What is PAS 91?

PAS 91 is a standardised pre-qualification questionnaire which has been developed to reduce the need for suppliers to complete a variety of different pre-qualification questionnaires for different, and in some cases, the same clients.

Developed by the British Standards Institute (BSI), the question set has been commissioned by Government and is a recommended common minimum standard for construction procurement.

Updates to PAS 91 have been introduced in 2013 through consultation with professional bodies and trade associations such as the National Federation of Builders (NFB), Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC) and Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP).

With all public sector buyers needing to pre-qualify construction suppliers; inefficient buying practices can amount to huge amounts of wasted time and money for buyers and suppliers alike.

By delivering a standardised PQQ format, PAS 91 aims to:

  • Help suppliers understand what information is required from them at pre-qualification stage
  • Increase consistency between various pre-qualification questionnaires and databases
  • Help buyers identify suitably qualified contractors

Benefits

Buyer Benefits

With all public sector buyers needing to pre-qualify construction suppliers, inefficient buying practices can amount to huge amounts of wasted time and money for buyers and suppliers alike.

By delivering a standardised PQQ format, PAS 91:

  • Helps buyers identify suitably qualified contractors with less time and resources

  • Is one of government’s common minimum standards for construction procurement

  • Helps buyers achieve more sustainable procurement

  • Gives buyers more time to focus on the project-specific areas of the pre-qualification process

  • Encourages more suppliers (particularly SMEs) to apply for work by simplifying the tendering process

The Government's Construction Strategy recognises the increasing burden of pre-qualification on the industry and calls for all buyers within the sector to ensure they are following best practice. Here are just some of the reasons for main contractors to adopt PAS 91:

  • PAS 91 is mandated for use by Central Government clients and Government strongly recommends that main contractors use the same question set when pre-qualifying their supply-chains.
  • Use of PAS 91 also supports the corporate responsibility agenda, by reducing the burden on suppliers
  • Demonstrate to clients that you are following a Government common minimum standard for construction procurement
  • Identify suitably qualified contractors with less time and resources
  • Includes new sections on Building Information Modeling

Supplier Benefits

Completing pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) for multiple clients can be time-consuming and costly.

Different clients’ PQQs will usually contain some similar questions, presented in a different format.

PAS 91 has been developed to address this problem, providing a standard pre-qualification question set.

The benefits are as follows:

  • One standard question set across different clients, ensuring you understand what information will be required from you at pre-qualification stage.

  • You can develop standard responses to the ‘core’ questions which can be used time again in response to any Buyer using PAS 91

  • Exemptions from sections if you hold industry recognized accreditations

  • A less time consuming and costly pre-qualification process, allowing you to participate in more opportunities and potentially win more work

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Resources

FAQs

Why was it developed?
There is universal recognition that there is wastage in terms of time and cost within the pre-qualification process for construction suppliers. Common sense would therefore suggest that a standardised question set would help to reduce the administrative burden placed on suppliers in terms of completing the paperwork and buyers in terms of assessing the supplier’s response.

PAS 91 therefore aims to streamline the pre-qualification process through standardising the question set.