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Specification Checklist

The specification should:

  • take account of sustainability issues by using the Sustainability Risk Assessment.
  • clearly describe what the supplier is expected to provide.
  • focus squarely on outputs, detailing what is required but without being prescriptive as to the method the supplier should use to provide it. This can encourage competition and innovation.
  • provide a standard by which it is possible to measure the quality of what is being provided against what is contractually required.
  • include performance targets or include criteria for acceptance of the products or services.
  • act as a tool for contract monitoring.
  • avoid over-specification of performance to ensure procurement at the optimum cost.
  • take account of any applicable environmental and social policies.
  • incorporate fair trade clauses where possible.
  • take account of relevant relevant legislation on, for example, health and safety and equality and diversity.
  • not be compiled in a way that favours particular sources of supply.
  • be sufficiently tight so that the product or service fits the user’s needs, but not so explicit that it discourages the supplier from proposing innovative solutions that optimise value for money.
  • variants to the specification should be encouraged where possible so that the supplier can propose how added value may be obtained.
  • be realistic in specifying requirements including limits, tolerances, deliverables and timescales.
  • encourage a structured method of tender evaluation.
  • be able to form the major part of the formal contract between the purchaser and the contractor.

If a British Standard is quoted in a specification, the words "or direct International Standard" should be added to cover EU/ISO or other equivalents.

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