Use of registers and supplier panels (Construction Guidance 6.1)

Explains the requirements to establish a register or supplier panel for public construction.

Effective date: 30 December 2018

Objective: To help Agencies to establish effective and efficient relationships with the market.


Agencies must ensure that any register of prequalified suppliers or supplier panel is established and operated in accordance with the instructions.

This guidance describes the types of register available for Public Construction Procurement, considerations when selecting suppliers from a Register and how to use supplier panels.


Whole of government registers

A whole of government register must be established and operate in accordance with Use of Registers and Supplier Panels (Construction Instruction 6.1). Accreditation of each whole of government Register is subject to the approval of the Secretary to the Department of Treasury and Finance.

The terms and conditions associated with a whole of government register are the responsibility of the Agency responsible for that Register. The Agency responsible for a whole of government Register must provide support services for the Register including carrying out assessments on financial, operational, mandatory and other criteria and registering the details for Agencies that are seeking tenders and quotations in accordance with the directions.

See Government pre-quallification registers for construction for a list of whole of government registers.

Agency specific Registers

An agency specific Register must be established and must operate in accordance with Use of Registers and Supplier Panels (Construction Instruction 6.1). Accreditation of each agency specific Register is subject to the approval of the Secretary to the Department of Treasury and Finance.

An agency specific Register is generally created to support the activities of an Agency and may be made available to other Agencies under the following conditions:

  • access to the Register is subject to the consent of the Agency which established it
  • responsibility for ensuring that the agency specific register criteria are appropriate to specific project needs lies with the Agency seeking to use the Register

See Government pre-qualification registers for construction for a list of agency specific registers.

Agencies other than the Agency responsible for an agency specific register may use an Agency specific Register with the written consent of the Agency responsible for the Agency specific Register.

Selecting pre-qualified candidates from Registers

When using a Register to select potential tender participants consider:

  • the prequalification category suited to the scale and complexity of the procurement
  • the type of work involved
  • tender participant interest in different types of project
  • tender participant interest in operating in different locations
  • supplier performance

When undertaking a selective tender through a Register the selection process may be undertaken by:

  • selecting a number of suitable tender participants to be invited to submit responses
  • inviting all participants listed for the appropriate category, or
  • inviting expressions of interest from pre-qualified participants to undertake the works or construction services and through the assessment of the expression of interest determine the tender participants to be invited to submit responses

The method used to select tender participants from a Register is driven by the nature of the project, timing or current market demand and the need to confirm availability of tender participants.

Potential tender participants listed on a register do not enter into a contract with the Agency managing the register. Following selection to provide the works or construction services, the procuring Agency needs to confirm the engagement by entering into a procurement specific contract with the supplier for those works or construction services.

Establishing a Supplier Panel

Where existing arrangements to select potential tender participants, including any registers, do not meet the business needs of an Agency, consideration could be given to establishing a Supplier Panel.

A Supplier Panel may be established for a program of similar activities, or for a period of time. Supplier Panels may be established on an Agency specific basis, or may be established by a group of Agencies with similar procurement requirements.

Supplier Panels are typically established to enable rapid selection and engagement of suppliers. Members of a Supplier Panel enter into an agreement with the sponsoring Agency, which sets out the type of works or construction services that may be procured from the Supplier Panel and the terms and conditions on which the works or construction services will be performed.


An Agency has a series of projects with similar characteristics. In order to streamline the process to select and engage suppliers, it decides to establish a Supplier Panel to support the program of works.

The Agency publishes a forward notice to advise the market of its intention to undertake this series of projects over the next three years. Further details in the forward notice include the approximate scope of work projects and the intention to create a Supplier Panel to efficiently allocate work packages.

Subsequently the Agency issues an open request for tender inviting potential participants to indicate their interest in the Supplier Panel and to submit offers to undertake the works. As the Supplier Panel is to undertake various work packages over 3 years, the agreement is set up for 3 years with an option to extend for one year and this is noted in the Tender Documentation.

12 tender participants submit responses. Following assessment against the evaluation criteria, the Agency selects four suppliers that provided best value for money responses. Agreements are entered into with these four suppliers. These agreements detail the terms of engagement and nominated rates for each supplier.

At the conclusion of each work package, an assessment of the supplier’s performance is undertaken.

Supplier Panels must be established and approved using a procurement method that complies with the requirements of the Panels of suppliers (Construction Instruction 6.1.4). The Agency establishing a Supplier Panel is responsible for its terms and conditions of use. The Agency must also establish appropriate processes to monitor and record performance of members of a Supplier Panel under the Supplier Panel agreement, consistent with Instruction 6.1.4.

Differences between Supplier Panels and Registers are described in the following table:

  Register Supplier Panel
Operating period Open ended

Fixed period of time

Contract arrangement – when established

Not required for listing on Register

Contract entered into following selection to undertake the works or construction services

Required for membership on the Supplier Panel
Rates and personnel to perform the works or construction services Submitted in response to an invitation to participate

Submitted as part of the procurement process – determined before any specific project

Revision history

First release - 1/07/2018

Revision 1 - 30/12/2018

Agency specific registers: Insert new paragraph clarifying that Agencies other than the Agency responsible for an Agency-specific Register may use an Agency-specific Register with the written consent of the Agency responsible for the Agency-specific Register.

Tools and support

The Construction Toolkit includes key documents, guidance and information about the Ministerial directions and instructions for public construction.

For further information about the Ministerial directions and instructions for public construction procurement, please contact the Construction Policy Team.