How to Buy from the Framework

Members can elect to award business to suppliers in one of two ways:

Direct Award

Direct Award is an option under the framework , is available across all 14 Lots and is defined within EU Procurement Regulations (Regulation 19, 7 (a)). A Member direct awards business to a supplier where the business is awarded without the supplier having to engage in a further competitive process to win the contract. The means upon which a direct award can be made is unclear but recent legal advice suggests that direct award to the best value supplier on each Lot is acceptable. Regardless Members should be reminded that direct award must be made by the application of the terms laid down in the framework.

Each supplier has an agreed schedule of rates detailing their hourly rates on a lot by lot basis for the following grades of employee:

Full Schedule of Rates pricing can be accessed by logging onto the Member area of the CPC website. The Schedule of Rates may be of assistance to Members when deciding whether or not to Direct Award to a supplier.

It is anticipated that Direct Award will be most commonly used in cases of urgent and/or one‐off need. Members are encouraged to engage in Further Competition to secure best value.

Further advice and guidance can be obtained from the Crescent Purchasing Consortium Members Help Desk (not the framework specific Help Desk detailed in section 6).

Further Competition

A Member can engage suppliers in a further competition. When engaging in a further competition exercise, Members must invite all the suppliers, from within the respective Lot from which they are purchasing, to participate in the further competition. All suppliers within the respective lot must be given the opportunity to engage in a further competition unless there is an aspect of your requirement which cannot be met by all, in which case only those capable of meeting this requirement need be invited to bid. Whereas all suppliers must be given the opportunity to engage in the further competition, they are not obliged to submit a quotation and may decide not to submit a bid under the further competition. This doesn’t invalidate your further competition and the quotations received should continue to be evaluated.

It should be noted that where further competition is being undertaken under any of Lots 1 through to 13, framework users must invite bids from those suppliers awarded a contract under the respective Lot and also those awarded a contract under Lot 14 Legal Services – National One‐Stop‐Shop.

Where further competition is being undertaken by a framework user under Lot 14 Legal Services – National One‐Stop‐Shop, they are only obliged to invite bids from those suppliers awarded a contract under Lot 14 and not those from any of the corresponding geographical Lots 1 to 13.

A further competition can be conducted in one of two ways; a traditional further competition process or via a capability assessment route.

The following is an example of a traditional further competition process (for illustrative purpose only):

Stage 1

Requirements audit and review undertaken to determine requirements

Stage 2

Requirements sent out to suppliers in a Further Competition Invitation to Submit proposal document

Stage 3

Suppliers to review specification and submit bid proposals

Stage 4

Participating Public Sector Body evaluates submitted bid. Presentation may be received as part of the clarification process

Stage 5

Preferred supplier selected and award communicated

The following is an example of a capability assessment route to further competition process (for illustration purposes only):

Stage 1

Participating Public Sector Bodies carry out a capability assessment of suppliers who are able to meet their strategic needs

Stage 2

All suppliers in the most appropriate Lot are invited to submit a capability proposal. Presentations may be received as part of the assessment process

Stage 3

Specification/proof of concept submitted to short-listed providers

Stage 4

Short-listed providers invited to propose solutions

Stage 5

Award to selected supplier

Basic advice and guidance upon conducting further competitions can be obtained from the Help Desk (see Section 6).

A standard further competition template for use in a traditional further competition is attached in Appendix B for Members wishing to undertake their own further competition exercise.

Members should note however that regardless of which route they select to award business, if they wish to benefit from the excellent services and rates available under this framework (whether the selected supplier is your current supplier or not) they must inform the supplier that they are procuring under the framework, quoting the framework name and reference number.

Placing an order

Having selected the chosen supplier and agreed the required services, Members should place the order using the Framework Order Form – a copy is detailed in Appendix D. The preferred supplier will populate the Order Form with the full details of the requirement and then present Members with a completed Order Form for signature. The Order Form under which the contract will be enabled clearly references the framework terms and conditions.

If using their own order documentation, Members must ensure they quote the framework name, reference number and a statement to the effect that the business is contracted under the terms and conditions of this framework. Failure to do this may result in Members not accessing the excellent services and rates available under this framework. This should be undertaken whether the selected supplier is your current supplier or not.

Framework Weighting

The weighting used to select providers through the original Invitation to Tender process is detailed below. Weighting used was come across each Lot and is provided for information purposes to assist Members in determining their further competition evaluation criteria and associated weighting. Members are advised to select evaluation criteria and associated weighting that supports the spirit of the particular Lot under which they are conducting their further competition and can be clearly related back to the original published criteria. Certain criteria may be more or less relevant or indeed not relevant at all, to a Members’ further competition and therefore their evaluation approach may be subtly different to that adopted in the original Invitation to Tender.

Price 40%
Quality 60%

Price 40
Quality 60
Method Statements 18
Legal Services 22
Order Process 1
Account Management 11
Marketing 5
Sustainability 3
Total Weighting 100%

Complaints and Escalation Procedures

Day to day complaints should be raised in the first instance with your chosen supplier. Where appropriate they may also be raised/escalated to the Help Desk. All complaints raised with the Help Desk will be recorded and the way forward agreed with the Member. In the vast majority of cases such complaints will be addressed to the satisfaction of the Member within a reasonable period of time (such time will vary depending upon the nature of the complaint). However in the unlikely event that a complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the customer within a reasonable time, complaints should be escalated as follows:

Step 1

Should the Help Desk be unable to resolve your complaint please contact the Framework Strategic Contract Manager, Steve Davies via or 07966 040564. In the unlikely event that he is unable to resolve the complain to your satisfaction, then escalate to Step 2.

Step 2

Escalation to the Director, Jon Chamerlain. Jon can be contacted by email on or by phone 01204 374170 or mobile 07957 888274.

Local Contract Management

Members are encouraged to put in place their own local contract management regime to ensure acceptable performance of their chosen supplier. This local regime should be established through variances to the standard framework contract terms agreed with the supplier selected following a further competition. The local regime could include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) specific to contract performance, such as billing conditions, statistics and reports and contract review meetings.

All local requirements must be mutually agreed with your chosen supplier.

The framework support team can provide support and advice in determining SLAs and KPIs appropriate to your specific requirements. Should you require further information, or wish to benefit from this support, please contact the Strategic Contract Manager Steve Davies:

07966 040564

In addition to the arrangements specific to each contract, a comprehensive contract management regime underpins the operation of the framework itself. Suppliers’ performance across all contracts let through the framework is continually monitored across all user organisations and issues addressed as they come to light. The framework Strategic Contract Manager will undertake regular contract performance and management review meetings with all suppliers as part of this performance monitoring process.

Members should therefore ensure that the framework Strategic Contract Manager is made aware of any issues of any persistent or unresolved nature so they can be addressed with the appropriate supplier at the appropriate supplier review meeting.