Writing an invitation to tender (ITT)

Your statement of requirements should form the basis for developing an invitation to tender (ITT). Writing an ITT that follows best practice and maximises your chances of a successful outcome is a specialist skill and should be undertaken in collaboration with your procurement department.

In our resources section we include some example ITTs that you are free to adapt for your own use.

Aside from your statement of requirements there are some other elements that you should include:
  • information about the institution that helps suppliers understand your overall mission, strategy and priorities;
  • numbers and types of system users;
  • other related systems in use at your institution;
  • your IT infrastructure;
  • information about desired project timescales;
  • the likely duration of the contract;
  • how and when to respond to the ITT;
  • how the responses will be scored;
  • any other evaluation requirements e.g. demonstrations, testing, reference site visits.
Top tip

Check out our section on Requirements gathering and prioritisation for more useful tips.

We talk about applying weightings to criteria and modelling the effect this might have.

We also talk about the need to define your criteria very carefully. The University of Hull faced the risk of having to restart its procurement process when all of the suppliers failed a criterion that had been defined as 'mandatory' in the ITT.

Top tip

Even with a well-written ITT there may be a need for further clarification. Potential bidders may come back to you with questions. The questions and your responses should be made available to all potential bidders.