Single Procurement Document (SPD) - Word Document Retiral

Transition to a fully online SPD process from 1 April 2024

As per our previous correspondence, we would like to remind you that from 1 April 2024 the Word version of the Single Procurement Document (SPD) will no longer be supported or updated by Scottish Government

Following user research, the Word version of the SPD will be removed from the Procurement Journey website on 31st March 2024. All of the guidance relating to the SPD and the supplier selection process will continue to be available.

From this date, the fully online versions of the SPD, available within PCS and PCS-Tender, will be the only ones updated, supported, and maintained by Scottish Government.


Why are we making this change?

The precursor to the SPD, the ESPD, came into force in April 2016. In the eight years since then, the online capability of both buyers and suppliers has increased dramatically, just as it has for the general population, and the pandemic has further increased the rate of transition. The SPD was always intended to be an entirely online process, and this change will simplify the landscape, especially for SMEs, who have told us that continued support and use of the offline SPDs causes them issues when engaging with public procurement in Scotland.


What does this mean for me?

If you’re already using PCS-Tender, or the SPD module in PCS to run your procurement exercises, then you should continue to do so.

If you currently use the Word version of the SPD, (or any other offline version) to create your SPD requests, then you are advised to familiarise yourself with SPD functionality within PCS as soon as possible. 

The SPD module is intuitive and straightforward to use, and there are a number of additional resources to support users:

We are continuing to run a series of buyer awareness sessions to support buyers with the transition. You can book a slot here.


What are the benefits of using the SPD module within PCS?

The SPD module is designed to be ‘self-contained’ and this means that buyers can include any requirements specific to their procurement exercise, such as qualifications, experience, financial stability etc, within their SPD request. Buyers can also request and receive supporting evidence, such as copies of company accounts, certifications relating to quality management, environmental management and other ‘means of proof’, from within the system.

For suppliers, it simplifies and streamlines the selection process, enabling them see the buyer’s requirements within the SPD itself, without the need to cross refer to other procurement documents. Suppliers are also able to store and re-use their answers to standard SPD questions, and upload evidence documents, such as company accounts, once but use them multiple times.

The SPD module is integrated into PCS, so there’s no need to re-register or create a separate log-in.


What if I need to share my draft SPD with my user intelligence group members, or other stakeholders who don’t use PCS?

The SPD module with PCS enables you to export your SPD request in various formats, including PDF and Word, which can then be shared with other stakeholders for review or comment.


Does this mean I will no longer be able to use an SPD Word attachment in PCS?

Buyers will still be able to use a Word, or other offline version of the SPD, and issue it as an attachment, but this approach will not be actively promoted or supported by Scottish Government. It would be the responsibility of individual buyers and contracting authorities to ensure that any offline versions of the SPD remain aligned to the latest official Scottish Government versions within PCS and PCS-Tender and to seek their own legal advice to support this.


If you need any further information, please contact Laura Martin ( or Steve Patterson (