What is a Dynamic Purchasing System?

A Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) is a completely electronic system used by a Contracting Authority (buyer) to purchase commonly used goods, works or services. Unlike a traditional framework, suppliers can apply to join at any time. It is an 'open market' solution designed to provide buyers with access to a pool of pre-qualified suppliers. A DPS is usually set up by central purchasing bodies (such as LPP) and made available for use by the public sector. It can be divided into categories of works, services or goods (referred to as Lots), and these may include the size of a contract or the geographical area of contract delivery. Suppliers can apply to single or multiple lots within a DPS.

Benefits for Suppliers of being on a DPS:

  • Suppliers don't have to demonstrate suitability and capability every time they wish to compete for a public sector contract
  • A DPS is more accessible for SMEs
  • Award of individual tenders can be quicker than under some other procedures
  • A DPS remains open to new suppliers throughout the period of the agreement. This enables suppliers who may not be able to meet the selection criteria at the time a DPS is first established to reveiw their processes, finances and capabilities and apply for acceptance onto the DPS at a later stage.
  • A supplier who fails the exclusion or selection stage can reapply later if circumstances have changed (for example if it had newly available skills or experience.)
  • A supplier may apply for as many categories for which it is suitable.
  • Any supplier who meets the selection criteria must be admitted to the DPS.

Benefits for Buyers of using a DPS:

  • Faster and less onerous than a full OJEU tender process - the OJEU and PQQ stages have already been undertaken and no further advertisement is necessary.
  • After the DPS has been established, authorities can award local contracts. By using the DPS there is no need for an authority to seperately advertise its requirement.
  • The DPS is based on generic service specifications which authorities can adapt to meet their specific requirements. Award criteria can be formulated more precisely for local contracts.
  • Encourages competition - it is easier for local providers to get on to the DPS and join at any time during its period of validity.
  • Contracting Authorities can undertake a further competition with all pre-qualified bidders; all qualification documentation is held centrally by LPP.
  • By following these guidelines Contracting Authorities can ensure that they are adhering to EU procurement legislation.

The DPS is a two stage process:

Stage One: Suppliers complete a standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ.) All suppliers who meet and pass the exclusion and secetion criteria within the PQQ must be admitted to the DPS and/or the relevant categories within it. Rejected suppliers are provided with feedback in order to enable them to re-apply at a later date should they wish to do so.

Stage Two: Approved users (buyers, or 'Contracting Authorities') award individual contracts through the DPS. The buyer invites all potential providers on the DPS (or within a particular DPS category) to participate in a further competition to bid for a specific contract. Suppliers are not obliged to bid.

How does a DPS support Small and Medium sized Enterprises?

The 'open market' nature of a DPS supports small and medium sized enterprises, or businesses with little or no experience in tendering for work with the public sector.

  • The selection stage is less onerous, as the supplier only has to compete this stage on entry to the DPS (and thereafter periodically reconfirm its status) instead of having to do so seperately for all procurements.
  • As the DPS is open to suppliers throughtout its duration, new start-ups, or businesses that wish to expand into new public sector markets will not be frozen out of the market.
  • The division of DPS into category by type of requiremen, size of contract, or georgraphical place of delivery, can be arranged to ensure that niche suppliers and SMEs have maximum opportunity to compete.

How many categories can a supplier apply for in a DPS?

If a DPS is divided into categories a supplier may apply for as many categories as it wishes and for which it is suitable.

Can the number of suppliers on a DPS be limited?

No. Any supplier who meets the the selection criteria must be admitted to the DPS.

How does a DPS support buyers to meet the 'buy local' agenda?

The flexibility of keeping a DPS agreement open to new suppliers enables public bodies to promote potential 'calls for competition' under the DPS in their geographical region, offering the opportunity to engage with local potential suppliers, and supports wider government aims of working with local businesses for economic growth.

Dynamic Purchasing Systems currently managed by LPP:

1. Languages Services DPS - ends 27 September 2020

The Language Services DPS includes face to face interpretation - both spoken and non-spoken, telephone and video interpretation, written transcription and translation and the option of a managed service. It is available to all public sector organisations throughout England.

Suppliers: how to apply to join the Language Services DPS:

Suppliers apply by registering on www.lppsourcing.org. Follow the link 9XZE-4S5ICF Provision of Lanaguage Services to access the PQQ.

Buyers: how to use the Language Services DPS:

Full guidance for users of the Language Services CPS can be found here:


For futuher information please contact: Laura.Whitworth@lpp.nhs.uk.

2. Minor Building Works DPS - ends January 2020

The Minor Building Works DPS covers a range of building and construction-related works up to the value of £500k

Suppliers: how to apply to join the Minor Building Works DPS:

LPP is working in conjunction with Constructionline to manage applications to the DPS. To apply, register at http://www.constructionline.co.uk/static/NHSLPP.html

Buyers: how to use the Minor Building Works DPS:

Public sector bodies who wish to access the Minor Building Works DPS will be provided with templates, guidance and advice by LPP. Please contact: Edward.James@lpp.nhs.uk

 3. Apprenticeship Training Providers DPS - ends April 2022

The Apprenticeship Training Providers DPS is structured so that potential providers can select which of the training categories and regions they wish to be considered for, allowing contracting authorities a choice of how best to approach the market. For full information on the DPS, contact Laura.Whitworth@lpp.nhs.uk.