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Buying - Overview

Britain’s rail industry is moving at pace. New technology, new systems, new techniques: together they are transforming us. If you are procuring products and services for the rail industry in Britain, we’re here to help you to navigate this transformation.

We understand that for buyers, procurement management needs to deal with the risk imported from suppliers into the chain. You seek assurance from suppliers that risk is managed and that they can deliver to your requirements, and that’s why we allow you to search for contractors based on their registration and qualification status. Through Registration, suppliers can demonstrate their interest in becoming a supplier, and Qualification will allow you to determine whether a supplier, or potential supplier, meets a predetermined set of criteria:

  • Registration allows suppliers to make themselves known and initiates an interest to supply. To register they will need to provide company details and information on products supplied. Little supplier assurance will be derived from registration, but for very low risk products and services, this will be proportionate to the risk imported from them.
  • Qualification helps you build on the initial registration to derive more assurance. This might involve an 'assessment' of the supplier to ensure that the product is appropriate and that the supplier's company meets the pre-determined criteria for 'approved supplier' listing. Part of the qualification process may be applied via one of the industry schemes on behalf of the buyer and may include an evaluation of questionnaire answers and, in some cases, an audit. It may even involve documenting the qualification via a certificate. However, this further qualification activity should not be confused with the certification process, which goes beyond this.

Put simply, buyers using RISQS members, will be able to quickly identify suppliers with the capability to deliver the service specification required.

RISQS publishes Qualification System Notices (QSNs) in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) on behalf of its Buyer members. These include Network Rail and TfL, which allows organisations classed as Utilities under the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 to compile tender lists for over-threshold contracts directly from the RISQS system, without issuing any further calls for competition. The rules differ for Buyer organisations covered by the Public Contracts Regulations 2016, in that they need to publish Notices in OJEU for each over-threshold contract. They can direct interested suppliers to RISQS and use the system to compile tender lists.

RISQS can also help you comply with the Utilities Contract Regulations. Our platform helps suppliers register an 'expression of interest' in supplying particular products or services to buyers through the scheme, avoiding a separate notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

Works Notice_RISQS

OJEU Services Notice.pdf

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