How to buy from the PMS Scheme

Experienced procurement professionals should buy professional services.

For advice and support, first contact your agency’s procurement team. Second, contact NSW Procurement Service Centre.

The arrangements for buying under the Performance and Management Services Scheme (PMS Scheme) are in:

Buying process

For guidance on buying from the PMS Scheme download the Buying professional services process map (sourcing phase) (PDF, 285KB) or use the Buying professional services self-help tool.

Step-by-step buying process

Below is a detailed approach for buying professional services using the PMS Scheme and is based on the Plan, Source, Manage approach.

Plan (P1) Analyse business need

1. Visit what are professional services? for help in determining the need for professional services.

2. Review the PMS Scheme information for buyers, including the PMS Scheme guidelines for agencies (DOCX, 219KB).

3. Identify the type of professional service you need using the list of PMS Scheme engagement types (DOCX, 28KB).

4. Use your agency’s templates or the Project brief template (DOCX, 143KB) to define the need and scope, including:

  • identifying the problem to solve
  • when you need the solution by
  • how long the project will take
  • why you need a specialist or independent view
  • how much it will cost
  • the kind of engagement you need.

5. If you need professional services under engagement types 1 to 13, you must apply the standard commercial framework.  For help, use the new user self registration guide (DOCX, 272KB) or contact the NSW Procurement Service Centre.

Plan (P2) Analyse and engage the market

1. Identify PMS Scheme suppliers matching the engagement type using the PMS Scheme supplier list (XLSX, 1.96MB) or scheme explorer in eQuote.  Use the PMS Scheme – Finding suppliers guide (DOCX, 1.1MB) for help.

There are 2 types of prequalification under the PMS Scheme:

  • Full prequalification:  a detailed evaluation of the supplier’s capabilities and experience is done as part of their application to the scheme. These suppliers have no value limit.
  • Base level prequalification:  a streamlined prequalification for newly established businesses, allowing suppliers to be approved for low-risk engagements valued up to $50,000 (including GST).

2. For engagement types 1 to 13, check if the suppliers have accepted the standard commercial framework.  Use the PMS Scheme – Finding suppliers guide (DOCX, 1.1MB) for help.

You must first get approval from your Secretary, Executive Agency Head or cluster Chief Finance Officer before engaging with suppliers that have not accepted the standard commercial framework.

Plan (P3) Finalise procurement strategy

1. Develop a statement of works using your agency’s templates or the Statement of works template (DOCX, 128KB)

2. Check your agency’s procurement policies, procedures and thresholds relating to consultancy services (if applicable) and seek advice from your agency’s procurement team.

3. Check the PMS Scheme guidelines for agencies (DOCX, 219KB) for rules relating to the engagement value threshold, to identify the approach to market you should take.

Note: Base suppliers are only permitted for low risk engagements under $50,000 (including GST).  If your engagement is over $50,000 (including GST) you must use fully prequalified suppliers.

4. Develop a procurement strategy using your agency’s template or the Procurement strategy template (DOCX, 906KB).

5. Obtain approvals as per your agency’s procurement policies and procedures.

Resources for agencies

Source (S1) Approach the market

1. Prepare your request for quote specification and response document using your agency’s templates or the Part A – specification (DOCX, 972KB) and Part B – response (XLSM, 3.02MB) templates.

2. Develop an evaluation plan using your agency’s templates or in consultation with your agency’s procurement team.  You can also use the Commercial comparison tool (XLSM, 596KB)

3. Issue the RFx via eQuote or your agency’s system using your statement of works, specification and response document and include as an attachment the

Supplier engagement compliance checklist for standard commercial framework - recommended (XLSM, 82KB) (or the Word version: Supplier engagement compliance checklist for standard commercial framework (DOCX, 55KB) for the supplier to submit with their proposal.

Note: best practice is a competitive process involving multiple quotations.

For engagement types 1 to 13 where suppliers are compliant to the standard commercial framework:

  • if the engagement is less than $250,000 (excluding GST), seek a minimum of one written quotation
  • if the engagement is greater than $250,000 (excluding GST), seek a minimum of 3 written quotations.

Note, Base suppliers are only permitted for low risk engagements under $50,000 (including GST) as per the PMS Scheme guidelines for agencies (DOCX, 219KB).

For engagement types 1 to 13 where suppliers have not accepted the standard commercial framework, you must first get approval from your Secretary, Executive Agency Head or cluster Chief Finance Officer (CFO) before going to market.

For engagement types 14 to 15:

  • if the engagement is less than $150,000 (including GST), seek a minimum of one written quotation
  • if the engagement is greater than $150,000 (including GST), seek a minimum of 3 written quotations.

Some suppliers for engagement types 14 and 15 have rate cards in eQuote. Contact NSW Procurement Service Centre to check.

Resources for agencies

Source (S2) Select

1. Evaluate the proposals as per your evaluation plan.

Your agency’s templates or the Commerical comparison tool (XLSM, 596KB) can be used to evaluate proposals.

2. For engagement types 1 to 13, check the proposals comply with the standard commercial framework using the Standard commercial framework supplier compliance sheet (DOCX, 12KB). 

Note: Your Secretary, Executive Agency Head or cluster Chief Finance Officer must approve all engagements with suppliers who have not accepted the standard commercial framework and any proposals that do not comply with the standard commercial framework.

Resources for agencies

Source (S3) Negotiate and award

1. Get approval before accepting a quote by following your agency’s processes.

Note: your Secretary, Executive Agency Head or cluster Chief Finance Officer must approve:

  • engagements with suppliers that have not accepted the standard commercial framework
  • proposals that do not comply with the standard commercial framework
  • engagements relating to high-end strategy advice.

2. Accept the preferred quote in eQuote or your agency’s system.

3. The Negotiation pack (PPTX, 599KB) can be used for negotiation. Refer to your agency’s procurement team and guidelines regarding negotiation.

4. Apply your agency’s procurement policies and procedures for awarding the contract and establish the agreement using the appropriate standard form of agreement.

5. Publish a Contract Award Notification on NSW eTendering website for engagements greater than $150,000 (including GST). Do this within 45 working days from the contract effective date as per the Contract Award Disclosures guide (DOCX, 375KB).

6. Report required engagements in the Major Suppliers’ Portal as per PBD-2019-01 Engagement of professional services suppliers.

Use the Major Suppliers’ Portal - Reporting non-compliant engagements guide (DOCX, 722KB) for help.

7. Refer to your agency’s annual reporting procedures for consultancy engagements.

Use the Definition of a consultant - guidance for buyers (PPTX, 363KB) for help in identifying consultancies for your agency.