What Is A Framework?

Date: 6th Feb 2018   By: Ria Logan   length: 10 minutes   Tags: Beginner  Procurement Regulations  


A framework is a contract awarded normally to several suppliers (usually 3 or more), although technically it could be awarded to a sole supplier. All CPC frameworks comply with European Union Procurement Regulations which are available to view in the attached file.

In consideration of thresholds that members must abide by, these are now detailed below

  • Goods and Services Contracts     £181,302
  • Works Contracts                          £4,551,413
  • Light Touch Regime                     £615,278

When CPC go to market for a framework, we always assess the technical, financial and operating ability of all bidders as well as giving due consideration to their commercial proposal. These are the selection and award phases.

The selection criteria will examine such areas as;

  • Grounds for Mandatory Exclusion
  • Grounds for Discretionary Exclusion
  • Economic and Financial Standing
  • Parent Company Information
  • Joint Venture Proposals
  • Technical and Professional Ability
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Skills and Apprentices

Some of these areas are simple pass/fail questions, whilst some allow for discretion by the consortia.

The award criteria will consider such areas as;

  • Price
  • Customer Requirements
  • Added Value
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

When creating a framework, CPC carefully examine the marketplace to ascertain whether a particular framework should be broken down into various lots. A Lot could be defined as being similar to a sub-heading for example, Hair, Beauty and Wigs is the framework title, but the framework is then split into Lots

  • Lot 1 – Hair,
  • Lot 2 – Beauty Kits and
  • Lot 3 - Wig materials.

Lots make it easier for members to identify their needs and by utilising a Lot structure, CPC can introduce a wider range of suppliers to cover each aspect of the framework.

Some frameworks allow members to make a direct award on a framework normally where a single supplier has clearly been identified as the top scoring supplier at the tender stage wither on the framework or a particular Lot.

Instructions on undertaking a Direct Award are covered within the CPC User Guide published with each framework.

If a direct award is not possible, then the member will need to undertake a further or mini competition which is the CPC prescribed route. In doing so the following applies;

  • All capable suppliers on the framework must be invited to submit a proposal
  • The member can vary the framework award criteria by +/- 50% and the award criteria should be clearly stated
  • The member can make a provision for additional procurement where they state this subject to EU Directives
  • The member can elect not to run a 10-day standstill process after award
  • If the contract value is greater than £25k, then an award notice must be published on Contracts Finder.

Why Use a Framework?

There are many benefits in utilising a framework contract which include;

  • The framework is fully EU compliant
  • The suppliers on the framework have already been professionally assessed
  • The spend on the framework is aggregated across the CPC membership to encourage best value
  • The administrative cost and burden to members is significantly reduced in not having to undertake their own EU procurement exercise
  • Full access to the following suite of documentation
    • Further Competition templates
    • User guide
    • Terms and Conditions
    • The frameworks ITT
    • The supplier’s evaluation
    • Evaluation templates

As a CPC member, access is granted to the following tendering resources;

  • CPC Members can view all supplier pages with contact details, have access to all framework user guides and templates as well as access to CPC staff contact details.
  • CPC Quote Tool – Members access the CPC Quote Tool where they can advise suppliers of an opportunity sending their requirements to all capable suppliers who can then submit a response.
  • CPC Sourcing Cloud – Members are given access to our tendering portal where they can run a further Competition process.

Conclusion

CPC frameworks are fully EU compliant, easy to use and come with a range of documentation to assist our members. They also provide proven value for money and are available to use free of charge.

We offer various routes to market for members all underpinned by great customer service via our Helpdesk, Regional Procurement Advisors and Contracting Teams.