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When you are applying for any government tender, the very first step is to read the tender notice carefully. At times these notices are lengthy, and hence there are chances of missing out on information or important guidelines. Therefore, it is important to understand the tender notice format. This article explains the elements of a tender notice along with some samples.


Note: Tenders are release by government and private organisations. There are some commonly found model tender document formats that all tender inviting authorities usually follow, to keep the eTendering process efficient, transparent and consistent.

What is a tender notice?

A tender notice or also known as a notice inviting tender is a document that contains details of the scope of work, eligibility criteria, documents required and other terms and conditions, and so on. If you are bidding for any tender on the CPP portal, a tender notice is a pdf attachment that a bidder needs to download.

Tender notice format: Understanding the structure of a tender notice

In the next section we take a look at the components of a tender notice to understand the format of one.

In general, a standard tender invitation comes with the following elements:

  • Basic information about the tender inviting authority/organization, Tender ID and reference number, type of tender and work, due dates etc.
  • Details on tender documents and preparation and submission of tender
  • List of covers (i.e., details on technical and financial qualifications) and opening of tender
  • Tender evaluation process details and contract award
  • General terms and conditions, FAQs and other tender information

For reference, here is a standard format of tender notice from any government department.

Key elements of a tender notice

Any tender notice will start with basic information about the project and then goes on to explain the scope of work, eligibility criteria, purpose of tender, etc. Here are some key elements of a tender notice.

Basic Information

Top of the tender notice contains basic information about the tender, issuing authority, etc. Here is what basic information include:

  • Organisation name and chain: It means the name of the organiasation that intends to procure goods or services along with its department name. For example, for NTPC tenders, if the renewable energy department has floated a tender, then it will contain the organisation chain as ‘NTPC | Renewable Energy’.
  • Tender Reference Number: It will have a Tender Reference Number. If you need any clarification or if you need to communicate with the buyer with regard to a particular tender, you will need to mention this Tender Reference Number. Usually, it is mentioned on top.
  • Name of the work: The basic information also contains the name of the work along with brief information about the work and location. For example, supply of raw materials for the restoration of the cabin on Hill in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. It usually also mentions the type of tender, e.g., open tender, closed tender etc. to ensure that only eligible tenderers bid for the same.

List of covers

Another crucial element of a tender notice is the List of Covers. It is an important regulation, and you will have to upload documents in the specified covers “Covers” and in the specificied format.

For example, Cover 1 should include Proof of Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) and the accepted file format is ‘.pdf’. While Cover-2 may be Eligibility Documents such as Registration Certificate, Copy of GST Registration, PAN Card copy, etc. and the required format of uploading can be .zip.

Likewise, there could be several covers. Technical Bid Covers, Financial Bid Covers, etc.

In a scenario, where Tender Inviting Authorities (TIA) do not find documents in the respective covers, your tender will be rejected.

Critical date sheet

A critical date sheet is yet another important element of a tender notice. It contains all the important dates in a tabular format. This sheet gives a clear idea of the bid-submission deadline, pre-bid meetings, Date of opening technical bids, date of opening financial bids, and so on.

Here is an example of what a critical date sheet looks like.

Date of issue of Tender 01.05.2023
Bid submission start date 01.05.2023
Pre-bid meeting date for clarifying doubts, etc. 08.05.2023 at 11:30 am
 Address of pre-bid meeting Archaeological Survey of India,

Cristine Plaza, 8-101/3

M.G. Road, Pune (Maharashtra)

Date of opening technical bids 25.05.2023
Date of opening financial bids 26.05.2023
Date for depositing Earnest money deposit DD must be delivered on or before 11 am 24.05.2023
Date of agreement signing 15 days from the tender acceptance letter
Date of site handover Within 15 days of signing the tender acceptance letter
Work completion period 120 days from site handover


Note: The above table is hypothetical and presented only as an example.

Eligibility requirements

Each tender has unique requirements. Therefore, it is important to carefully read the eligibility criteria mentioned in the tender notice. This information is also presented in a tabular format. Here is an example of eligibility criteria mentioned in a tender notice:

Requirement Copy of relevant document Enclosed Y/N Page numbers of the bid document
The bidder should be a registered company with an appropriate registration authority Copy of the registration certificate
Experience of having completed similar work in the last 5 years Copy of a work order and copy of a completion certificate.
Proof of GST registration Copy of registration and latest GST returns
Copy of the certificate from the Statutory Auditor.

The average financial turnover of the company for the last 3 years should be at least 25% of the estimated cost

Certificate from the Statutory Auditor
Proof of EMD DD drawn on a nationalised bank.

If the bidder is exempted from EMD submission then a copy of the MSME exemption certificate

Tender document Duly signed with company seal

Note: The above table is only for reference and not an actual table.

List of documents required

Another key element of the tender notice is a list of documents required. Some of the commonly required documents for government tenders remain the same. However, each tender is unique, and the list of documents required changes according to the scope of work. Here is how a list of documents is presented in a tender notice.

Name of the document Cover no.
Company registration certificate Uploaded in Cover no. 2
Experience in successful completion of similar projects i.e. work order along with completion certificate Uploaded in Cover no. 3
Application of tender Uploaded in Cover no. 1
Copy of GST registration Uploaded in Cover no. 2

Note: This is only a suggestive list. The actual list of documents mentioned in a tender notice is exhaustive. As a bidder, you need to pay attention to submitting all required documents. Also, focus on uploading them in the correct cover. Else, your bid will be rejected.

Such tasks can be confusing for a new company. In such cases a bid management company can be a helpful resource. It can help you find relevant tenders, fill in tender documents, help in gathering all necessary documents and so on.

Alternatively, you can also subscribe to Tata nexarc to find relevant tenders and business opportunities. All you can do is subscribe and get alerts on tenders matching your business requirements.

Scope of work and details

Furthermore, a tender notice details the scope of work of the project. For example, if it is a tender for procuring laptops and printers, the scope of work will include detailed requirements such as the configuration of laptops, details of required printers, the quantity of both devices and so on.

Evaluation criteria

This is yet another element of a tender notice that a bidder should not miss. The tender evaluation process suggests how the tenders are going to be evaluated. Usually, tenders are evaluated on technical criteria first and bidders who qualify for the technical criteria move to the financial stage. It means that your financial bid will be opened only if you meet the technical requirements.

Other elements of a tender notice

Here are some of the other elements included in a tender notice.

Contact details: The tender notice includes contact details of a contact person and communication address along with email id and phone numbers. These contact details are mentioned to answer any tender related query that a bidder may have.

General guidelines: The tender notice also contains general guidelines for a bidder that states various aspects such as GST details, how EMD is to be paid, contract validity, termination clauses, and so on.

Format for application for tender: The tender notice includes a format in which the application for tender has to be submitted. The bidder must fill it in and upload the same company letterhead, duly signed with the seal.

Others: Apart from elements mentioned above, a tender notice also includes formats and sections such as a Declaration, Copy of a tender acceptance letter, Terms and conditions, etc.

Closing thoughts

A tender notice or RFP or RFT can be a lengthy document to read through. However, it is important for any bidder to carefully read through the notice before starting the preparation of bidding. It covers most of the information about the project, the evaluation process, and other formalities.