The pre-qualification process described above, conducted prior to the submittal of tenders, will naturally lead to a limited number of firms considered qualified. They are the firms that will be invited to offer proposals to carry out the construction work. Whether they were qualified for all work in a certain category during the time period or were qualified for this project only, the firms on this limited list will be the only recipients of the invitation to tender. Once the tenders are received, they are evaluated in a fashion similar to those received though the open tender process.
Another version of the invited tender, sometimes used in the private sector, involves the owner, or its design professional or project manager, in inviting tenders from firms it believes to be qualified, based on their reputations, past experience and other criteria. This approach lacks the formality of qualification forms and evaluations and is probably not appropriate in the public sector, where accountability to ratepayers and taxpayers requires credibility and transparency.