Ensure you have clear and transparent commercial pipelines, and a good understanding of the market to plan for the procurement process. Pipeline functionality is now available within Sell2Wales to allow you to share your pipelines with the market.

Remember to adapt activities to your local context, and take steps that are proportionate to the value, risk, complexity and profile of your requirements. 

  1. 1 Familiarise yourself with the procurement legislation and Welsh Procurement Policy Notes (WPPNs).

    Currently, the main procurement rules in Wales are contained in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), which apply to all public sector organisations in Wales.

  2. 2 Understand your market for the goods or services you are buying.

    To develop the right procurement approach, you should understand who the suppliers are, where they are based and their size. This will help you understand whether the product or service is readily available. You should do this through ongoing engagement with the market .

  3. 3 Be clear and transparent about your requirements.

    You should clearly outline what you need from the procurement process. This includes specifying the goods or services you require as well as any technical requirements, deadlines, and budget constraints. Use the Sell2Wales pipeline planning functionality to maximise transparency of your future procurements.

  4. 4 Consider social value.

    In Wales, public sector organisations are required to consider the social value of their procurement activities in the context of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. This means considering how the procurement process can support the local economy, create jobs, and promote sustainability.

  5. 5 Use the appropriate procurement procedures.

    There are currently a number of different procurement procedures available in Wales, including open, restricted, innovation partnership and competitive dialogue. You should specify which procurement procedure you intend to use, based on the value and complexity of the procurement, and on the market.

5 things to know

5 Things to know background watermark

Getting Started

As a minimum your brief or specification should include:

The ‘Plan’ stage of the procurement journey will typically include:

  • A commercial strategy;
  • Published (or plans to publish) pipelines; and
  • A market strategy, including an approach to market management.

At this stage you should start to consider how through your commercial and procurement activities, you plan to:

  • Achieve the 7 wellbeing goals, 5 ways of working and 4 lenses of value contained within the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, to drive greater social value through the consistent delivery of more well-being impacts;
  • Align delivery model options with departmental, organisational and Welsh Government strategies, priorities and policies, including having regard to the principles contained within the Wales Procurement Policy Statement; and
  • Support economic prosperity and embrace and exploit innovation, working with a responsive market of companies and allowing businesses in Wales to thrive.

In preparation for the new Procurement Act 2023 coming into effect, you should familiarise yourself with all the exemptions and differences for devolved Welsh authorities and planned procurements under devolved Welsh arrangements.

Show all sections Hide all sections
Commercial Strategy Show Hide

In developing your organisation’s commercial strategy you should think about your overall approach to ensure that all procurements and other commercial activities (e.g. income generation) collectively achieve the intended organisational outcomes, and represent social, cultural, environmental and economic value.


This should include:

  • Demonstrating how all commercial activities and agreements (e.g. contracts, grants or both) align to the organisation’s wider strategic objectives;
  • Anticipating and responding to uncertainty, by ensuring (or having a clear and realistic plan to ensure) there’s sufficient organisational capability, capacity and resilience to address unplanned demands;
  • Multidisciplinary and cross-functional teams collaboratively developing a shared understanding of what’s required to achieve the required outcomes, and the agreements that need to be proactively managed and monitored to support this;
  • Surfacing any operational issues relating to any agreements, and ensuring clear ownership is assigned to address these in a timely manner;
  • Leveraging commercial activities to diversify the public sector supply market across Wales, helping to promote healthy markets by balancing short- and medium-term needs while safeguarding the ability to also meet the long-term needs of supply sectors, and to encourage innovation; and
  • Establishing a consistent and proportionate approach to managing risk and reward incentives.
Publishing Pipelines Show Hide

A pipeline notice is one of a number of new transparency requirements that public sector organisations will need to comply with from 28 October 2024, when the new Procurement Act 2023 comes into effect.

Greater transparency of procurement pipelines increases the visibility of planned contracts in Wales and its local regions, allowing businesses and social enterprises more time to prepare. This will support lowering some of the barriers that prevent small Welsh enterprises from bidding for public contracts.

Being transparent about future needs in advance of starting procurement activities:

  • Is a vital element of effective and ongoing market engagement;
  • Supports working with a responsive market of companies; and
  • Supports businesses in Wales to thrive.

Pipeline notices support a number of intended outcomes of the Wales Procurement Policy Statement, including:

  • Contracting authorities should publish their procurement pipelines so that opportunities for collaborative procurement can be identified; and
  • Transparency is embedded by default into each stage of the procurement lifecycle, through the implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS).

Embedding transparency in public procurement is also one of the UK Government’s stated aims of the Procurement Act 2023, and publishing notices throughout the end-to-end procurement journey will be central to achieving this.

At this ‘Plan’ stage of the procurement journey, public sector organisations that intend to procure more than £100 million of goods, services and works in a given financial year, will be required to publish a pipeline notice containing information on their potential future procurements that year (where the estimated value for a particular contract exceeds £2 million).

Market Strategy and Management Show Hide

In developing your commercial strategy, you’ll have already considered how your organisation can help promote healthy markets over the short, medium and long term.

You should build on this as part of your market strategy to include different approaches to market management. This is about developing and maintaining a good understanding of the markets that you source from, and appreciating how the commercial activities of the Welsh public sector collectively can influence these markets.


Flexible, risk-based approaches to market management leads to:

  • More competitive markets;
  • More innovation in product development and service delivery;
  • Fewer situations where organisations are over reliant on one or a small number of suppliers; and
  • Improved social value for money and wellbeing outcomes.

Sharing market intelligence and insights with fellow commercial and procurement practitioners in the Cyd community, will further support better market management across the whole public sector in Wales.

Useful Resources Show Hide
  • Foundational Economy Online Learning Resource (there are 8 sections to this course and it’s recommended to complete the module in one sitting, which will take between 30 – 45 minutes. It’s particularly recommended for people involved in developing economic policies and projects, and those working in public sector procurement. The course is designed to leave learners feeling more informed and confident)


Quick fire background watermark


CIPS Procurement and Supply Cycle

The ‘Procurement and Supply Cycle’ developed by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) includes 13 steps to guide you through the procurement process for goods and services. At this early stage in the process, the following steps from the CIPS ‘Procurement and Supply Cycle’ are worth considering: 

  1. Define business needs and develop specification; 
  2. Market analysis and ‘make or buy’ decision; and 
  3. Develop the strategy and plan. 
Quick fire background watermark

Net Zero

When developing your commercial and market strategies, consider how to tackle carbon emissions through your procurements and contracts

  • Procurement is a significant source of CO2e emissions, and is also therefore a critical function in achieving the Welsh Government’s net zero target by 2030. This target includes reducing Scope 3 emissions, which encompass various activities such as business travel, employee commuting, waste disposal, and transportation of products – procurement and commercial professionals can’t achieve this alone, so think about how engaged your whole organisation is in this process.
  • The Sustainability Risk Assessment Tool/Policy Mapping Tool, which is currently in development will be recommended for identifying reduction areas in procurement, and sharing this information will facilitate early market engagement.
  • Research is essential in procurement – focus on market changes, new technologies, and alternative service methods.
  • Effective communication with suppliers during early market engagement is also fundamental. Are you on the same page in relation to net zero aims.
  • Use the guidance available to you. The Welsh Procurement Policy Note (WPPN) 12/21 offers detailed information on reducing CO2e emissions in supply chains, contributing to the 2030 net zero goal for the Welsh public sector.
Net Zero section background watermark


We’ve brought together a range of resources to support you at each stage of your procurement journey.

Visit the links below to view the resources relate to this stage.

Next - Define
Cyd site is currently in Beta and this website will be developed as new services are created.