured.

Stage 2: Public Tender

  • To ensure compliance with Scottish procurement regulations, framework opportunities are advertised via a Contract Notice published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS). The notice will then automatically be published on Find a Tender (FTS) and ProActis where the documents are available to download free of charge.

  • PCS is the national advertising portal which provides suppliers with free access to contract opportunities.

  • The Contract Notice Documentation comprises of an Invitation to Tender (ITT) which specifies the goods, works or services being procured, the Single Procurement Document (SPD), technical quality questionnaire and pricing schedules. Terms & Conditions which govern how the framework operates are also included.

  • Suppliers are required to complete and submit all required ITT documentation within the pre-set deadline date.

Stage 3: Evaluation and Award of Framework

  • Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 state that Contracting Authorities shall base the award of any Public Contract or Framework on the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT). This means that the MEAT tender is identified on the basis of price/quality ratio.

  • SPA Framework Contract Award criteria reflects price, quality, technical and sustainable aspects and each area is weighted accordingly.

  • Every submission is reviewed in detail by an Evaluation Panel, tenders are allocated a score with the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) being identified. We typically appoint five or six of the highest scoring tenderers to each lot within the Framework agreement however this may vary depending on the Framework.

  • To ensure compliance with Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, a Contract Award Notice (CAN) is then published on Public Contracts Scotland portal.

Stage 4 : Call Off Projects

  • SPA Frameworks give our users the option to either Direct Award or run further competition via a Mini Competition.

  • Direct award is when you award the contract directly to a supplier on the relevant Lot of the Framework Agreement without any further competition. Where direct awarding, the Framework Terms and conditions cannot be amended.

  • Mini competition is when a further competition is carried out. All suppliers within a Lot will be invited to participate in the mini competition and will be evaluated based on project specific requirements where terms and conditions of the call-off may vary or be modified from the framework at the choice of the partner.

  • Users can decide to either carry forward the quality scores the Appointed Companies achieved at the initial framework award stage, therefore evaluating price and combining this with the original quality scores to obtain the MEAT scores. Alternatively both quality and price can be reassessed at Mini Competition stage.

  • The Framework award criteria weighting can be varied for the Mini Competition.

  • Once a project has been identified, SPA assist partners throughout the Call Off process. SPA Procurement and Technical team are on hand to provide both technical and procurement advice, verify prices where required, and reviewing specifications. SPA will also manage the Expressions of Interest process and liaise directly with Appointed Companies.

  • Following contract award, we will continue to monitor the project, liaising with both partners and appointed companies to ensure the timely and cost-effective delivery of the project.

  • Following project completion, we request feedback from partners and appointed companies on the performance of the project. 

Stage 5: Community Benefits

  • As a not-for-profit organisation, any surplus generated over the financial year is re-distributed by way of rebates back to our partners and into SPA’s Community Benefit Fund.

  • SPA’s Executive Board members are eligible to apply for a proportion of the fund each year to use for project in their local community. We also encourage our partners to utilise their rebate for local community projects.

  • Since our inception, Partners have received over £3.1M through the rebate scheme and £660k through our Community Benefit Fund.
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