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Glossary of tendering terms

Glossary of tender terms and acronyms. Bookmark this guide to refer to when you are reading or writing a tendering document. Organised alphabetically; scroll down to find what you are looking for.

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Your account is your user account which is accessed via the Australian Tenders website. You can view your account here. Having an account with Australian Tenders means that you can search for tenders/contracts, set up tender alerts, save your tender searches.  You will only be notified of tenders if you have a current subscription.


An addendum is additional information about tender or any change or clarification to the tender document. This is provided to all respondents (potential suppliers) who have registered with the buyer when issuing the tender and the closing date.


To make a public announcement of a product and/or service to encourage people to respond, react (buy/use). For example, a buyer will advertise a tender on a government or private portal site. The suppliers interested in responding to that tender will respond to the advertisement with their proposal to complete the work asked for.


Advertising is a form of communication used to promote or sell something to potential customers about products and services. To advertise your tenders with Australian Tenders, click here.

Approach To Market  (ATM)

ATM refers to a business opportunity advertised on Australian Tenders. ATMs can be published as an open, prequalified or limited tender procurement method source.

Awarded tender

Awarded Tenders (known as contracts) is the issue of an order or contract to a supplier due to a competitive tendering/bidding process. Differs from a Closed Tender in that it has been both closed and awarded. Search awarded tenders here.



A Bid is synonymous with "tender response document" and includes the quote, mandatory documentation and client-specific requirements. A supplier submits when interested in supplying goods and/or services to the buyer (the organisation that put out the tender).

Business opportunity

Business opportunities can be defined in different ways, as the term means different things to different people. , a business opportunity involves the sale or lease of any product, service, equipment etc. that will enable the purchaser-licensee to begin a business.

Best and Final Offer (BAFO)

The detailed and fully-priced offer submitted by a respondent for a contract, which represents their lowest price.


A Buyer is someone who intends to buy goods or services. The buyer could also be the organisation that puts out the tender (i.e. the issuer or procurer).


Closing date

Also known as the deadline for submissions. The time and date by which your tender submissions must be submitted and received. Offers submitted after the deadline may be considered as non-conforming and may not be considered.

Common-Use supply Arrangement (CUA)

An arrangement intended for whole-of-government use established between the principal and the successful offeror (including without limitation a standing offer arrangement, a register of pre-qualified suppliers, panel arrangement or preferred supplier arrangement).


A legally binding agreement entered into between a Buyer and Supplier. A contract can also be referred to as Awarded Tenders.

Contract variation

An alteration or an update to the terms of a contract mutually agreed by both parties to the contract. This differs from an addendum in that it is done after the contract has been awarded.


Respondents or Suppliers whose offer has been accepted by the Buyer.

Conditions for participation

The minimum conditions you must possess to participate in a procurement process. For example, to be considered, you may need to have a certain registration, qualification, or other prerequisites.

Conditions of contract

The contractual terms that will be used.

Conditions of offer

Also known as conditions of the tender. They are the terms and conditions that govern the approach to market process.



Also known as a statement of work or statement of requirement. A statement of the goods or services required under a contract.



The term used to describe the use of electronic methods of the purchasing process. It can include e-Tendering, e-Procurement and e-Payment (including e-Invoicing).

Evaluation criteria

Standards or system to analyse or to rank importance. These are used to assess offers and compare alternatives put forward by respondents to a request. The evaluation criteria is an important part of a response to tender as the buyer will make a shortlist based on this.

Expression of Interest (EOI)

Potential suppliers interested in, and capable of, delivering the required goods or services will be required to provide an EOI. Potential suppliers are asked to provide information on their capability to do the work. It is usually the first stage of a multi-stage tender process. Read more about Expression of Interest.


Forward procurement / future tenders

Advertisements on forward procurement or future tenders, schedules give suppliers an idea of what tenders may be available in the coming year. For example, the Australian Government releases an annual procurement plan that scopes proposed procurements for the coming year (published before 1 July each year).


Initial Expression of Interest (IEO)

When high-value public sector contracts (tenders) are advertised, they usually start with asking parties interested in bidding to write and express their interest in bidding. Often known just as EOI (see Expression of Interest).

Invitation to Tender (ITT)

The paper or electronic document issued to organisations invited to tender for a contract. Typically it includes a background, rules of tender, contract specification, questions or information required and a draft contract. This can also be expressed as Invitation for Bid - IFB, Invitation for Tender - IFT or Invitation to Bid - ITB.

Invitation to Register Interest (ITRI or IRT)

ITRI provides contractors and suppliers with an opportunity to provide information about the goods and services they supply that may be relevant to the project/work. See Invitation to Tender above.

Invitation to Treat (ITT)

In simple terms, an ITT is an invitation to another person to make an offer to contract. An invitation to treat is an invitation for customers to submit an offer and indicates a willingness to make a deal.


Late tender

Late tender is a tender received after the specified closing date.


Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A document used to record parties' intentions in a less formal way than a formal contract document is not legally binding unless it specifically states that it is intended to be enforceable in the courts.



An email notice of tenders, whereby the search result matches one or more of a subscriber's search filters (accounts) within the Australian Tenders system of tender alerts. To receive notifications of new tenders via email, subscribe to Australian Tenders and set up tender alerts.



An offer is usually known as a bid or a response. This is the Supplier's offer to supply the requested goods and/or services to the Buyer (Tender Issuer).

Open/public tender

Open or public tender is the process of a Buyer publicly inviting offers to supply required goods or services instead of a private request of just a few potential suppliers.


Panel arrangement

A panel arrangement (also known as a panel contract). It is a contract involving two or more suppliers, often because large volumes of the goods or services are regularly required which might be too much for a single supplier. 

Preferred supplier 

A Preferred Supplier is a company that has been pre-qualified by the Buyer company to be part of a Preferred Supplier Arrangement (PSA) following a careful procurement process.


Procurement is the act of obtaining or buying goods and/or service. The process includes preparation and processing of a demand as well as receiving payment.

Public tender

Tender advertised to the public market.


Also referred to as procurers or any organisation that releases or advertises a request to purchase goods and/or services.



Refers to a document in the form of an offer to supply goods and/or services; usually in response to a Request for Quotation.


Registration of Interest (ROI)

Similar to Expression of Interest (EOI). It is used to identify suppliers interested in, and capable of, delivering the required goods or services. Potential suppliers are asked to provide information on their capability to do the work.


The documentation utilised for RFT (Request for Tender) or Expression of Interest (EOI).

Request for Application (RFA)

Notice that grants are available to fund certain types of programs. RFAs are usually released by a government agency or non-profit organisation and usually outline what types of programs are eligible, what the expectations are and how applications are submitted and reviewed.

Request for Information (RFI)

A request for information to gain a more detailed understanding of the supplier market and the range of solutions and technologies available. It may be used to develop documentation for a future tender.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

A process of inviting offers to supply goods and/or services involving simple documentation. In most cases, the purchase order is what forms the contract.

Request for Tender (RFT)

A process of inviting offers to supply goods and/or services and will usually include documentation detailing the specific requirements of the Buyer. If you win an RFT bid, then you most likely will sign a contract.


The requirements specified by Buyers. These are used to evaluate bid responses.


Someone who has submitted a bid response or offer in response to a request.

Restricted tenders

A restricted tender is a tender that has restricted access to the documents. This may be because of confidentiality. The Issuer normally requests a supplier to apply for access to control who is seeing the documents or get them to sign a confidentiality deed. Not to be confused with an Invited Tender.


Scope of Works (SOW)

A document of agreement on the work you’re going to perform on the project.


A service is an intangible product. Services is the whole of the services provided or performed by a contractor under a contract. Any variations provided for by the contract include all and any goods, materials, plant, machinery or equipment supplied, provided, or used by the contractor.

Standing offer arrangement 

Standing offers are competitively tendered agreements that are used when a State agency has an ongoing, repetitive requirement for products and/or services, but the exact volume of products or services is not known.


A subcontractor is a person who is hired by the main contractor to perform a specific task as part of the overall job or contract.

Subcontractor requests

Subcontractor Requests are requests from Buyers/main Suppliers who are seeking quotes and prices from suppliers in relevant service industries to assist with specified work/projects. Suppliers are usually qualified/licensed and are required to prepare quotations. To view the latest subcontractor requests, click here.


The person or organisation seeking to supply goods and/or services in response to a Buyer/Purchaser request.



It is an organisation's response to a request for information or pricing related to the supply of goods and services from another organisation. A tender is put into a document in the form of an offer to supply goods and/or services. Learn more about what a tender is.


The Supplier or interested party submitting a tender in response to an RFT (Request for Tender)

Tender response form

The documents used by you to respond to an approach to the market. If successful, these usually form the basis of the contract schedules.

Total Contract Value (TCV)

The estimated total value (including extensions) of the contract for the entire life of the contract.

Tender training

Australian Tenders is the initial step to the tendering process. View our tender training page, which provides tender response training to new and old tenderers who require assistance with their tendering matters.


Validity period

The period of time for which a tender will remain open for consideration and acceptance by the Buyer.

Verbal quotation

A verbal process of inviting offers to supply goods and/or services from potential suppliers.


Written quotation

A written or electronic process of inviting tenders to supply goods and/or services involving simple documentation.

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