PM-1 Course: The Technical Design Specifications

Definition of Technical Design Specifications : 

The technical design specifications are in practice the contract implementation specifications, i.e. they refer to the characteristics of the means which must be used for implementing the contract, to the way in which the individual activities shall be implemented, to the characteristics (quality, appearance, size etc.) of the results (deliverables) etc.

It is the most traditional kind of specification, it is what most people mean when referring to “Technical Specifications”, having been used historically in public contracting for buildings, highways, and other public works, and represents the kind of thinking in which architects and engineers have been trained.

You can free download an example for the technical design specification by clicking Here 

Who can issue the technical design specifications? 

An expert engineer who is familiar with the technology, products etc. in the market, their availability and the cost for their use can issue this type of specifications.

How the technical design specifications are developed? 

To develop a new Technical Specification, it is recommended to adopt an approach consisting of the following steps: 

1- Specification of the requirements (functional, output, quality etc.) of the intended outputs (work, material, service, construction etc.).

2- Analysis of output requirements and establishment of requirements in inputs (materials, activities, methodologies etc.) for implementation of the outputs.

3- Market” research to identify existing alternative solutions and the possibilities offered by innovative solutions for achievement of the outputs. This includes”:
  • Identification of information sources (persons, organizations, documents).
  • Communication/ research on the requested data from these sources.

4- Specification of input and output requirements (technical specifications), at a level of detail which allows economic operators to understand what is requested and specify solutions for its achievement. 

5- This activity is performed either “in-house” by the Contracting Authority (and its consultants) or with the participation of the candidate economic operators (through a “consultation” process during which they offer their views). This consultation process is used primarily when the tender procedure applied is the restricted procedure, and the economic operators from which tenders shall be invited have been selected.

6- Checking input and output requirements (derived in the previous step) in terms of: 

  • The completeness of their description. 
  • Their synergy and cohesion with the other requirements (other technical specifications) of the contract. 
  • The clarity of their formulation. 
  • The possibility and method of controlling their achievement (during or after the implementation of the contract). 
  • The possibility of incorporating them in the method/procedure for evaluation of the tenders submitted by candidate economic operators for the award of the contract. 

You can free download a Checklist for confirming the correct development of a new Technical Specification by clicking Here

Technical Specifications Importance: 

The determination of the Technical Specifications is a crucial task during the development of the tender documents, because the success of the tender procedure in leading to the acquisition of the requested results (supplies or services or constructions) at the right quality, in the available time and within the available budget, depends on it.

For this reason, the Technical Specifications must be determined in such a way as to ensure both of the following two aims:

  • The achievement of the desirable characteristics which are requested by them.
  • The promotion of the broadest possible competition between the economic operators to tender for the contract (so that the optimum cost is achieved, and the conditions of transparency and equal treatment of candidates are ensured).

Therefore, the Technical Specifications must at the same time ensure that:

  • The requirements placed on the Contractor in connection with the required activities and resources, as well as the expected results of the contract, are clear, fully understood without room for misinterpretation, and transparent, so that the economic operators may offer what is actually requested.
  • These requirements have the necessary flexibility and allow (render acceptable) other compatible, innovative and economically advantageous (in terms of “best value for money”) solutions, which fulfill the broader requirements of the contract.
  • These requirements do not result in discrimination between economic operators, nor to the exclusion of any of them from the tender procedure, but instead offer equal opportunities to all.

Technical specifications Contents: 

The text of a Technical Specification should comprise the following:

Introduction The Introduction presents the purpose of the Technical Specification and the way in which it was composed, as well as any conditions that restrict its application.

Main body The structure of the Technical Specification must be as close as possible to the structure of the other specifications in use in the country.

The contents of a Technical Specification usually include the following:

  • The description of its scope. 
  • The inputs used (raw materials, methods, labour etc.) and the criteria for their acceptance.
  • The characteristics of outputs, which may be either qualitative characteristics or performance/functional characteristics (this is the main section of the Technical Specification) – e.g. printing speed and quality of a printer, strength of a bridge to loads, number of copies per unit of time of a photocopier.
  • The quality control requirements (criteria and ways of implementation) for acceptance of the outputs.
  • The health & safety conditions/requirements during implementation, and the requirements regarding the protection of the environment.
  • The method used to measure the outputs.
  • Remarks, Application guidelines :These contain data/information concerning the application of the Technical Specification, reference to other Technical Specifications with which it may combined or with which it inter-works, and description of the relation/interconnection with them, and other clarifications as needed. 

You can free download a Checklist for the approval of the Technical Specifications by clicking Here 

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