Government contracts and prequalification schemes

The easiest way to supply NSW Government is through contracts or prequalification schemes.
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What you need to know
  1. The main way NSW Government buys is through contracts and prequalification schemes.
  2. Under contracts, particular suppliers are appointed to supply defined goods or services for a set period of time.
  3. Prequalification schemes are lists of suppliers from which government agencies can seek proposals or quotes.
  4. You can respond to tenders for contracts and apply for prequalification schemes on eTendering.


Under contracts, one or more suppliers of similar goods or services are appointed to sell to NSW Government for a specified period of time, under agreed terms and conditions including price. Contracts have start and end dates and sometimes can be extended.

Contracts can either cover the whole of government (that is, all NSW Government agencies buy from the one contract) or they can be specific to one agency. However, even agency-specific contracts can usually be used by other agencies once they’re set up.

View whole-of-government contracts.

Contracts are usually awarded after a competitive tender process. Tenders are advertised on eTendering. When you register on eTendering, you can opt in to notifications of tenders that match your company’s profile.

Read more about tenders.

Prequalification schemes

A prequalification scheme covers a wide range of goods and services from a particular sector.

When a government agency needs to buy goods or services, it can approach these prequalified suppliers in various ways – including via a request for tender (RFT), request for quote (RFQ) or request for proposal (RFP). It can sometimes also negotiate directly with them, depending on the circumstances.

Unlike contracts, suppliers can apply for inclusion at any time for most schemes.

View prequalification schemes.

Benefits of prequalification schemes

Prequalification schemes provide many benefits both to government agencies and to you as the supplier of goods or services.

As buyers, agencies benefit from being able to:

  • access a panel of expert resources that can deliver quality goods and services
  • more efficiently run competitive tendering processes by tapping into a group of suppliers with a demonstrated track record.

As suppliers, we hope you benefit from:

  • reduced red tape and lower costs in doing business with government
  • simplified terms and conditions
  • having access to a self-service, online application process
  • being able to regularly apply to join
  • being able to apply for business opportunities by regions and categories, where possible.

Apply to join a prequalification scheme

If you’re interested in joining a prequalification scheme, you’ll need to apply on eTendering. Once registered on eTendering, you can apply for any schemes that are relevant.

The application process varies and can be more or less complex depending on the nature of the goods and services covered by the scheme.

Some schemes provide different levels of prequalification, with fewer requirements for works up to a certain value.

In every application process, we’ve considered the need to reduce red tape and to connect government agencies and market expertise.

Register on eTendering.

Related content

  • How to supply to government: Read an overview of supplying to government based on your business type and the buying methods we use.
  • SMEs and regional businesses: Learn about how the NSW Government is prioritising SMEs and regional businesses and what you need to do to apply.
  • Aboriginal businesses: Find out about how you can supply to government if you own an Aboriginal business.
  • Tenders: Find out how the government runs tenders for new work and what you need to do to be part of them.