Effective Criteria Writing

Duration: 1 day

Location: This one day training course can be run either online or face to face. 

Why attend?

This course It equips you with the ideas, tools and approaches to help you manage the development of a well-designed quality evaluation with effective criteria.

Upon completion you’ll be able to:

  • Understand key considerations and pitfalls in criteria design
  • Manage the development of an effective evaluation with appropriate criteria
  • Apply an approach to crafting evaluation criteria that reduces risk and will improve the tendering outcome
  • Understand what makes a criterion effective
  • Choose between the best styles of criteria to achieve your desired outcome
  • Use the most appropriate scoring mechanisms, and
  • Clearly define the evidence you need to see from each bidder

You’ll also earn 6 CPD hours as you learn how to craft better questions to elicit better bidder responses that can be more easily evaluated against the question scoring guidance. The ability to improve your questions will help you reduce legal risk and improve tendering outcomes.

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Course description

The Effective Criteria Writing Course is designed to provide the best practice theory as well as practical exercises to help you develop effective criteria for your procurements.

Why is it so important to have effective criteria?

The key problem for buyers is that if you don’t fully understand what is important to you when choosing between different bids you will end up choosing one that, whilst often fit for purpose, doesn’t provide best value for money. Similarly, if bidders don’t understand the balance of value and money buyers are seeking then they don’t know how best to balance their offer between cost and quality.

The training course is based upon the Commerce Decisions’ Structured Criteria Development process which has been proven over many years to help solve the problems just described. This process:

  • Identifies the full scope of the solution being procured
  • Provides shared understanding by all project stakeholders of what they really want out of the procurement
  • Focuses the evaluation upon aspects of the bids that usefully differentiate between them
  • Clearly communicates to the bidders what is important to the purchaser so allowing them to offer a solution that meets the buyers requirements and also maximise their chance of winning the competition

Key topics

  • Public regulatory and policy context
  • Analysis of learning from experience
  • Challenges and obstacles to writing good criteria
  • Identifying and crafting good criteria
  • Weighting criteria
  • Testing criteria and sensitivity analysis
  • Considering technical requirements in your tendering process

As well as the mechanics of building effective criteria, there are also many guiding principles that we cover during the course. These include:

  • Ensuring that the criteria are focussed on the outcomes that need to be achieved by the solution
  • Providing clarity to buyers and bidders alike
  • Having just the right number – not too few and not too many
  • Being defendable, both internally and externally
  • Being cognisant of any inter relationships between criteria and how they work together as a whole
  • Being measurable
  • Being able to identify the true value of and differentiation between bids
  • Being able to be evaluated within the required time scales with available resources


For more information about our courses or to book a please contact us.

Bespoke Training for the UK MOD

Working for the UK MOD? We run a range of bespoke training options for you, which includes a version of this course. Find out more here.

Attendee feedback

‘The course and the tutor were 1st class in all aspects’

100% of attendees…

…would recommend the course to a colleague

…felt engaged during the online training

…noted they would be able to apply the knowledge learnt to their day job

To book this course