CPV codes won’t be changing!
Between you and I – my choice of terminology for ‘CPV’ is not altogether as it should be!
CPV actually stands for
Common Procurement Vocabulary
and according to SIMAP, it is ‘a single classification system for public procurement aimed at standardising the references used by contracting authorities and entities to describe the subject of procurement contracts’.
Sounds good so far and I might even cover off what you’re meant to do with them, and why they exist. I might even offer some pointers for finding the more obscure codes you might need to look for. But for now, I’m going to give you my definition of CPV
Calamity Producing Verb
Yep – that’s right. Calamity. How often do you sit looking at the screen while thinking about the most appropriate header code for your project and wonder how many different codes it could sit under? Then, when you move to the next level and try to establish specific roles within industries – even further chaos can ensure. Have you ever spent time looking for a descriptor of CDM? Party Wall Surveyors? Employers Agents? Well, suffice to say that with a client trying to output a pretty large contract notice this week relating to the procurement of a series of framework consultants, my frustration knew no bounds! Don’t get me wrong, I spend a lot of my time looking at CPV codes – both on buyer & supplier side. I also spend a lot of time laughing at some of the CPV codes buyers use to describe the service that they are trying to buy. I shouldn’t laugh of course – its really quite imperative that you get your CPV ‘master’ code correct as it guides the market to your contract notice.
Here’s the important info about the number coding:-
Structure of the classification system
1. The CPV consists of a main vocabulary and a supplementary vocabulary.
2. The main vocabulary is based on a tree structure comprising codes of up to nine digits associated with a wording that describes the supplies, works or services forming the subject of the contract.
The numerical code consists of 8 digits, subdivided as follows:
— the first two digits identify the divisions (XX000000-Y),
— the first three digits identify the groups (XXX00000-Y),
— the first four digits identify the classes (XXXX0000-Y),
— the first five digits identify the categories (XXXXX000-Y).
Each of the last three digits gives a greater degree of precision within each category.
A ninth digit serves to verify the previous digits.
It can be difficult when using the contract notice builders to easily locate the CPV codes you’re looking for, so I tend to also have a look at a full list online
Thankfully, the majority of work in the contract notices recently has been
- 45000000-7 – Construction work
- 50000000-5 – Repair and maintenance services
- 71000000-8 – Architectural, construction, engineering and inspection services
and using the drop downs within these sections can be really useful – but I dare you to get the code right first time for employers agent!