The UK security industry contributes over £4 billion per annum to the UK economy according to ADS, the aerospace, defence, and security trade association.
A whole range of organisations contract their security requirements including Central Government, Local Authorities, universities, airports, airlines, retail, hotels and office buildings.
Security bids cover a wide range of services including:
- Manned guarding
- Mobile patrols
- Security systems (access control, CCTV, parameter alarms, etc.)
- Key holding
- Locking and unlocking
- Loss prevention
- Debt recovery and civil enforcement
- Management of visitors
- CCTV monitoring
- Close protection
- Secure transport
- Events management
Common questions our bid writers prepare for security bids include:
- Compliance with Security Industry Authority (SIA) regulations – individual licensing and Approved Contractor Scheme certification
- Compliance with Data Protection Act / General Data Protection Regulations
- Staff recruitment, vetting and training
- TUPE transfer
- Quality assurance
- Information assurance
- Performance management
- Management of risks and issues
- Maintenance (of equipment)
- Contingency planning
- Partnership working and stakeholder engagement
- Logistical planning
- Sustainability, including environmental management
- Delivering value for money
Our Approach to Security Bids
Security bids are sometimes for ‘stand alone’ contracts or as part of wider facilities management services that includes security aspects. We adopt a flexible approach to preparing these types of bids as each one is different and our clients have different requirements.
For large and complex bids, we typically produce and agree a bid plan at the start of the project with you that includes bid phases, key deliverables and milestones.
The bid plan is likely to include:
- Holding an initial workshop with those people in your company who will have an input into the bid so that we all understand the nature of the bid, your strategy, key milestones and deadlines.
- Identifying subject matter experts – those people in your company who hold the information we need to prepare the tender.
- Creating a storyboard for each question – that is an outline of the content, win themes and evidence – by interviewing the subject matter experts and holding workshops.
- Producing a first draft of the responses to each question for review by the subject matter experts to check for factual accuracy. These are sometimes called Amber Reviews.
- Identifying from the narrative opportunity to enhance the bid by providing diagrams, graphs and other forms of visual evidence.
- Refining the responses following feedback from the Amber Reviews ahead of presenting the draft bid to a wider team within your company who will be responsible for approving its content. These are sometimes called Red Reviews.
- Final polishing of the narrative ahead of a final sign-off by your management team and its submission to you client (Gold Reviews).
For smaller bids, we follow the same principles but will propose a more ‘light touch’ approach that meets your requirements.
Our experience in Security Bid Writing
The following provides an overview of the types of security bids we have supported.
Our client’s bid was to a major University for manned guarding, mobile patrols and reception services.
University Manned Guarding and Reception Services
Our London-based client was invited by a large facilities management company to tender at short notice for a manned guarding and reception services contract for a large university. The contract required a combination of manned guarding at 6 different sites across the London and South East region, locking and unlocking services, and night timer patrols. It also required additional resources to manage special events such as Graduation Ceremonies. The contract included the transfer of staff from the incumbent supplier under TUPE arrangements.
We were asked to support this bid by the client at very short notice as the Facilities Management company had such an urgent requirement. We therefore worked with the client to help capture their proposed service, ensure it met all the university’s requirements and to prepare a fully-costed tender in just 2 days.
Prisoners and detainee escorting involves the transport of people held in custody by the police, the courts or immigration and customs authorities between one place and another. For example, a prisoner may need to be taken to court for trial, moved from a police station to a detention centre, or, in the case of an immigration detainee, taken to the airport for deportation. Prisoner and detainee welfare is paramount, as is security. For larger contracts like the Ministry of Justice’s Prisoner Escort and Custody Services (PECS), the logistics involved to move upwards of 2,000 people every day is immense.
We have successfully helped clients to prepare prisoner and detainee escorting bids. Requirements were exacting and clients benefited from the extensive experience we have of the justice sectors to help test their solution, develop a compelling narrative, and demonstrate compliance.
Prisoner and detainee escorting bids have exacting requirements with a focus on security and welfare
Short-term holding facilities at ports and airports are used for passengers held by Border Force pending conclusion of their immigration case
Immigration Holding Facilities Bid Writing
The Home Office processes over 133 million passenger arrivals each year at ports and airports. Each one has to be be checked to establish right to live or otherwise visit the UK. In most cases, passengers are bone fide, but a small number may not qualify for entry, pose a security risk or may be attempting to enter using forged passports.
The main airports have short-term holding facilities where passengers can be held for up to 24 hours pending a decision on their immigration case or their removal from the UK on the next available flight. These facilities are operated by private sector security companies.
We have significant experience of the security and custody market, having supported various bids over the last 5 years for the operation of prisons, detention centres and detainee escorting. We were therefore commissioned to support a client bidding to the Home Office for the operation of the holding facilities as part of a wider contract. This was a large bid that involved significant TUPE transfer of staff, logistical planning, catering, welfare, IT systems, and compliance with aviation regulations given staff and vehicles move from land to airside throughout the day and night.