Use of Registers and Supplier Panels (Construction Direction and Instruction 6.1)

Explains how to establish a register of prequalified suppliers and supplier panels for public construction.

Use of Registers and Supplier Panels (Instruction 6.1)

Effective date: 1 July 2018


Value for money and scalability are procurement principles that are specifically relevant to prequalification Registers and Supplier Panels.

Of particular relevance to this Direction are the following construction procurement principles:

  • employing the appropriate Procurement Models and processes taking account of the complexity and value of the project and supplier market capability
  • reducing unnecessary burden of Public Construction Procurement for all parties
  • ensuring appropriate competition and contestability when undertaking Public Construction Procurement
  • conducting Public Construction Procurement processes in an efficient and timely manner
  • undertaking Public Construction Procurement in accordance with the relevant legislation, policy, guidance and any mandatory requirements in these Directions

6.1 Use of Registers and Supplier Panels

(a) When conducting a Selective Tender or engaging a supplier from a Register or Supplier Panel to perform Works or Construction Services, Agencies must use a Register or Supplier Panel established and operated in accordance with the Instructions.

(b) Agencies may only establish, operate and use a Register, with the prior approval of the Secretary as set out in the Instructions.

Use of Registers and Supplier Panels (Instruction 6.1)

Effective date: 30 December 2018

Objective: To define the requirements for establishing Registers and Supplier Panels

6.1.1 Approving a Register

In giving such approval, the Secretary must:

(a) set out whether the Register is approved as a whole of government register or for Agency-specific use

(b) confirm that the operational support to be provided by the Agency maintaining the register is appropriate and that the Agency has the appropriate capability

(c) confirm that the Register complies with the requirements in Instruction 6.1.2

The Secretary will publish the names of current approved whole-of-government Registers and agency-specific Registers.

Agencies other that 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.

Transitional use of Registers

(d) Agencies are permitted to use Registers already in operation, pending approval under Direction 6.1(b), in accordance with the transitional processes published by the Department.

(e) If, under the processes described in paragraph (d), an Agency is advised that a Register is no longer permitted for transitional operation, the Agency must discontinue operation of that Register from the date the Agency is notified of the decision.

6.1.2 Requirements for establishing a Register

All Registers must:

(a) clearly define the purpose, target users and responsible persons for the Register

(b) document conditions, obligations and undertakings of the responsible Agency, applicants and registrants, which form the terms of agreement between the parties including having required professional registrations in place

(c) provide for those conditions to be publicly available to prospective applicants and reissued to registrants when they are altered

(d) apply assessment criteria, including the mandatory evaluation criteria set out in Evaluation criteria (Construction Instruction 3.7.3), using a process that is fair and consistent for all applicants

(e) be an open system that allows applications to be made at any time and to also be publicly advertised at least once each year or employ continuous advertisement process such as on a website

(f) provide for both an ongoing and a periodic review of registrants

(i) manage feedback on the performance of registrants

(ii) undertake reviews, preferably once a year, which may be in the form of a performance report

(iii) maintain records of reviews

(g) advise applicants and registrants of their current status and, where relevant, of actions necessary to enable or retain registration

(h) provide an appeal process, independent of those responsible for the Register, where an application has been refused or where downgrading or removal from the Register is proposed

(i) provide for the suspension or de-registration of registrants who no longer meet the assessment criteria or whose performance is proven to be poor

6.1.3 Mandatory registration categories or classifications for Registers

The Secretary may determine certain categories or classifications of suppliers of Works or Construction Services are to be maintained and to nominate appropriate Register(s).

6.1.4 Supplier Panels

(a) Supplier Panels are typically established to enable rapid selection and engagement of a supplier because the terms of engagement and nominated rates are already in place.

(b) When establishing a Supplier Panel, Agencies must:

(i) establish the Supplier Panel using an open tender or Selective Tender

(ii) establish rules of use that are consistent with the principles set out in Guiding principles (Construction Direction 1.2)

(iii) establish and operate the Supplier Panel for a period for time specified in the initial Tender Documentation (for example, three years with an option to extend for one year)

(iv) require members of a Supplier Panel to 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

(v) require members of a Supplier Panel to nominate rates and, where appropriate, personnel for the Works or Construction Services to be performed under the Supplier Panel agreement

(vi) identify any other requirements including specialist qualifications or certification such as industry-specific health and safety certification that must be met by members of a Supplier Panel

(vii) establish appropriate processes to monitor and record performance of members of a Supplier Panel under the Panel agreement

(c) For the avoidance of doubt, a forward notice as set out in Forward notices (Construction Instruction 5.1) must be used when establishing a Supplier Panel. Once established, forward notices do not need to be used when using a Supplier Panel in accordance with the rules of use for that Supplier Panel.

Revision history

First release - 1/07/2018

Revision 1 - 30/12/2018

Paragraph 6.1.1: New paragraph added that clarifies 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.

Paragraph 6.1.4: New sub-paragraph (c) inserted to clarify when forward notices need to be used when establishing and using a Supplier panel.

Tools and support

Refer to Government prequalification registers for construction for the list of approved Registers of prequalified suppliers.

Refer to Construction Supplier Register for detailed information on the use of this register of prequalified suppliers.

The Construction Toolkit includes key documents, guidance and information relating to the Ministerial Directions and Instructions.

For further information about the Ministerial Directions and Instruction for public construction procurement, contact the Construction Policy Team.