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There are lots of similarities between Frameworks and Dynamic Purchasing Systems. They’re both routes to market used by organisation’s to procure their contracts. However, there are some key differences.

Firstly, we’re looking at Frameworks – 

Frameworks provide a compliant route to market that saves customers time and money. A public procurement that’s over threshold can take up to 12 months to complete, and can be a drain on resource. Frameworks offer a quicker route through using pre-established rates and specifications that formed part of the framework tender. 

A framework is a pre-approved list of suppliers who can provide goods and services to all publicly funded bodies.  Suppliers have agreed to terms and conditions set out in the framework agreement. They’re often divided into ‘lots’ by product or service type, and sometimes by region. The number of suppliers differs from framework to framework, depending on what is being offered.   

Customers can undertake a direct award or mini competition with the framework suppliers for their projects.  These can be completed in as little as 3 weeks for a direct award and 8-12 weeks for a mini tender.   

By using a framework, customers are getting the benefits of an already established supply chain that’ve been market tested on quality and financial standing.​  

Customers also benefit from the buying power of SEC as we’re well known in the sector and work in collaboration with the customer and with suppliers to ensure our products meet customer needs. 

Using a framework means customers have access to our cost models and specifications, which can also help save time and money in terms of resource in providing documentation.

Next up are Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) –

A DPS is an approved list of suppliers that cover the works and services.​ It is similar to a framework, as the DPS is broken into lots covering specific works and services.​ A DPS offers another compliant route to market for customers and also offers savings in terms of resources, time and money. 

Suppliers apply to join the DPS at any time throughout its life and must pass the criteria that is set for joining – selection questionnaire with pass/fail requirements, providing financial information etc.​ 

Initial procurement of the DPS can be completed in 30 days, to get suppliers onto the relevant lots, and then following that initial procurement, suppliers can apply to join at any time throughout the life of the DPS – so that means the list of suppliers is not closed like they are for a framework. ​ 

Some of the key benefits of using a DPS as a customer is that if you have preferred suppliers and need a compliant route to market, you can ask them to join a DPS and then when the opportunity is advertised through a further competition, they can bid for it.​ 

A DPS can also make it much easier to comply with the leaseholder consultation process as any nominated suppliers can join a DPS and the overall process is easy to follow using this option.​  

With a DPS, there’s no option for a direct award, everything must be tendered through a further competition, and the opportunity will be sent to all suppliers on the lot being used. 

We’ve compiled the handy guide below as a way to understand the key differences – 

Things to consider Framework DPS
Need an option for direct award?
Want to include a specific supplier for your procurement?
Don’t have a specification or pricing document ready?
Received nominations from your Section 20?
Did not receive nominations from your Section 20?
Section 20 over PCR thresholds?
Need to send an EOI to understand how many bids you might receive?
Need to run a mini competition?
Need the tender administration to be carried out by SEC?
Want to run the procurement process yourself?
Want to capitalise on our buying power?
Want to save time and money on procurement?
Are there TUPE implications?

If you require any further information on dynamic purchasing systems or frameworks, or anything else, please contact the SEC team on 020 4570 6637 or email us: and we’ll be happy to help. 

Alternatively, subscribe to our email newsletters here. 

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