The public sector is made up of numerous organisations run by the government – this includes local councils, emergency services, armed forces and the NHS. Each of these organisations relies on the private sector to supply them with a wide range of goods, works and services, and on average spends over £290 billion on procurement each year.

To ensure there is a competitive marketplace, contracts must be published publicly, and be accessible to any supplier. This means whenever a public body has a procurement need, they have to advertise the contract online using any of the numerous publishing platforms (also known as advertising portals) available to them – details of these can be found at the end of this post.


The Problem with Finding Tenders

You could try and search for notices yourself using the websites above, but due to the sheer number of sources, especially for low-value notices, it would take a significant amount of effort to find suitable notices.

Even if you did find notices this way, the problems associated with CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) codes means they might not actually be as relevant as you had hoped. There is a CPV code for every product or service, and while buyers should use them to let suppliers know what they are looking for, many notices are coded incorrectly. This means they won’t appear in searches and you could miss out on these opportunities.

Tenders Direct allows you to avoid these issues by sourcing and reviewing every UK and ROI notice, then making them available to you in one accurate and easy to search database. If you would like more information about the use of CPV codes and other issues you could encounter, please see our post ‘Why does Tenders Direct reclassify tenders?’


Tenders Direct – How does it work? 

We are able to provide full coverage of every tender published in the UK and ROI thanks to our team of Sourcing Specialists, who scour every source to find every tender published. Our Classification Specialists then review each of these notices for accuracy, and re-classify them according to product, service and industry. This Peer Review Process not only ensures you have access to every tender published; it also eliminates irrelevance so you only ever see notices that match your search criteria.

To help you stay ahead of the competition and have more time to prepare your bids, our tender alert service eliminates the need for manual searches by notifying you as soon as relevant opportunities are published. Our Client Experience Managers work with you to learn about your business, identify your needs, and develop your unique alert profile – ensuring you receive notifications tailored specifically to your requirements.

With a Tenders Direct subscription, we guarantee you will never miss a tender. Visit our website for more information about our services, or call our New Business Executives on 0800 222 9009 to discuss your needs.

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Tender Publishing Platforms UK 

Contracts Finder - for English contracts worth over £10,000 with the government and its agencies. 

Public Contracts Scotland – for all Scottish public procurement. 

Sell2Wales – for all Welsh public procurement.

eSourcing NI – for all public procurement in Northern Ireland.

Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) – for high-value tenders published in European Union countries.

Find a Tender – for all high-value notices published across the UK.

Public Buyer Specific – low-value tenders, which make up the majority of all public contracts, can be published on the buyer’s own website or through a third party service such as myTenders – meaning there are hundreds of sites used to publish notices. 


These posts may also be of interest

Why work with
the public sector? 

Our article looks at 6 reasons why you should do business with the Public Sector.

Differences between
the private and public sector 

This infographic looks at the different procurement processes.

What is
a public sector tender? 
An explanation of how tenders work and the different procedures they can use.  

Request a tailored
Market Overview

Discover what types of opportunities are available for your industry with a free Market Overview report.


Tenders Direct is the UK’s most accurate tender alert service. We are the only service to guarantee that with us – you’ll never miss a tender.

For more information about we can help you find and win more work in the public sector, please visit tendersdirect.co.uk or call us on 0800 222 9009.

One thought on “How do I find government contracts?

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