Click here to skip to content

Tendering to supply



In order to achieve best value for money we use a range of methods to procure products and services. The choice of method depends on the type of product or service required and the overall value

Competitive e-tendering using the British Library’s e-tendering website at is our preferred method of supplier selection and is generally used when the total value of the goods and services to be procured exceeds £10,000

A British Library tender will usually include the following electronic documents:

Instructions to Tenderers

Detailing the administrative procedures, evaluation criteria and critical dates applicable to the tender

Specification of Requirements

Setting out the details of the requirements under tender

Form of Tender

Including the pricing schedule to be completed by the Supplier

Terms and Conditions

Describing the contractual terms under which the required goods, services or works will be provided

EU Tendering

Where the overall value of our requirement is likely to exceed certain financial thresholds (generally totalling in excess of £100,000 over the whole life of the contract) the Library is required to follow procedures laid down in the EU Public Procurement Regulations

Within these regulations there are a number of differing approaches to tendering that are briefly outlined below

EU Procedures

Restricted procedure

This is a two-stage tendering process most commonly adopted by the Library in which potential contractors expressing an interest in tendering are pre-qualified using a predetermined matrix of selection criteria (PQQ stage). A shortlist is then drawn up for the sole purpose of inviting tenders (ITT Stage)

More detail on this process 

Competitive Dialogue procedure

This procedure is used for complex contracts where the restricted procedure is not appropriate. An OJEU notice is published, followed by prequalification and then a carefully managed dialogue with selected suppliers to establish the best solution. Tenderers then submit offers against the requirement finalised as a result of the dialogue process

Negotiated procedure

This is when The British Library, under certain very limited circumstances, negotiates with one or more selected suppliers following a process of prequalification

Open procedure

The open procedure is a one-stage bidding process, where all interested service providers responding to an OJEU notice will be invited to submit a tender. The notice states where interested parties obtain tender documents and the last date when tenders will be accepted. The open procedure is not commonly used by The British Library


If you are interested in supplying The British Library you can see what we are currently tendering for by accessing our e-tendering website at and viewing our current opportunities listings and current UK pan-government opportunities

Alternatively you can contact us at

Back to top Back to top

By using this site, you agree we can set and use cookies. For more details of these cookies and how to disable them, see our cookie policy.