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We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Doing Business with Historic Scotland

Melrose Abbey
Historic Scotland take a number of varying approaches to its purchasing requirements depending on the nature, cost or complexity of what is being purchased.

Deciding procurement strategy

Once a need has been identified the most appropriate method of procurement will be selected.
In general terms, this will mean our business areas seeking 3 quotes for purchases up to £50,000. See the Business Area Information document [pdf, 44kb] for more details on this.

You should note that the Scottish Government have now set up a national advertising portal which provides free access to contract opportunities for suppliers and contractors. From this portal registered firms will receive email notification of contract and tendering opportunities. Once signed up, you can elect to receive notification of tender opportunities as they become available.

For purchases estimated to cost over £50,000, a formal tender process would be followed in which bids are invited through the Public Contracts Scotland Tender Postbox.

Selling to Historic Scotland

Historic Scotland sell a wide range of goods from its retail outlets throughout Scotland.

We welcome approaches from Suppliers who may be interested in supplying us with appropriate retail products for resale in our outlets.

In considering product from potential Suppliers the Historic Scotland Retail Unit will consider 5 main criteria as detailed below:

  • Product must be commercial
  • Product must be relevant to the monument, Scotland and its history
  • Products must be of high quality
  • Products must be competitively priced
  • Compliment other products within ranges

If you are interested in supplying product that meets these criteria then please contact the Historic Scotland Retail Buying Department, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH or call 0131 668 8901.

Any samples that you provide and which we do not wish to progress with would either be returned or collection arranged as soon as practicable. Note that all samples provided are submitted at your own risk and Historic Scotland cannot accept responsibility for any damage or loss to goods that may occur in transit.

Invitations to tender/quote

Quotes or tenders will be sought from potential suppliers, or those firms who have been shortlisted through a Pre-Qualification exercise. Pre-Qualification will involve suppliers requesting a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ).

The supplier should complete the PQQ available, and submit by the date required providing all supporting documentation. The PQQ will be assessed using weighted criteria, which are detailed in the PQQ, to identify a shortlist of suppliers to whom Invitations to Tender (ITT) will be sent.

The ITT generally will consist of a set of documents including the following –
  • Instructions to Tender - Advise on the criteria on which the contract will be awarded and the format of response required.
  • Specification - Explains the scope of the requirement including proposed service levels if applicable.
  • Technical Proposal or Schedules - Information of evidence required in bid to illustrate potential suppliers ability to provide the goods/services required.
  • Price Schedule - May include a format according to which tender pricing should be included.
  • Historic Scotland Terms and Conditions

Evaluation of tender/quote

Once quotes or tenders are received these will be evaluated on a common basis to ensure that the competition is carried out in a fair and equitable manner, and that the quote or tender representing the best overall value for money is selected.

Best value for money does not necessarily mean that the least expensive quote or tender will be selected. Other areas such as, but not limited to, after sales support, lead-times, total life costs (including disposal) and the suppliers environmental and health and safety policies can all be taken into account when deciding who offers best overall value for money.


The supplier submitting the best value for money tender will be sent an official Historic Scotland Purchase Order or an Award letter confirming the contract.

Contract management

A member of Historic Scotland staff will be nominated as a contact point and will monitor the suppliers performance and also deal with any queries the Supplier may have.

Contract Register

In line with Section 35 of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act, HES has now published its Contract Register to meet the requirement of the Act. Any queries in relation to this please email

PDF icon Historic Environment Scotland - Contract Register [PDF, 81KB]


Historic Scotland observes the CBI Prompt Payment code, which has been superseded by the Better Payment Code and British Standard 7890 published in 1996.

This sets out good payment practice and the roles of buyer and seller, particularly emphasising the need for clarity in the arrangements. In the case of construction, statutory requirements for payment procedures are set out in Part II of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.

The aim is to pay on time, never late but not unnecessarily early unless some early payment discount or other benefit has been agreed. Our interpretation of making payment is when a BACS payment is committed or a cheque is posted. If any Invoices have been disputed, the 'clock' should run from the date the dispute was resolved.

Contact us

The Procurement Team
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place