How to buy

Date: 11 Dec 2019 - 2 Jul 2020
Updated: 2 Jul 2020
Type: Whole of government

View how to buy from the PMS Scheme for guidance, including a step-by-step process.

Procurement system

Agencies can use their own internal procurement systems or use eQuote.

eQuote allows government buyers to download supplier lists, create and issue requests for quotes/proposals and award contracts online.

eQuote training is required for new users.

After completing eQuote training, register to use eQuote by contacting your agency's eTendering administrator and having the ‘agency buyer’ role added to your eTendering profile.

If you are unsure who your agency administrator is, please email

Requirements for buyers

Before engaging a supplier from the scheme, learn about your obligations when buying from the scheme, including:

Governance arrangements for non-compliant engagements

A more stringent approval process applies for engagements that do not comply with the standard commercial framework, including the following scenarios:

  • Where the supplier has not accepted the standard commercial framework.
  • Where the proposal is not compliant with the standard commercial framework.

You must complete the following actions for each non-compliant engagement:

  • Get approval from your Secretary, Executive Agency Head or cluster Chief Financial Officer, but only once satisfied that the work cannot be undertaken under the standard commercial framework.
  • Ensure engagements are competitively bid with at least 3 quotes to ensure value for money.
  • Report the engagement via the Major Suppliers' Portal following the reporting non-compliant engagements guide DOCX, 2413.29 KB.

Rate cards

The standard commercial framework applies to engagement types 1 to 13 and is mandated by PBD-2019-01-Engagement of professional services suppliers.

The framework ensures better commercial outcomes using:

  • engagement types
  • resource types
  • capped resource rates
  • discount structure
  • capped expenses and standard expense types
  • target resource mix.

You should negotiate rates based on the requirements of the project.

You must not exceed the framework rates without following the non-compliance process.

View What is the standard commercial framework? for more information.

Access the standard commercial framework

The standard commercial framework is available to NSW Government staff with a valid email address via the Major Suppliers' Portal.

For help with registering and gaining instant access to the Major Suppliers' Portal, access the new user self registration guide DOCX, 336.97 KB or email

The standard commercial framework is commercial-in-confidence and should not be shared or discussed outside of government.


Suppliers must maintain insurance policies for public liability and workers' compensation as per the PMS Scheme rules and where required by law.

Professional indemnity insurance is not mandatory but may be required for some engagements. As buyers, you should determine the level of cover and monetary limit required based on the level of risk and type of engagement.

Before engaging a supplier, you should check the currency of suppliers’ insurance by requesting copies of their certificates.

Performance evaluation

You must complete supplier performance reports for:

  • all engagements over $150,000 (excluding GST)
  • poor performance.

Complete the performance report template DOCX, 47.24 KB at the end of the engagement and email to

To send feedback on the PMS Scheme, please complete the feedback form for agencies DOCX, 24.27 KB and email it to

Tools, templates and resources

View the professional services category page for a range of resources and support to help you buy professional services using the PMS Scheme.