What are CPV Codes? | Bid Writing Services

What are CPV Codes?

The term CPV stands for Common Procurement Vocabulary. They were designed by the European Union as a classification system for public procurement.

They use a standardised vocabulary to aid procurement personnel when classifying their contract notices and make it easier for suppliers to source these opportunities.

The idea of CPV codes was to make life easier for suppliers like yourself. Essentially, they were created to help suppliers source opportunities more efficiently and transparently.

Suppliers can sign up to receive or search for specific CPV codes and find projects that best meet their capabilities rather than filtering through numerous opportunities manually, which can be time-consuming.

How do CPV Codes work?

CPV comprise codes of up to nine digits; each of the codes describes the types of supplies, works or services that a contract requires.

Below are details of how CPV codes are setup:

  • The first two digits identify the divisions
  • The first three digits identify the groups
  • The first five digits identify the categories
  • The last three digits give more precision within each category
  • A ninth digit verifies the previous digits.

Despite CPV codes initially being set up to make suppliers’ lives easier, somewhere along the line, things have become fairly confusing and a little more complex.

Due to UK procurement being so vast, a CPV code has been set up for every service and product you can think of that is mainstreamed in the UK/EU.

The Official Journal of the European Union has put together a 375-page document detailing every code – should you fancy finding out more.

Due to the vast amount of CPV codes, it has become apparent that buyers are either not aware of all the codes available, using the codes incorrectly or not using them at all, which is still resulting in suppliers sadly missing out on opportunities.

A large piece of research carried out by the European Commission concluded that in a sample of 405 notices tested, 23% of them used the wrong code associated with the scope of work.

It was detailed that the buyer either used a code that did not describe the work/supply/service procured, stated a code that was too generic or, in some cases, the code used was too generic.

So, what does this mean?

Well, in fact, it has a negative impact on both buyers and suppliers.

For the buyers, it means they are minimising their chances of receiving a range of suppliers that they can choose from, as they will not be reaching out to all the suppliers that can offer the products/services.

For suppliers, well, this means they miss out on possible opportunities as if they are solely searching via CPV code, the opportunity will not appear in their search.

This is where BWS come into play!

We can offer you bid scanning and submission services that do not rely on CPV codes. We will set up searches for you based on the keywords you provide us to ensure opportunities are not missed.

We will take the time to filter the results and only send you opportunities that will be of interest.

Contact Bid Writing Services today!

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