The guide Overview

Write requirements

Write clear requirements that help a supplier understand what you need and propose their best solution.

Why it's important

During the planning stage you will have defined the outcomes you want from a given procurement. It’s important to communicate these to suppliers clearly and concisely.

What it means

Requirements should provide suppliers with enough information to propose the best solution for your needs, and nothing more. They should be based on your defined goals or outcomes and not favour or be ‘tailored’ towards a specific supplier.

Your requirements should include:

  • the problem you want to solve
  • the citizen or ‘end user’ that this work is being carried out for, and what they need to do
  • any essential skills or experience the supplier must have
  • any technical or quality standards required by your organisation
  • the stage that the work is currently in
  • the latest date for the supplier to start work
  • details of your maximum budget
  • the payment approach being used, for example fixed price, time and materials or outcomes-based
  • any incentive schemes being used
  • expected contract length
  • how suppliers can submit questions and when they should expect a response

You should also think about including:

  • the results of your early market engagement
  • information on working arrangements, for example if remote working is preferred
  • handover details, for example if a new supplier is expected to work alongside an existing supplier at the start of a project
  • any security clearance the supplier must have when they start work
  • invoicing procedures and payment timings

When writing your requirements you should not:

  • demand excessively high technical standards or experience levels - this may reduce competition and exclude smaller suppliers
  • use jargon or overly technical language - if you have to use it, explain it
  • use gender-specific language - for example using male pronouns such as "he/him" when referring to a supplier instead of "they"

Do's and don'ts


  • explain why the work is being carried out and who it is for
  • be clear about the skills or experience you require
  • use plain language and avoid jargon or gender-specific language


  • do not write requirements that you know can only be delivered 
by a particular supplier