Tackling a pre-qualification questionnaire for the first time can be a daunting task, which is why we have asked our top consultants for their top do’s and don’ts for answering PQQs.

Industry Insights

Tip 1 – read, think, read, write

Read the question carefully and answer as clearly as you can. Think about your answer before you start writing and re-read the question when you are working on it to make sure what you have written fits in. Within reason give the required answer and clarify, rather than the “wrong” answer and clarify, just in case the initial sift is done by a computer, and remember to always give a full and honest clarification.


Tip 2 – mirror, mirror

Pick out key words in the tender documents (instructions, evaluation criteria etc.). What are they really looking for? Connect your company’s abilities to the requirement and mirror the language to make it easy for the evaluator to connect the dots.


Tip 3 – know the right flow

Don’t try and get around word limits or sizes – do what is being asked of you and do not include attachments that have not been requested as they will not be evaluated. Ease of reading, substance and content are of higher value than cosmetic/creative presentation, so make sure the words flow well together and check frequently for spelling and grammatical errors.


Tip 4 – get the right fit

Don’t cut and paste from previous scored answers, they may have scored highly on your last PQQ but it doesn’t guarantee a high score this time. Tailor your response to meet the exact question requirements and the buyer’s strategic aims where possible.


Tip 5 – save the selling for the bid

Remember the PQQ is about capacity, experience and ability – it is not about the solution at this stage so don’t try and put “sales talk” into your responses. Relax, be yourself and answer the question being asked. Do not be afraid to highlight your firms strengths, especially where they connect with the requirement, just make sure not to over-do it. A good method is to include a solid testimonial quote from a happy client that is short but adds strength to your response.


Do you have any tips that didn’t make our list? Share them with us in the comments below.

To learn more about how our training courses can equip you with the knowledge to create a striking PQQ – Click Here.

2 Responses

  1. In preparing response to PQQ the bidder or tenderer needs to acquire a good team that will be led by a bid manager. Argue ably the tips above cannot be possible without a good team( Bid manager, QS, Engineer etc). The team composition however depends on the nature of the bid. I therefore suggest that acquisition of a bid manager and his or her team be added to the tips.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Sahanun. Indeed, we agree a bid manager is a useful tool to any organisation and bid teams are a vital element for many organisations. Especially if they are applying for multiple tenders at the same time. While we agree that bid teams do make a difference we created these tips so that they can be applied to all sizes of organisations. Many of the businesses we work with are SME’s or only have one or two people who work on their PQQs. They may not have the capacity to have a bid team but these individuals can and do write winning PQQs. We were looking at the quality of the PQQ and the tips are all possible for organisations no matter the size as long as they are tender ready and have all the information to hand for the PQQ writer.