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Framework Agreements and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS)

In addition to individual contracts awarded through a tendering process between buying organisations and suppliers, the public sector also implements Framework Agreements and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS), which are both commonly used types of procurement vehicles. These are always included in our regular email updates and Live Tenders list, along with any published changes.

Details of all frameworks and dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) listed on Infobrokers which are currently open for application:
- Check all current Frameworks
- Check all current Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS)

Also included in our tenders list and updates are any relevant Central Government Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework agreements and opportunities from the Dynamic Purchasing Systems Marketplace (scroll down to "Marketing Communications and Research" to locate information about the "Communications Marketplace" DPS and "Research & Insights" DPS).

These are very large procurement exercises published on behalf of the Cabinet Office which include multiple suppliers (hundreds in the case of dynamic purchasing systems.

Basic difference between Frameworks & Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS):

While there is a set deadline to apply to join a framework agreement, dynamic purchasing systems remain open throughout their lifetime for new suppliers to join. Both frameworks and DPS include multiple suppliers (although frameworks can be single supplier), are often split into "lots" and typically range in length from one to four years.


Framework agreements are set up by public sector bodies with a number of suppliers to provide goods, works or services. They must have a defined purpose (eg. Market Research or Marketing Communications) and can only be used in line with this purpose. Frameworks can be organised centrally by one public body for its own use and/or for a number of other public bodies.

Frameworks are let for a specific period of time (typically 1 to 4 years) and suppliers cannot join the framework after the deadline for tenders/applications has closed. The bodies (one or more authorities) that are party to the framework can then order (or ‘call-off ’) the goods, works or services as and when, required. For multiple supplier frameworks, a mini-competition may be held to identify the best supplier. 

Because contracts can be awarded to suppliers who are part of the framework without the need for a full tendering process each time, securing a place on a framework agreement is a great way for a supplier to win business without having to go through a full competitive procedure.

Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)

A Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) is another mechanism that is used to purchase goods, works and services. It is similar to a framework but has the functionality to add new suppliers during the lifetime of the contract (again, typically 1 to 4 years) providing flexibility and encouraging competition.

The DPS is a procurement tool used by public sector organisations to buy commonly used goods, services, or works from a pool of pre-qualified suppliers. Suppliers are typically pre-qualified through an initial selection process, and contracting authorities can then invite tenders or quotes from the pool of approved suppliers as needed.


A large contract (including frameworks and dynamic purchasing systems) can be divided into smaller, separate contracts or "lots", each with their own specific requirement. These can then be awarded to a number of different suppliers.

For example, a large marketing contract may be split into separate lots for digital marketing, video production and copywriting.

The Government encourages the use of separate lots within larger contracts in order to award more work to SMEs.

Dividing a contract, framework or DPS into separate lots, which can be focussed on specific categories, services, or geographical areas, offers several advantages:

Specialisation: By using smaller lots, buyers can attract a broader range of suppliers, including SMEs that may specialise in niche areas. This enables buyers to engage suppliers with specialised expertise in each lot, leading to higher-quality outcomes, better value for money and service delivery, as well as more innovative solutions. 

Flexibility: Using lots allows buyers to tailor their procurement needs more precisely. They can select specific lots that align with their requirements, rather than being constrained by a one-size-fits-all approach.

Risk Management: Buyers can mitigate risk by spreading their procurement across multiple suppliers. This reduces dependency on any single supplier and enhances resilience in case of supplier failure or disruption.

Efficiency: Splitting a contract, framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system (DPS) into lots can streamline the procurement process. Buyers can evaluate and award contracts for individual lots more quickly and efficiently, which can lead to cost savings and improved procurement cycle times.

Supplier Lists

It is also worth mentioning opportunities to join Supplier Lists which are sometimes advertised by public sector buyers. Essentially, a preferred supplier list is created from a pool of approved suppliers who have been pre-assessed and agreed. These suppliers can then be used to purchase required goods and services.