Tag: CPV Codes

How do I find government contracts?


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, they might not actually be as relevant as you had hoped. This is because of CPV codes. There is a CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) 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.

However, 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.


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.

How Tenders Direct works
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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.

Don’t Judge a Tender by its Title

Is it your job to find that golden opportunity hidden amongst hundreds of vaguely related tender notices?  How many tenders do you dismiss on title alone?  Well, you might just be missing some valuable business opportunities.

Continue reading “Don’t Judge a Tender by its Title”

Seasonal CPV Codes and Festive Tender Notices

As most people start their Christmas holidays this week, or for those suffering from post-Christmas party sore heads, we will keep the procurement topics light and cheery. I have taken a typical Tenders Direct Christmas and replaced as many words as I could with CPV codes. Have a guess at what you think they might be! The answers and some festive Tender Notices are after the jump.

Tenders Direct has sent the 22321000 with lovely 22411000 and trimmed our 39298910 with glimmering 31522000. The 15981320 is falling, the 18315000 are hung, and the 44423100 are ringing. Nigella herself won’t have seen a better looking 15112120 with a side of 03222315 and yummy 03221440 we smother the whole lot in 15893300. With full bellies, we put our 18318300 on and leave 15511000 and 15821200 out for St. Nic and some 03221112 for Rudolph. Off to our 39143110 to dream of 15831000 03222334 and wait for our 18530000. We awake to hear St. Nic on our 44112400 and soon to make his way down the 45262610. In the morning, we were overjoyed to find everything we had asked for and more, 37532000, 37480000, 38650000, 37821000, and a few 18315000 full of 09111100, I wonder who those belong to…?

CPV code answers and some festive tenders >>

Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)

Philippe Lebaube

The Official Journal of the European Union(OJEU) is the gazette of record for the European Union. It has been published in 22 official languages (23 when Irish is required) of the member states, every working day since the Treaty of Nice entered into force on 1 February 2003.  The OJEU superseded the earlier Official Journal of the European Community (OJEC) with the establishment of the European Union.

Continue reading “Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)”

Public sector tendering – lost in translation..?

Have you ever come across a tender that looks interesting but you just don’t have a clue what it’s talking about?

Buyers, often with the best intentions, sometimes include terminology that is quite frankly harder to understand than ‘The Theory of Everything’ by Stephen Hawkings. If you’re new to public sector tendering, here’s a simple jargon buster of some of the most commonly used terms that may just save your PC from being thrown out the window…!

Continue reading “Public sector tendering – lost in translation..?”

CPV Codes – In principle brilliant, in practice, hopeless.

Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) codes were implemented in 1993 as a standard classification system for public tenders across Europe. The codes are eight digits long and each one has a corresponding description, intended to cover a broad range of supplies, services, and works. However, it’s guaranteed that the one code you need, you’ll never find.

There are plenty of very useful codes in the system, and there are plenty weird and wonderful codes as well. Some personal favourites include:
39293500-7         Imitation jewellery.
35410000-1         Horse or hand-drawn carts and other non-mechanically-propelled vehicles.
33000000-0         Medical and laboratory devices, optical and precision devices, watches and clocks, pharmaceuticals and related medical consumables.
03141000-1         Bulls’ semen.
18320000-8         Brassieres, corsets, suspenders and similar articles.

I mean this classification system was written for the Public Sector right? So why any Awarding authority would be putting together a tender for not just any jewellery, but imitation jewellery I am unsure. Horse or hand drawn carts, plenty of those out on the streets. The medical CPV code has always made me chuckle- where do watches and clocks fit in to that one? To be fair they did revise that one in 2008.  Now let’s take Bulls’ Semen- do I even want to know? Lastly, all those naughty undergarments being tendered in the public sector, tut tut tut. 

So there are plenty of nonsensical CPV codes as we can see, but what about those ones you really need and cannot seem to find? It wasn’t until 2008 that there was an adequate CPV code for Web Design Services. What did purchasers select instead? Computer related services? Perhaps a bit broad.

When the CPV codes were revised in 2008 many important codes were cut, very specific codes were stripped back and the structure of the supplementary vocabulary was changed to take account of this.  For example, there were 43 different CPV codes for printing and now there is just one.  The idea is that you select the main CPV code for say “Printing” and then add the appropriate supplementary code for “books”, “magazines” or whatever.  Again you can kind of see where they were going with this but in practice, it’s hopeless! No one uses these supplementary codes, which is bad for suppliers trying to locate the right tender notices because the title and CPV codes are even more vague than before the change.

CPV codes were intended to boost transparency in public procurement and make it easier for suppliers to identify business opportunities. In my opinion, all CPV codes have done is cloud over what purchasers are really looking for and flood suppliers with irrelevant notices.

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