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Prequalification is a means of identifying contractors who indicate that they are qualified and would be interested in tendering for a potential project. Prequalification is not tendering; it is not always used and it is not always necessary that it be used. Most contracts are publicly advertised for tendering without the need for prequalification. Prequalification is primarily applied for large, complex projects that require specialized technical expertise. Prequalification also allows for “Early Contractor Involvement“(ECI) provides an efficient means of designing and planning infrastructure projects in a cost-effective, more efficient and less adversarial structure in which qualified contractors can offer their expertise prior to the start of a project.


Pre-qualification and pre-selection

In single-stage procedures, procuring entities invite suppliers to bid without submitting any prior information. Such procedures are straightforward to model in OCDS.

But, many jurisdictions also use multi-stage procedures. Such procedures follow a process like:

First stage Second stage
·         The procuring entity issues an invitation to participate in the process

·         Suppliers submit requests to participate

·         The procuring entity assess suppliers based on their submissions

·         The procuring entity establishes a list of qualified or selected suppliers

·         The procuring entity issues an invitation to bid to the suppliers on the list

·         Suppliers submit bids

·         The procuring entity evaluates the bids

·         The procuring entity awards a contract to the successful supplier(s)


The procuring entity assesses the qualifications of the suppliers based on their responses. Only pre-qualified suppliers can take part in the later proceedings.


Pre-selection follows the same process as pre-qualification, with some additional requirements. The invitation to pre-qualify needs to specify how many suppliers the procuring entity will later request proposals from. The invitation also needs to specify how the procuring entity will select the suppliers to request proposals from.

Any supplier can submit a request to take part in the first stage, but only qualified suppliers will be invited to submit a tender for the contract.

The procuring entity (PE) will invite a maximum of 5 qualified suppliers to submit a tender at the next stage

Purpose of prequalification 

The prequalification of bidders is a typical stage followed in most countries. This stage may also be considered as the beginning of the formal procurement process to select a private investor/service provider. This stage begins with an invitation for expressions of interest (EOI). The main objective is to pre-qualify potential bidders for the project. The purpose of prequalification is to assess the technical and managerial competency and financial soundness of the interested bidders. Prequalification of bidders is not intended to cover any aspect of the proposal for the project or factors related to the indicative contract. These elements are considered at the later stages of the procurement process.

Information provided

Sufficient time is given to prospective bidders to submit their EOI. Considering the complexity of the project some countries allow 4-12 weeks for the submission of EOI. The EOI notice may include the following information for the prospective bidders to consider:

  • Sufficient explanation of the project and basic information;
  • Main terms of the indicative contract. These terms are similar to those presented at the procurement briefs/conference but modified in response to the results of market sounding;
  • Evaluation criteria and their relative weights. Such factors may include technical capability, management capacity, financial condition, past performance, etc. The prequalification criteria are chosen to assess the capacity of the intending bidders to deliver the contract;
  • The procedure for final selection.

All bidders who satisfy the prequalification criteria are generally selected as prequalified bidders. There may not be any pre-determined number to artificially limit the numbers prospective bidders who can participate in the following tendering stage. However, if there are too many prequalified bidders, some countries consider a condition in the EOI to allow formation of consortiums of prequalified bidders for submission of their final bids.


Tenders are usually conducted in four stages: Prequalification; the issue of tender documents; receipt and review of tenders; award of contract

To bid for pre-qualification tender kindly visit Zabuni website ( https://zabuni.co.tz ) and the mobile app available on Google Play Store  by the name of ZABUNI APP.