Procurement accounts for around a third of all public expenditure, and with the publication of the NPPS a greater focus is being put on how this spending can better support the delivery of key priorities – including generating economic growth, helping communities recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and supporting the transition to net zero carbon emissions.  

The policies within the statement apply to the entire public sector, which includes central government departments, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies, local authorities and the NHS. 

Priorities identified within the NPPS, and what they mean for suppliers 

Social Value 

Considering the social, economic and environmental impact of procurement decisions is now more important than ever. The entire public sector is attributing greater weighting to social value questions, and if you want to achieve the highest scores, you need to know what buyers are looking for.  
Below are the Social Value priorities identified within the NPPS: 

Creating new businesses, new jobs and new skills  
◆ increasing opportunities for entrepreneurship and helping new and/or small businesses to grow, supporting higher economic growth and greater business creation.
◆ increasing employment opportunities particularly for those who face high barriers to employment or who are located in disadvantaged areas.
◆ extending training opportunities, particularly for people in industries with known skills shortages or in high growth sectors. 

Tackling climate change and reducing waste  
◆ contributing to the UK Government’s legally-binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
◆ reducing waste, improving resource efficiency and contributing to the move towards a circular economy. 
◆ identifying and prioritising opportunities in sustainable procurement to deliver additional environmental benefits, for example enhanced biodiversity, through the delivery of the contract.  

Improving supplier diversity, innovation and resilience  
◆ creating a more diverse supply chain to deliver the contract, which will better support start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses and VCSEs in doing business on public sector contracts. 
◆ increasing innovation and the use of disruptive technologies and business models throughout the supply chain, to deliver lower cost and/or higher quality goods and services, and encourage the wider adoption of innovation. 
◆ contributing to the development of scalable and future-proofed new methods to modernise delivery and increase productivity.

Commercial and procurement delivery 

The public sector is working to making procurement more efficient for contracting authorities and suppliers. To achieve this, a series of playbooks have been published offering guidance on what should be considered ‘good practice’. 
We recommend reading our summaries of these playbooks to gain an understanding of what to expect from contracting authorities moving forward. 

UK Public Procurement: The Construction Playbook 
◆ UK Public Procurement: The Sourcing and Consultancy Playbooks 

Skills and capability for procurement 

All contracting authorities will be putting greater scrutiny on their own processes, reviewing their capability and capacity to deliver value for money. There is now an expectation that authorities will benchmark themselves against relevant commercial and procurement operating standards. 
This priority does not directly affect suppliers, and is focused on improving practices within the public sector. 

The full National Procurement Policy Statement (NPPS) along with the associated Policy procurement Note (PPN), can be found by following this link. 

Achieve high scores for Social Value questions. 

Do you know how to highlight the Social Value benefits your business can offer and how to shape your answers to achieve the highest scores? 

In our Social Value in Bidding training course, we will help you to understand what buyers are looking for, how to prepare for Social Value questions, and how to provide the best responses. Follow the link to view full course details and availability.  

Where can I find public sector contracts? 

There are thousands of portals through which public bodies can publish their notices, and it would take a significant amount of time and effort to try and locate every opportunity relevant to your business.   
Thankfully, Tenders Direct eliminates your need to search for tenders by collating every UK and ROI notice in one place. Our unique service ensures we are aware of every procurement opportunity, allowing us to alert you as soon as they are published and make the guarantee that with Tenders Direct – you will never miss a public sector notice.    
Request a demo today and discover all the opportunities you could be bidding for.