How to Write a Tender: Understanding Common Tender Terminology

  • Posted in Tender Tips under
  • Tender Writing

When you’re new to the tendering process, it can take a while to understand all the specific terminology and jargon that is used in the industry. This can often lead to mistakes in the tender response, which can cause you to lose out on thousands of dollars worth of business. The first step of learning how to write a tender is understanding the most commonly used tender terms, abbreviations and acronyms:


A process by which an organisation that is in need of a service or goods may request other organisations that supply said service or goods to come forward with bids or proposals.


Also known as ‘supplier’, ‘seller’, ‘bidder’ or ‘respondent’, the tenderer is the organisation submitting the response to a company’s tender request.


The organisation issuing the tender and buying the services. Also referred to as ‘agency’, ‘issuer’, ‘purchaser’, ‘procurer’ or ‘principal’.

Best and Final Offer (BAFO):

The final offer presented by a supplier to the buyer for their services. This often includes a full breakdown of the costs and implies that the supplier is presenting their absolute lowest price and will not be open to further negotiation.

Expression of Interest (EOI):

Often the first part of a multi-stage tendering process, an EOI is a document requesting suppliers to express their interest in bidding before the formal bidding begins. An EOI may be shorter than a tender and is essentially an extra step to allow organisations to shortlist possible candidates. An organisation may need highly specific work or may need to access a company’s ability to supply or provide the service before asking them to formally submit a tender.

Forward Procurement/Future Tenders:

Usually released by the Australian government at the end of the financial year (before the 1st of July), this is a list or advertisements of upcoming tenders in the next year. It helps suppliers start preparing for any tenders they may be interested in well ahead of time.

Invitation to Tender (ITT):

Also known as a Request for Tender (RFT), an ITT is a document sent to organisations that have been invited to submit tender proposals. This document contains more details about the project, the scope of the project, background, the rules of tender and evaluation criteria, and a draft contract.

Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ):

This is a questionnaire that suppliers may be asked to fill before submitting a tender. It helps buyers shortlist suppliers according to their requirements and select the most suitable bidders. A PQQ is also often known as a Request for Information or RFI.

Request for Information (RFI):

Often a preliminary step in the tendering process, a Request for Information (RFI) may be released by a buyer when it is unsure of the supplier market and the scale of technologies and solutions available for a problem. This information will then be used to create a formal tender request.

Request for Quotation (RFQ):

An RFQ (also known as an invitation to bid (IFB) requests a supplier to supply a quote for their services. This is often only distributed to a select number of shortlisted suppliers.

Make the bidding process easier with Bidsmith

Learning how to write a tender can be tricky and can require several years of trial and error before getting it right, making you lose out on year after year of opportunities. Bidsmith increases your chances of winning a tender on the very first try. We are a team of tender preparation specialists who have been writing tenders for decades. We know exactly how to put your business in the best light possible and provide help all through the tender writing process.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you win your next tender.