We attended the VCSE supplier event today (16/11/2023) and thought it would be helpful to spread the word about:

  • How to get into the supplier pipeline
  • What upcoming tenders there are

 Getting on the supplier portal

The DfT use a Image showing how to register on tendering portal for the Department of TransportDynamic Purchasing System (DPS), and for those who don’t know what that is, I was pleased to hear Jo Wilkes (National Highways) call it an “approved supplier” list. That is after all what it actually means, but all done through a tendering portal (digitally). Once you become an approved supplier (registered on the DPS) then you are able to bid for opportunities when they arise (and those who are used to these systems will know they are called “Call Offs”), as and when they come out.

To register on the portal follow this link. Now, we haven’t tried to register on the DfT DPS as yet, but the meeting was informed that it is a simple process with two forms to fill in (I may do an update after I’ve attempted to register). In order to register you will need a D-U-N-S (registered trade mark) number, no I hadn’t come across this before either. It would seem to be a sort of credit check system for businesses. It is free to get your number. Once you enter your business details and email address your number will be sent to you by email. You can access this via DfT portal (above) or go straight there on this link. But is it worth it, I hear you say, I guess that depends on what they aim to buy and what you sell.


What might be bought?

The DfT and their tier one suppliers buy more than you might think and you can search through the following categories:

  • Professional Services, Consultancy and Training
  • Signage
  • Design, Video and Photography
  • Landscaping
  • Cleaning, Cleaning products and Hygiene Products
  • Event Management and Venue Hire
  • Printing, Scanning, Supply and Document Management Solutions
  • Construction, Engineering, Assembly and Manufacturing
  • Food, Beverage and Catering
  • Waste Management

More than you perhaps thought?

What is upcoming?

Below are a few of the call offs that are on their way soon, remember you need to be on the DPS to be able to bid.

Conference display of tendering categories (Dept for Transport)Tier one suppliers’ are soon to be looking for
  • Video and photography (including drone footage) c. £30k
  • Internal awards video c. £10k
  • Updated Manual Handling Training c. £200k
  • Signage for North West scheme c. £500k
  • Catering for market engagement event
  • Renewal of signage
  • Photography and videography for online content c. £10k
  • Signage (M27 J5-J7)
  • Photography  (M27 J5-J7

National Highways

  • Matching skills of employees with charities requiring that skillset c. £50k
  • Work with veterans to plant trees (3million trees) c. £100k
  • Catering at market engagement events



  • Tree and shrubbery planting at a new prison complex c. £750k
  • Training for inmates in skills that aren’t taught inhouse c. £100k

That’s it for now, as a social enterprise support organisation we would love to see all these opportunities filled by a social enterprise, good luck and let us know how you get on.