Tender Evaluation Checklist: 7 Cs for your go/no-go

Tender Evaluation Checklist

I caught up with an old colleague recently, and we talked about how engineers underestimate the value of a simple but comprehensive “go/no-go” process. This is not a strength for many of my clients, which is understandable in the current “boil the ocean” bidding climate. But it got me thinking about what I would include in a tender evaluation checklist.

Here’s what I came up with:

“SoundLegal’s 7 Cs of tender evaluation checklist”


  • Can we meet an acceptable proportion of the (higher weighted) scope and criteria?
  • Can we resource it?
  • Achievable timeframe?


  • Existing relationship?
  • Desired strategic partner?


  • Price is important, but margin is key
  • Profitable without discounting or relying on anticipated variations?


  • Are we in the mix?


  • Is there a contract in the tender documents at all?
  • If yes, any red flags (e.g. massively one-sided, unlimited liability, nasty novation)?
  • Do you need to provide contract clarifications at tender stage?
  • If there are red flags and/or a requirement for clarifications, do you need to have them reviewed/prepared by a lawyer or other construction contract specialist?


  • If we bid for this, are we excluded from something bigger/more strategic?


(FYI I was scratching for a “C” word that means risk)

SO there you have it. SoundLegal’s Tender Evaluation Checklist, of key issues to consider when you’re conducting a “go/no-go” for your next commercial tender.

Obviously my perspective is influenced by legal risk rather than commercial opportunity. I’d love to know what contractors and engineers would put on their list. Let me know!

If you’re reading this and realise that you need someone to prepare a bid-ready table of clarifications and reasoning, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you’d like to read more business insights from me, sign up here for “No Jargon”, SoundLegal’s monthly newsletter.

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About Gemma

I help construction, engineering and consulting businesses create and negotiate clear contracts so they can achieve great project outcomes. I founded SoundLegal to help SMEs in the engineering, construction, consulting and light industrial sectors manage their risk to support business growth, by finding practical, common sense solutions to contractual and other legal challenges. Subscribe to the SoundLegal newsletter “No Jargon” to hear monthly business insights from me.


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