Debriefing a supplier

A supplier debriefing session helps suppliers understand the evaluation process and to explain the reasons why their offer was successful or unsuccessful.

It gives your agency an opportunity to:

  • help suppliers improve their competitiveness to win future work
  • receive feedback about the tender process.

Your agency is expected to provide a debriefing if it is requested by a supplier.

Tips for a successful debriefing

  • Face-to-face meetings (in person or online) where possible​
  • Stick to the facts​
  • Don’t argue – ​avoid being defensive​
  • Avoid using ‘you’ and ‘your’​
  • Document and keep accurate records of the debrief in a file note with your sourcing supplier feedback form.​

Step 1: Prepare for the debrief

Set the meeting up with at least 2 agency representatives (the panel chair and another panel member if possible) and the supplier. If the procurement was high risk, it may be appropriate to also invite a legal representative or probity advisor .

Prepare a summary of the evaluation using the sourcing supplier feedback form.​ ​Align your feedback to the evaluation criteria.​

What you can share:

  • The name of the successful supplier can be disclosed if it has been notified as awarded on QTenders or published as part of contract disclosure requirements via Open Data.​
  • Let the supplier know whether they were competitive on different factors e.g. price.​
  • Focus on the supplier; the strengths and/or opportunities to improve their tender.
  • Don’t release details about other tenders, especially specific, sensitive details e.g. price, intellectual property.

Step 2: Introduce the participants

All attendees to detail position in organisation and role in the tender process or offer submitted.

Acknowledge supplier efforts in submitting offer and advise that the session will be open and honest and will provide valuable feedback.

Describe what will and will not be discussed during the debrief. Be clear that it is not to re-visit the evaluation process or a complaint channel.

Step 3: Provide context for the tender

Outline the:

  • number of applications received
  • performance of the offer, relative to the successful offerer’s bid
  • overall evaluation and scoring process.

Step 4: Discuss their strengths and opportunities​

Provide feedback on the offer including strengths and/or weaknesses of the bid. Focus on the supplier’s tender, not the other tenders. ​

Discuss any non-compliance by using the evaluation criteria as the basis for the feedback.​

Step 5: Review areas for improvement​

Answer any additional questions that the supplier may have that have not already been covered.​

Summarise key areas for improvement to help the supplier with future tenders.​

Ask the supplier to provide feedback on the tender process.​

Training opportunities

As part of your debrief, consider how you can make this a positive learning experience by providing advice on any training available to support the supplier to build capability:

As part of continuous improvement, also think about areas in which you would like to improve or upskill through: