Skip to content
Construction Tendering and 26 Winning Answers

Construction Tendering and 26 Winning Answers

Construction tendering is an art, a science, and a bit of torture. Few enjoy the process, some sure-fire approaches and resources help, and every tender is as unique a sell and challenge as a work of art. You need to convince customers that you not only look good - but you are good! They have to know you're not just a clean desk with a cluttered drawer, so to speak, and today we're going to help you do that.

This will be the first of two (or maybe three) construction tendering articles. In this one, we'll identify 26 construction tendering questions and create a quick reference guide to help you identify needed resources. In the following article(s), we'll provide more detailed explanations and empower you to answer tender questions more persuasively and evidentially. 

Our goal in all articles is to lift your construction tendering win rate.

The 26 questions will be grouped into these four focus areas:

  • Systems, Planning and Documentation,
  • Training, Standards and Worker Support,
  • Hazard and Risk Management, and
  • Continuous Improvement.

26 Common Construction Tendering Questions

So, here are the questions, broken into four focus areas, each supported by specific products. These resources will help you demonstrate your competence and professionalism. 

As already stated, we'll dig into some deeper strategy issues in the following article, but here, we'll focus on delivery through quality resources.

Tendering Questions 1-5: Systems, Planning and Documentation

From a WHS/OH&S perspective, construction tendering is the art of selling yourself as an entity with effective systems, meticulous planning, and comprehensive WHS/OH&S documentation. These are the overarching and pivotal headlines under which everything else falls. This is why these opening questions are (arguably) the most important to get right!

Tendering for construction projects involves ensuring appropriate safety goals, efficiency and regulatory compliance are achieved. You must demonstrate that you have structured systems, detailed planning processes, and thorough documentation practices. These elements are the 'how' of workplace safety.

The first five questions are:

( Q. 1 )  Does your company have a documented 'Safety Management System' conforming to a recognised standard (AS/NZS ISO 45001 or AS/NZS 4801)?  

We offer two systems: OH&S Management Systems (AS/NZS ISO 45001) and WHS Management Systems (AS/NZS 4801). If you're unsure which is best for you, or is required by you, visit our Safety Management Systems webpage or preferably call us on 1800 304 336.

( Q. 2 )  Does the company have documented WHS/OH&S management policies and procedures? 

We provide numerous policy and procedure templates for both the OH&S standard of AS/NZS ISO 45001 and WHS (AS/NZS 4801).

( Q. 3 )  Has the company assigned clear roles and responsibilities for WHS/OH&S matters? 

Our Roles and Responsibilities Register will enable you to show that you do.

( Q. 4 )  Does the company have documented WHS/OH&S objectives and targets? 

Our OH&S Objectives and Targets Register will help you identify, record and pursue these objectives.

( Q. 5 )  Does the company have a process to identify, assess, manage and control WHS/OH&S hazards and risks? 

Your risk management process will be assisted and validated by our Hazard Reporting and Risk Management Process document and the supporting Checklist and Report Form.

Tendering Questions 6-14: Training, Standards and Worker Support

If your systems, planning and documentation were the overarching ceilings under which everything else falls, then prioritising training, adhering to standards, and offering worker support are the pillars that hold up the roof. Training, standards and worker support are also non-negotiables in construction tendering. 

They want assurance that you:

  • Embed comprehensive training into your workplace routines. 
  • Establish and enforce clear standards. 
  • Foster worker safety and professionalism through your support frameworks.

Here are some typical questions used to help you demonstrate that you do:

( Q. 6 )  Does the company provide WHS/OH&S training to management and workers, and is the training planned for and documented? 

Using a Training and Competency Policy, implementing a Training Plan and maintaining a Training Register will help you do this.

( Q. 7 )  Does the company use an induction process for new workers and inductions to a new work site?

If you do, they'll expect to see evidence of a Worker Information and Induction Checklist and a Site Safety Induction Register.

( Q. 8 )  Has the company implemented a policy and/or procedure for incident and injury management, including a return to work plan? 

The existence of an Incident and Injury Management Policy, associated Procedures, and a Return to Work Program should support your "Yes" answer.

( Q. 9 )  Does the company provide appropriate first aid resources and facilities, as well as first aid training to workers?

This fundamental of worker safety requires more than having a first aid kit on-site. You also need a First Aid Policy and a written assessment of your First Aid Requirements and Plan.

( Q. 10 )  Does the company have a worker consultation or participation policy that encourages input by all workers on WHS/OH&S matters? 

You can answer "Yes" in both the WHS and OH&S environs by using our WHS Workplace Consultation Policy for AS/NZS 4801 or our OH&S Leadership and Worker Participation Policy for compliance with AS/NZS ISO 45001.

( Q. 11 ) How does the company communicate WHS/OH&S issues to workers? Toolbox talks, meetings? 

In addition to your explanations and evidence, which we'll examine in our next article, you should consider the merits of our Toolbox or Pre-Start Talks Form and our Meeting Procedures Form for WHS (AS/NZS ISO 45001) and  OH&S (AS/NZS 4801).

( Q. 12 )  Does the company have a subcontractor management policy and assess subcontractors' WHS/OH&S compliance? 

Evidence your compliance, and theirs, by using our Subcontractor Management Policy and Subcontractor Safety Checklist.

( Q. 13 )  Does the company train workers for emergency responses and practice drill scenarios? 

Our Fire and Emergency Response Plan, Drill Register, and Fire Safety Training Register support this important but sometimes overlooked topic.

( Q. 14 )  Does the company have a policy and procedure for drugs and alcohol, including testing? 

Yes, the alcoholic will tell you he's a "beer-enthusiast", the vodka drinker is only pursuing a 'spirit-ual' release, and your problem drinkers don't have a problem (they're good at it) - but you still have to evidence that you're staying on top of the problem. To this end, implementing our Drug and Alcohol Policy and following our Drug and Alcohol Procedures will help you prove your diligence.

Tendering Questions 15-21: Hazard and Risk Management

Though we mention this Hazard and Risk Management group third, it will be an equal priority in your construction tendering. Hazard and risk management are the bread-and-butter basics of WHS and OH&S, so it's fair that our customers ask the question. They want to ensure the well-being of workers, protect assets, and maintain project timelines—though not always in that order of priority. 

Since construction tendering documents serve as a blueprint for all that follows, it is common for there to be questions about:

  • Risk management procedures and risk assessment tools.
  • The management of fatigue, stress, and psychosocial hazards.
  • Safe work method statements (SWMS) and emergency procedures.
  • The management of hazardous substances and chemicals.
  • Plant and equipment management.
  • Protecting the environment. 

When they ask these questions, you can honestly answer "Yes" if you are using these resources: 

( Q. 15 )  Do company workers use a risk management procedure and risk assessment tools on-site to manage identified risks associated with the work? 

Answer "Yes" if you use these resources, then show that your Risk Management Procedure and Worksheet are in use, as are your Risk Treatment Plan and Risk Action Plan.

( Q. 16 )  Does the company have a policy and procedure for managing fatigue, stress and psychosocial hazards?

When you implement our Stress and Fatigue Policy and use the Psychosocial Hazard Checklist, you can confidently say, "Yes, we do."

( Q. 17 )  Does the company use Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) for hazardous work activities, plant and equipment? 

Say "Yes" by investing in and implementing our Pre-written SWMS Templates or SWMS Industry Packs.

( Q. 18 )  Does the company have emergency procedures in place? 

Provide evidence of your use of our Emergency Procedures and perhaps our Emergency Procedures Flip Chart (Office), and you can answer "Yes." 

( Q. 19 ) Does the company have a policy and/or procedure for using hazardous substances and/or chemicals? 

To meet the requirements, use our Hazardous Substances Policy, the accompanying Risk Checklist, and the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Register. Using the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Register will also help you tick these construction tendering boxes.

( Q. 20 ) Does the company have a policy and/or procedure for using plant and equipment, including maintenance? 

We have a Plant and Equipment Policy, Hazard Checklist, Register and Maintenance Register that can help you demonstrate compliance.

( Q. 21 ) Does the company have a policy and procedure for protecting the environment on work sites?

Using our Site Environmental Policy and Checklist will show you have environmentally friendly practices and demonstrate corporate responsibility.

Tendering Questions 22-26: Continuous Improvement

Your customers know that safety is non-negotiable. This is why their tender documents demand a proactive approach to continuous improvement. They very reasonably require you to engage in collaboration, have a commitment to excellence, pursue proactive risk management, and also embrace a counterintuitive comfort with accountability. 

We can all create safer work environments, protect our workers, improve our bottom line, and continuously strive to improve safety standards. None of this is a negative, so construction tendering demands this capacity.

As construction professionals, we achieve this by: 

  • Recording worker skills and forecasting future needs, 
  • Reporting incidents and conducting follow-up investigations, 
  • Documenting non-conformances and taking corrective actions, 
  • Conducting proactive inspections and audits, and
  • Evaluating and reporting on performance.

This is why you get asked these questions.

( Q. 22 )  Does the company record workers' skills and competencies and identify future training needs of workers? 

Our Skills and Competency Register will empower your "Yes" response. The responses to Q.6 are also relevant here.

( Q. 23 )  Does the company use incident and injury report forms and conduct investigations following incidents or injuries? 

You can say "Yes" if you have evidence of using these forms and registers, as well as following the procedures outlined in the Incident and Injury Management Procedure, Report Form and Register.

( Q. 24 )  Does the company have a process to document non-conformances and corrective actions? 

The Non-Conformance Report Form and Corrective Action Register will help you here.

( Q. 25 )  Does the company conduct internal WHS/OH&S inspections and audits? 

We've got a generic Site Safety Checklist to empower your winning answer. If you're WHS (AS/NZS 4801) aligned, use our WHS Audit Checklist and Register. If OH&S (AS/NZS ISO 45001) is your standard, then we have an OH&S ISO 45001 Audit Checklist and Register for you also.

( Q. 26 )  Does the company record and report WHS/OH&S performance? 

Here also, we support both WHS (AS/NZS 4801) and OH&S (AS/NZS ISO 45001). We provide WHS Performance Guidelines and a Performance Register (AS/NZS 4801), as well as OH&S resources in the Form of a Performance Evaluation Process and Procedure, as well as Performance Guidelines and a Performance Register (AS/NZS ISO 45001).

In Closing

Construction tendering can feel like a very awkward dance. It is art, science, and a little torture, all moving together in a competitive and repetitive business rhythm. This quick reference guide will aid your crafting of winning responses, and the following article(s) will enhance your win rate even further. 

By leveraging the resources in this guide, you can navigate the complexities and enjoy more success in construction tendering. Remember also that we're here to help. If you're unsure about any resource, potential solution, or don't even know where to begin, give us a call on 1800 304 336.

Here's to lifting your win rate. Happy tendering!

Next article You Need a Better SWMS Template Than Safe Work Australia Demands. Here’s Why!