Develop - Route One

Developing a brief

A brief is the written document that includes your requirements for your procurement exercise. To prepare a brief, you should gather information to help you make decisions on what your requirements are.

This will include research on:

  • Suppliers
  • Knowledgeable people/experts
  • Market information

Any decisions on what your brief will include should include the risk and value involved.

  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 about your requirements.
    Your brief 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
  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. Your brief should specify which procurement procedure you intend to use, based on the value and complexity of the procurement.”

5 things to know

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Getting started

What to think about first

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Main considerations Show Hide

As a minimum your brief should include:

  • The product(s) or service(s) you need and why they’re needed
  • The timescales and any key milestones you need bidders to work to
  • Outcomes you need to achieve or any technical specifications that need to be met
  • The maximum budget available for the work
  • Whether the work will require information to be provided in the Welsh language as well as English
  • Who the main customer is that the successful bidder will work with on a day-to-day basis
  • How the work aligns with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Wales Procurement Policy Statement principles
  • How the relationship and contract will be managed, including any Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or Service Level Agreements (SLAs)


Here you should list the outputs/deliverables you expect the work to generate and by when they should be completed. Examples may be:

  • Temporary staff
  • Site landscaping
  • Vehicle Leasing
  • Surveys

How bids will be evaluated

Include your evaluation criteria and weightings. These should be communicated to all potential bidders.

Contract management

  • How are you going to manage the contract when it goes live?
  • How will quality or service levels be measured, recorded and maintained?
  • What information should the bidder provide?
  • Costs: how do you keep them from rising?
  • How will issues be rectified?
  • Where and how are deliveries made?
  • How will processes be improved?
  • What’s the payment schedule?
What's Important Show Hide

Talking to internal stakeholders who are familiar with the current contract (e.g. users of products or services supplied, contract managers, etc) is important to understand what’s working well, what’s not working so well (and why) and what realistically could be improved in the new contract.

Gathering data about the carbon emissions associated with the current contract is important to help set realistic yet ambitious targets in the new contract, to support Wales achieving net zero carbon status by 2030.

If available, supplier specific or ‘tier 3’ data is the most accurate data as they’re actual consumption metrics reported by suppliers.

For example, make and model of vehicles used, fuel in litres, kg or kWh or actual business travel in miles / kilometres, product specific emission factors calculated by the supplier, or organisational emissions allocated to products or services. Discuss this data and agree emissions reduction targets with key stakeholders.

More broadly, it’s important to baseline the current contract using the goals and ways of working contained in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and the Wales Procurement Policy Statement principles.

Discuss with your stakeholders how the new contract could support greater alignment with these overarching frameworks.

Sharing information early and often with the market helps to increase transparency and prepare the market for the eventual procurements.

Communicate your brief in the context of how the products or services to be procured support your organisation’s strategic goals and the overarching frameworks previously mentioned.

For example, publish a blog post that contains the draft brief, then hold a webinar to talk about this, and take questions from potential bidders.

Next steps Show Hide

Before carrying on, please check you’ve got everything you need, including

  • Your organisation’s authority to procure

UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR)

Organisations should ensure that all relevant procurement documents make reference to the UK GDPR and update their terms and conditions.

If you are in any doubt you should seek legal advice/speak to your procurement department to help finalise your brief and ensure your Invitation to Tender and any other documentation that you issue is compliant with the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

More information on GDPR.

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Net Zero

When you’re developing your brief, you should consider how you can tackle carbon emissions through the procurement.

Procurement has been identified as one of the areas with the highest CO2e emissions. In order to meet the Welsh Government’s goal of reaching Net Zero by 2030, Scope 3 emissions (emissions of purchased goods and services) must also be reduced. Scope 3 emissions include business travel, employee commuting, waste disposal, use of sold products, transporation and distribution of products, investments and leased assets and franchises.

As part of developing the brief, you should identify areas which you can tackle with your supplier. You can use the Sustainability Risk Assessment Tool to work out areas which you can tackle. Don’t forget to engage the suppliers on this too! Arrange multilateral (i.e. multi-supplier event) and bi-lateral (a 1-2-1 with suppliers) to understand the art of the possible. You should also discuss with your suppliers the investment some of the solution may need and then consider how suppliers could recoup their investment, this could mean longer contract term or bonus payment terms for achieving milestones.

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Next - Identify suppliers
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