Prior Information Notice (PIN)
Terms & Acronyms

What Is a Prior Information Notice (PIN)?

What is a Prior Information Notice (PIN)?

The world of procurement is filled with abbreviations and PIN is one of the common ones. In this article, we’ll discuss the concept of a PIN and introduce you to its role in the bidding process. Let’s dive in!


Definition of a Prior Information Notice (PIN)

Prior Information Notice, commonly abbreviated as PIN, is an common element in the procurement process, especially within public procurement. A PIN is a notice from a contracting authority to inform potential suppliers about an upcoming procurement. It’s not yet a tender, but information of an upcoming one, within for example the next 12 months.

The primary purpose of a PIN is to enhance transparency and stimulate competition among potential suppliers, ensuring that they have ample time to prepare and respond effectively to the upcoming tender opportunities. By providing advance notice, contracting authorities can also test the market interest and receive valuable feedback that can inform the final procurement strategy.

PINs may also be called Early Market Engagement Notice or Future Opportunity Notice. PINs are primarily used in the UK and the EU.


An overview of the PIN procedure

The PIN procedure is a structured process that involves several key steps. Here’s a comprehensive overview:

1. The buyer identifies a need: Whether a new project or a contract about to expire, the buyer identifies a need for initiating a procurement process.

2. The PIN is published: The PIN is published on relevant platforms to reach a wide audience of potential suppliers. The publication sites can include official procurement portals, government websites, and industry-specific platforms. Tendium’s tender monitoring is a smart way to find interesting opportunities faster. The PIN is typically published well in advance of the formal tender announcement to give suppliers sufficient time to prepare.

4. Market engagement: Following the publication of the PIN, the contracting authority engages with the market to gather feedback and insights. The objective is to understand market capabilities, identify potential challenges, and refine the procurement strategy based on the inputs received.

5. The tender process: After the market engagement phase, the contracting authority proceeds with the formal tender process. This involves issuing the tender documents, inviting bids from interested suppliers, and conducting the evaluation and selection process. The information provided in the PIN helps suppliers prepare more competitive and relevant bids, thereby enhancing the overall quality of responses.


Benefits of engaging with Prior Information Notices

Monitoring new PINs and engaging with them has several benefits for suppliers. Here are three key advantages:

Increased awareness and competitiveness: A PIN enhances the awareness of upcoming tender opportunities. It allows suppliers to prepare and increase the chances of being able to participate in the tender.

Buyer communication and influencing the tender: Once a tender is published, there is little a supplier can do to change the requirements and other essential aspects of the tender. With a PIN, however, you’re allowed to give feedback to the buyer and thereby have a greater chance of it being a good fit for your company.

Longer preparation: With advance notice provided by a PIN, suppliers have more time to prepare for the bid. This includes activities such as understanding the project, the buyer needs, and conducting any necessary internal assessments.


PIN vs RFI: what are the differences?

While both Prior Information Notices (PINs) and Requests for Information (RFIs) play significant roles in the procurement process, they serve distinct purposes and occur at different stages. A PIN is primarily aimed at informing potential suppliers about impending procurement opportunities and gauging market interest before the formal tender process begins. It serves to enhance transparency and stimulate competition, allowing suppliers ample time to prepare for upcoming bids.

On the other hand, an RFI is used to collect detailed information from suppliers to understand the available solutions in the market better. RFIs are typically issued when contracting authorities are still in the exploratory phase of their procurement strategy, seeking insights into supplier capabilities, technologies, and potential solutions.

While a PIN signals an upcoming opportunity and invites market engagement, an RFI solicits specific information to shape procurement requirements and strategies, thus ensuring that the eventual tender aligns more closely with market capabilities and innovations. Understanding these distinctions helps both contracting authorities and suppliers navigate the procurement landscape more effectively, leveraging the strengths of each mechanism to achieve optimal procurement outcomes.



In conclusion, a Prior Information Notice (PIN) is a valuable tool in the procurement process, offering numerous benefits for both contracting authorities and potential suppliers.

By engaging with PINs, suppliers can be proactive and enhance their participation in public procurement, improve their preparedness, and have a greater chance of winning the contract.

Explore how you can leverage AI to monitor PINs and tenders smarter with Tendium’s tender monitoring.


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