Becoming a supplier through the Crown Commercial Service – what you need to know

Updated 10 October 2023

1. Overview

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) provides commercial and procurement services to the public sector. By using CCS agreements, customers can buy commonly used goods and services quickly and cost effectively whilst complying with procurement regulations.

If your organisation would like to sell goods and services to the UK public sector, you should familiarise yourself with this guidance. If you’re a small or medium sized enterprise, you can also get tips on how to do business with government through the SME guide.

CCS agreements cover communications services, construction, eCommerce, energy, fleet, technology, office solutions, print, professional services (including temporary labour), property and facilities management, research and travel.

2. Tendering for opportunities – how it works

When new product or service needs are identified, or when an existing arrangement needs renewing, CCS must follow a formal process to ensure procurement regulations are met. Tender opportunities are advertised on Find a Tender service and Contracts Finder.

It is only by responding to a contract notice in the Find a Tender service that you can tender to become a supplier on one of our agreements.

Expressing an interest in the tender does not mean you have been successful - you will need to be successful in the Find a Tender service process to be awarded a position on an agreement.

Full details of how to register your interest in a tender will be contained in the contract notice published in the Find a Tender service.

There are no joining fees or management charges to pay. Suppliers simply pay a small commission based purely on the value of the sales you make through the agreement. The supplier commission varies by agreement and currently averages just 0.33%.

Note: Once an agreement has awarded additional suppliers cannot be added. You will need to wait until the next relevant tender opportunity arises. New procurements typically start several months in advance of the current arrangement’s expiry date.

If there are no relevant tender opportunities currently available for your area of business, it may be possible for you to sub-contract your services to suppliers on existing agreements. If you are interested in potential sub-contracting opportunities please contact the relevant supplier directly.

3. Where to find tender opportunities

You can find opportunities to tender for government and public sector business by registering with Contracts Finder and Find a Tender service for alerts relevant to your business area.

Contracts Finder shows the longer term and wider government pipeline. You can view all public sector tenders over £12,000 on Contracts Finder.

Both sites will give you information about both our tender opportunities and wider government and public sector opportunities.

You can also monitor our procurement pipeline which is regularly updated with our current and forthcoming tender opportunities and follow us on Twitter

Registering with Contracts Finder or Find a Tender service does not make you a CCS supplier. To get a place on an agreement you must respond to a tender opportunity and successfully be awarded a place on the agreement.

4. How to respond to a tender opportunity

CCS procurements are conducted using our eSourcing tool. You will need to be registered on the eSourcing tool to participate in CCS tender opportunities.

To register you will need to provide information including:

  • full legal name of your organisation
  • your DUNS number - a unique nine-digit number provided to organisations free of charge by Dun & Bradstreet
  • profile information describing your organisation and the size of your business

You will find further details about responding to specific CCS tender opportunities by clicking on the link to the procurement you are interested in on the procurement pipeline.

Registering for access to the eSourcing tool does not make you a CCS supplier. To get a place on an agreement you must respond to a tender opportunity and successfully be awarded a place on the agreement.

Register for access to the eSourcing tool

Get a DUNS number - this website can provide you with a DUNS number provided you have an office in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium or Luxembourg. If you are based in another EU country please contact your local Dun & Bradstreet office directly. Find out how to contact them here

Find out more about how to register and respond to tenders in eSourcing tool: guidance for suppliers

If you wish to respond to non-CCS led tender opportunities on Contracts Finder or Find a Tender service, please follow the advice provided in the Find a Tender service contract notice as the process may vary.

5. Other opportunities

You may also like to register on the Government eMarketplace.

This is an online marketplace for low value, less complex products and services where public sector customers can request a quote and buy through electronic catalogues. The marketplace enables you to promote your capability to supply certain goods and services on a national or regional basis without the need to go through a tender process.

Note: whilst registering on the Government eMarketplace provides a potential route to supply the public sector, it does not make you a CCS supplier. You will not be included in our list of current suppliers unless you have a place on one of our agreements.

6. Public Sector Contract

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has a standard template for framework contracts for common goods and services. You can see our standard core terms and conditions, along with schedule templates.

If you require any further guidance please email or call 0345 410 2222.