Award criteria

Put simply; factors by which you could rate and evaluate your quotes, e.g. 'Value for money', or 'How well it meets my specification'. 


From the DfE website:

'Before you contact anyone, work out how you’ll decide the best quote by setting ‘award criteria’ such as:

  • price
  • quality
  • how suppliers meet your specification
  • how quickly they can supply

Give each criteria:

  • a range of scores – such as 1 to 5, with 5 the highest
  • a weighting – a figure you multiply the score by depending on how important the criteria is

Example If price is most important, you might give it a weighting of 5 – so a score of 4 would be worth 20.'

Price isn't the only factor in determining the best fit for your school. Setting award criteria to evaluate the quotes will help will identify which of the suppliers will deliver best value for money. 

Good criteria will help to make sure proposals address the most important aspects of your requirements, and help you to make a fair comparison of the proposals you receive. 

Our smart platform makes sure your criteria - and any weightings you choose - are visible to all suppliers before they submit proposals for your project.

Choose award criteria that will help you find which supplier will provide the best value and be most suitable for this purchase.

General criteria such as whole-life cost, quality or how well they meet your specification can be very useful for most purchases.

You could also consider using criteria more specific to your requirements or your school's policy; these could relate to particular concerns such as innovation, aesthetics/design, ongoing support or maintenance, or environmental policy.

You will select your award criteria and any weightings when you set up your procurement project, but you won't use them until after your quotes arrive. Once your project is launched, it will go through the following short phases:

  • Phase 1: Submission - suppliers submit quotes and proposals up until your deadline
  • Phase 2: Shortlisting - if any quotes are completely unsuitable for your specification or your school's budget, you can reject them at this point and shortlist the reasonable proposals to continue for evaluation.
  • Phase 3: Evaluation - this is where your award criteria come in. You'll see the criteria you picked, and a star rating control for each that you can use to judge how well the supplier performed in the category. The site will automatically multiply each using the weightings you chose, and calculate the supplier's total score for easy comparison of which can best meet your requirements.
  • Phase 4: Award Contract - get in touch with your winning supplier!

The DfE advises that you should use weightings to choose how important each criterion is to you.

However if you're not sure what to pick or view them as equally important, it's fine to leave all the weightings at 3 to give all the same value.

When creating a new project, you'll see the award criteria section on Step 3: 'Add as much (or little!) info as you like'. 

There will be three criteria templates with examples you can use, but you can add more if needed by clicking 'Add another' at the bottom.

Start typing in the first grey box to name your first criterion. Be as clear and concise as possible. The criterion will automatically be added to your project - you don't need to click anything. If you delete the text, the criterion will be removed from your project again.

You can then weight your criteria by choosing how important each factor is to making this decision. Leave them all at 3 to weight them equally, or use the control to change the value. Our clever site will do all the working out so all you need to think about is how much the factor matters to you!




To set up your criteria, it's as simple as typing the name and selecting a weighting figure between 1 and 5.

When you use these later to evaluate your quotes, you'll see a selector with five stars next to each criteria you created. Simply click to select how many stars out of five you'd give this proposal!

Absolutely! We save all the information you enter with your project details, which will be safely stored online for you to refer to at any time.

What's more, when a finished project has moved to your archive, we'll display all this key information in a table for easy comparison.