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Frequently asked questions

1. How does CDKN procure services?

Projects funded by CDKN go through varying procurement processes tailored to their specific scope and needs. Projects will be procured  mostly through an open tender process, but may also be procured through a closed tender process or single supplier negotiations where this is appropriate. We advertise (amongst other routes) through an approved list of service providers on our Roster of Experts All projects require a formal proposal to be submitted by the supplier.

2. How can I apply for funding?

CDKN is not a typical donor, and suppliers are not able to “apply for funding” in the usual sense – this is due to CDKN’s commercial and demand-led nature. Suppliers who are interested in working with CDKN should continue to monitor the Current Opportunities page for opportunities to work with us.

3. What is a UK Service Agent, why do I need one and how can I find one?

In order to manage its risks, and because all our contracts are let under UK law, one of the key component parts of our contracts with non-UK organisations is that all sub-contractors must have an agent in the UK who can represent the organisation in receiving legal papers or notice should that become necessary. This agent may for example be a branch of their organisation in the UK, embassy, solicitor or a commercial organisation that offers such services.

Suppliers who are not based in the UK and do not have a UK branch need to arrange for a UK service agent (easily found on google if you search for one – try “uk agent for service of legal process” or similar) and ask them to represent the supplier should we require to issue them with legal papers. The cost is usually less than £400 and may sometimes be included as an expense re-chargeable to us with our advance approval.

Please note that we do not require companies to have a UK Service Agent at the proposal stage, only once the contract has been awarded.

4. I have submitted a proposal which was unsuccessful. How can I get feedback for this and when can I expect to receive this?

If your proposal for a project has been unsuccessful, you may request feedback by sending an email to This usually takes about 4 weeks but may take longer depending on the number of ongoing procurements at the time of request.

5. Can you advise us on a UK service agent?

We are unable to recommend a UK Service Agent however the easiest way to find one is to use a search engine such as Google and search for “UK Service Agent”. Those appearing at the top of the search results have generally been used by other CDKN suppliers, but we cannot recommend or endorse any particular Service Agent.

6. I am working on my proposal and have asked a question which still hasn’t been answered – I have been informed I must wait until the deadline. Why is there a deadline for questions?

CDKN runs procurements in a fair and transparent way. To ensure that all suppliers are given the same information at a similar time, we ask that suppliers send all their questions related to specific projects to us by a specified deadline. We then collate all questions and finalise our responses. This is then put into a document which is either sent out to all interested suppliers, or put online on the opportunity page of the CDKN website for all suppliers to download. This ensures that no supplier has been given an advantage over another. Once the deadline has passed, we are not able to respond to any questions (note in some cases, we may find it acceptable to do so). It is also important to note that if a supplier has a question they may wish us to treat confidentially, they may inform us to do so with a reason why. CDKN Procurement will take a view on whether the question is legitimately confidential or if the answer should be shared with other bidders in some form for the sake of fairness and transparency.

7. I’ve only just seen the advert but the deadline is tomorrow. Can this be extended?

The deadline for submission of proposals / expressions of interests is generally fixed, unless there is a genuine reason why we wish to extend. If we do decide to extend the deadline, all suppliers will be notified (and any who have already submitted a proposal will have the opportunity to revise/improve and re-submit if they wish to do so)

8. Is it possible to negotiate the terms of business?

The terms of business, which are sent out to all suppliers and are available on our website –Terms and conditions are non-negotiable. All suppliers are expected to agree to these.

9. I am a potential supplier but do not have the required insurance cover. What can I do?

Please include this information as part of your proposal, or earlier if possible. If you have already submitted your proposal, you should email your CDKN procurement contact to inform them of this.

10. What is Public Indemnity and Public Liability insurance?

Public Liability insurance: in case your business injures a third party or their property, Public Liability insurance provides financial protection against damages that might be awarded in a lawsuit

Professional Indemnity insurance: provides protection for negligent advice or a service provided by a business, and is designed to safeguard them against claims made by clients for any resulting financial loss or damage to their reputation.

11. Why is the insurance requirement £1,000,000 when my project value is much lower than this?

The insurance requirement is not related to the project amount. Insurance cover is required for potential claims that could be made against the supplier by a third party and does not necessarily link to the total project value. For example, if a supplier has been awarded a contract for £30,000 to hold a series of workshops and one of the attendees has an accident during a worksop, they may claim £100,000 in damages (for example). This exceeds the project value, as it relates to the damages that have been caused. Insurance would cover this claim.

12. Why does the contract I have been sent include “VAT and any other applicable taxes” when I am not a UK-based company?

We include this as standard in all our contracts to ensure that the supplier does not include additional tax or VAT charges that have not been discussed during contracting.

13. Is there any flexibility with respect to the CDKN Expenses Policy?

There is no flexibility with respect to the CDKN Expenses Policy. All suppliers must follow this.

14. Why is my contract with PwCS and not with CDKN?

CDKN is an alliance of which PwCS (Pricewaterhouse Coopers Services) is the lead alliance partner. Hence all CDKN contracts are between PwCS (Pricewaterhouse Coopers Services) and the supplier.

15. We are a Spanish organisation and require the contract with CDKN to be written in Spanish. Is this possible?

All CDKN contracts are issued under English law and jurisdiction. Accordingly we insist that they are signed in English language. Suppliers are welcome to translate the contract into their local language, but the signed English version will always take precedence in the event of clarification or dispute.

16. I am in contract with CDKN and have been provided extra funding from another donor for the same piece of work – is this a problem?

This may be a problem if you are receiving funds for the same piece of work that CDKN is funding, due to intellectual property rights outlined in your contract with us. If you are in this situation you must inform your CDKN Procurement contact, or the CDKN project manager immediately as there may be issues with respect to duplicate funding for the same outputs or ownership/intellectual property rights for project deliverables that need to be addressed.