BC Bid frequently asked questions

Last updated on February 14, 2024

The BC Bid application was modernized in 2022, to make it easier for companies of all sizes to do business with government. 


BC Bid Historical Procurement Data

What historical data is available in BC Bid?

Data from April 1, 2015, to December 15, 2022, is available in BC Bid.

This data is available and can be searched in the BC Bid public portal using the Opportunity Type on Historical Records.

Can I use BC Bid for record keeping?

No, BC Bid should not be used as a source for record keeping. Record keeping needs to comply with ARCS/ORCS or the data management policies of your organization.

What historical data is available through the BC Bid public portal?

Publicly posted historical data will be available to all users through the public portal, including:

  • Opportunities with tender documents and attachments

  • Contract Award notices without attachments

What historical data is not available through the BC Bid public portal?

Some data will have restricted access, including:

  • Invitation only opportunities

  • Supplier bid responses and tender attachments

  • Contract award or purchase order details with attachments

  • MOTI ITT tender attachments for plan holders’ lists

Who can access this restricted data that is not available in the BC Bid public portal?

In BC Bid, each buying organizations can have one BC Bid registered buyer as its Responsible User.

Every BPS organization is identified as one buying organization, so each BPS organization can have one Responsible User per organization.

Every ministry consists of one or more buying organizations. This means that the number of Responsible Users per ministry will correspond with its number of buying organizations in BC Bid. The Buying Organization List by Ministry shows the number of organizations per ministry. Please note that the list includes ministries that were current as of December 2022, when the previous BC Bid was retired.

If your current ministry organization is not listed or you need further information, please contact the BC Bid Help Desk.

Will my ministry only have one Responsible User?

A ministry will have one Responsible User for each buying organization within it. If the ministry itself is considered one buying organization, then yes, it will have one Responsible User.

The Buying Organization List by Ministry shows the number of buying organizations per ministry. Please note that the list includes ministries that were current as of December 2022, when the previous BC Bid was retired. If your current ministry organization is not listed or you need further information, please contact the BC Bid Help Desk.

How does a Responsible User get access to restricted data not available through the BC Bid public portal?

Buying organizations can submit a completed Responsible User Request form to the BC Bid Help Desk at bcbid@gov.bc.ca to setup access for their Responsible User.

You can find the Responsible User Request form in BC Procurement Resources:

Ministry Responsible User Request (DOC, 25.2KB)

BPS Responsible User Request (DOC, 25.1KB)

I need access to some historical data; how do I find out who the Responsible User is for my organization?

Some historical data is available to all users through the public portal, including:

  • Opportunities with tender documents and attachments
  • Contract Award notices without attachments

Responsible Users have access to your organizations restricted historical data, including:

  • Invite-only RFx opportunities.
  • Supplier bid responses and attachments.
  • Contract award/purchase order details with attachments.
  • MOTI ITT tender attachments for plan holder lists.

If you require access to restricted historical data and you don’t know who the Responsible User is for your organization, please contact the BC Bid Help Desk.

Why is Executive Financial Officer (EFO) approval requested for any ministry Responsible Users?

A Responsible User will have access to all of their organization’s restricted data. EFO approval ensures that the right resource is assigned to the ministry buying organization to access their files. Ministry EFOs have a comprehensive ministry view and links into their ministry.

Who approves the BPS Responsible User Form?

Each BPS organization will follow their specific approval protocol

Can there be more than one Responsible User per organization?

No. BC Bid restricts this access to one IDIR or BCeID per organization.

Can a Responsible User share historical data access with other buyers in their organization?

Yes. The Responsible User can give Contributor role access to other users registered in BC Bid  by adding them to specific historical opportunities.

Can the Responsible User add contributors in a bulk way, rather than on an opportunity-by-opportunity basis?

Currently, contributors must be added one at a time.

Do BPS organizations see the same type of historical data as ministries?

Yes, BPS organizations and ministries will see the same type of historical data.

Will there be instructions for how to view historical data in BC Bid?

Historical data will be searchable using the existing search function in BC Bid. Instructions on how to access historical data can be found under the Quick Reference Guide section of the BC Bid User Guides page.

What kind of historical data is not included in BC Bid?

  1. Any opportunity that was not closed or withdrawn in the previous BC Bid prior to December 16, 2022

  2. Supplier profiles, including address, contact information, and location; however, supplier names will be displayed in the bid responses, Unverified Bid Results and Contract Awards.

  3. Province of Alberta opportunities

  4. Requisitions for ITQ from previous BC Bid

Will BC GSIN codes be mapped to the UNSPSC codes?

No, BC GSIN codes will not be mapped into UNSPSC codes; however, BC GSIN Codes will be visible in BC Bid.

What happened to opportunities that were not closed or withdrawn in BC Bid prior to December 16, 2022?

Data from opportunities that were not closed or withdrawn were not transferred and are not accessible in BC Bid.


BC Bid - Overview

What is BC Bid?

BC Bid is government’s online marketplace procurement tool for accessing and competing on public sector procurement opportunities. In BC Bid, public sector organizations (including cities, school districts, health authorities, Crown corporations and the B.C. government) advertise contract opportunities for a wide range of goods and services. 

Why did BC Bid need to be replaced?

BC Bid is the virtual face of government procurement. The previous application was 25 years old and no longer met the needs of buyers and suppliers.

What software is BC Bid based on?

BC Bid uses software from Ivalua, which is a SaaS (Software as a Service) product.

When was BC Bid replaced?

The current BC Bid launched on May 30, 2022.

Is the current BC Bid compatible with all website browsers?

For the best user experience, BC Bid users should use a compatible internet browser such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Chromium Edge, or Mozilla Firefox. BC Bid is not compatible with Legacy Edge, Internet Explorer, or Apple Safari.

Does BC Bid support a cross-promotion of opportunities?

Yes. BC Bid offers the ability for buyers to cross-post procurement opportunities with the BC Construction Association’s BidCentral and the Province of Alberta's Purchasing Connection.

Buyers may choose to cross-promote opportunities using the other tendering systems like Bonfire and Bids and Tenders.

What types of files can I upload to BC Bid?

The application accepts most common document formats, including:

  • PDF
  • Office
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Visio
  • MS Project
  • AutoCad
  • Text files

What are the document upload limits in BC Bid?

For both buyers and suppliers, the maximum document size that can be uploaded to the application is 500MB. There is no limit to the number of documents one can upload.

Caution: Loading multiple large files at one time will take longer to complete. Users are advised to load large files individually to avoid performance impacts.


Commodity codes

BC Bid uses the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC). The previous BC Bid used a modified version of Goods and Services Identification Number (GSIN) to classify products and services purchased.

What is UNSPSC?

The UNSPSC is an open and international classification of products and services. It is composed of a five-level hierarchical classification code set. You can find more information about UNSPSC at https://www.unspsc.org/.

Why change from GSIN to UNSPSC?

The Government of Canada recently adopted the UNSPSC coding structure, and no longer maintains the GSIN classification system. Other Canadian jurisdictions, e.g., Province of Ontario, already use the UNSPSC structure. It is one of the more widely used product and service categorization systems.

Using a standardized and modern procurement taxonomy will:

  • Allow for consistent recording and reporting of procurement information
  • Help to meet reporting obligations established through policy and trade agreements
  • Provide a navigation method for both buyers and suppliers and improve search functions


As a previous supplier, do I need to register for BC Bid again?

If you would like to purchase subscriptions or access the full suite of features in BC Bid, then yes - you need to register again.

Registration provides many benefits for suppliers, including the ability to:

  • Subscribe to notifications services
  • Register for e-bidding
  • Manage your profile, subscriptions, and bids through a customizable supplier portal
  • Edit your Supplier information, manage Contacts, add Certificates and Qualifications
  • Send messages to opportunity Official Contacts within the application
  • Receive emailed updates on changes to an Opportunity (Addenda, Amendment)
  • Join an Interested Supplier List
  • For ITQ and Timber Sales, prepare submission response forms within the application

Without registration, suppliers can view and download opportunities from the public portal.

Why is a Business BCeID required for supplier registration?

A Business BCeID is used to authenticate an organization and its users’ identity. BCeID is used as your unique identifier to login to the BC Bid system. Each user within a supplier organization will be required to have a Business BCeID. For more information on registering and managing a Business BCeID account, please see www.bceid.ca.

Can Suppliers outside of BC register for BC Bid?

Yes. Suppliers from outside of B.C. are invited to register for BC Bid. Those organizations need to obtails Business BCeIDs to register.

What if home office is outside B.C., with locations within B.C.?

After you have a Business BCeID for each user, you would set up your main account profile, then add the BC offices as additional sites in the BC Bid application.

What is the Supplier Admin role?

The first person from a supplier organization to register with BC Bid assumes the Supplier Admin role, managing the account administration, including adding new users as well as managing subscriptions and eBidding access.

Can the Supplier Admin Role be transferred within an organization?

Yes. It is recommended for suppliers to have more than one user registered in BC Bid, each with their own Business BCeID credentials under their organization’s Business BCeID account. Once these BCeID accounts are in place, and the user completes registration in BC Bid, it is simple for the Supplier Admin to transfer their role to another BC Bid user within the BC Bid supplier organization account.

Where can suppliers find opportunities?

Opportunities are posted in BC Bid. 

Will suppliers submit responses online?

Suppliers are encouraged to subscribe to and take advantage of e-Bidding capabilities. Some opportunities may allow for offline submissions.

How can a supplier get on an interested supplier list?

Posted opportunities may include an Interested Supplier List tab. In this tab, registered suppliers can choose to publicly show they are interested in an opportunity. This allows general contractors and subcontractors to reach out to other businesses on the list that may be interested in working together to complete the requirements of the posted opportunity. The Interested Supplier List tab is an optional feature for buyers.

The interested supplier list is separate from starting a submission. As a supplier, you must submit a response to be considered for an opportunity. For the steps to add yourself to an interested supplier list, please see Plan holders and interested suppliers list of Step 3 – Start submission in the Supplier Guide.

Why are suppliers asked to resubmit their bids following an amendment?

Significant material changes in the form of amendments will cancel an existing bid. This is designed to allow you to resubmit, as it will not be known which aspects of an amendment will or will not impact your bid. This ensures you are not bound to a bid that is inaccurate or disqualifying.

You will be alerted when an amendment is released for opportunities you have submitted a response to. If there is no change to your bid, the application will allow you to easily resubmit your existing submission.

Smaller changes may be entered as addenda, such as responses to questions or non-material changes but it’s advised to always check with the opportunity’s Official Contact on their specific polices and practices. 

Will buyers still accept fax, paper, and email submissions?

The Buyer will define which modes of submission delivery will be accepted. If you are unsure, connect with the Official Contact of the procurement to confirm your options.

How many types of paid subscriptions are available and what is the cost?

 There are 2 types of subscriptions:

  1. e-Bidding - $150 annually
    1. e-Bidding enables suppliers to submit electronic bid responses within the application.
  2. Notifications - $100 annually
    1. Notifications enable suppliers to select the commodity codes they are interested in and receive notifications when opportunities matching the selected commodity codes are posted in BC Bid. 

Note: BC Bid uses UNSPSC commodity codes (United Nations Standard Products and Services Code).

Do I need a subscription in BC Bid?

Suppliers who have registered in the application but have not subscribed for any of the paid services will be able to submit their bids by email or hard copy bidding, if permitted in the opportunity. Subscriptions are recommended to save time and costs for the suppliers.

In addition, BC Timber Sales (BCTS) suppliers will not pay for e-Bidding. Upon registration, those subscriptions will be enabled by the BC Bid Help Desk.

Does each supplier organization hold one subscription, or are subscriptions based on users?

Individual users will set up and pay for their own subscriptions, which can be set up for alerts to different sets of commodity codes. The Supplier Admin can also pay for subscriptions for each user.

Are annual subscriptions based on a calendar year or date of registration?

Renewals are annual. Subscriptions to e-Bidding and notifications begin on the date of registration and remain active for an entire year. Renewals are not automatic, and subscriptions will expire if not renewed.

How will I know when my subscription needs to be renewed?

The subscriber will receive the notification for renewal via the contact email provided at the time of registration. An expiry notification alert will be sent to supplier contact email for the subscription one month prior to, seven days prior to, and on the date of expiry. Suppliers can renew by logging into BC Bid, clicking on the Renew button, and making a payment.

Why am I getting an Access denied message when I try to logon to BC Bid?

If you receive the Access Denied message at the Buyer registration form, please click on your name in the top right corner and click "log out" then reload the form. If you are not able to locate your name in the top right corner, please clear your browsing history & cookies before you attempt to login or click on the Buyer registration form again.

Please allow up to 5 business days after submitting your Buyer registration for the BC Bid support team to create your profile in the system. You will receive a notification once your registration has been processed by the BC Bid helpdesk.


All buyers

How is the current BC Bid different from the previous system for ministry buyers?

Most procurements are managed as they were in the past, with buyers selecting an opportunity type from a set list and uploading the opportunity as an attachment. This information appears to vendors when they search for opportunities. For ministry buyers, some procurement types now have integrated workflows in the application, including government’s Timber Auction and Invitation to Quote.

Is it possible to access previous procurements in BC Bid?

  • Historical data from April 1, 2015, to December 15, 2022, is available in BC Bid.
  • Historical data before April 1, 2015 is not available.

For more information on historical BC Bid data, please see the step on Accessing Historical BC Bid data on the BC Bid for broader public sector page or the BC Bid for ministries page.

What do we need to do if a team member with active projects in BC Bid leaves the team abruptly?

It's always recommended to have more than one user registered for your organization to avoid disruption in this type of situation. A registered team member in the responsible role can modify role assignments through the supplier portal. If the team member in the responsible role is not able to make the change, please contact the BC Bid Help Desk to make the change.

Is there a limit on how many commodities that you can apply when creating a sourcing project?

There is no limit on how many commodity codes you can select. For more information on adding multiple commodity codes can be found in Ministry Buyer Guide > Step 1 – Create Sourcing Project in the Creating Sourcing Project section.

When you create an account, can you use a generic login for your organization?

Each user needs their own account and login credentials. This is a security feature that allows the application to maintain an audit trail or traceability for any actions taken within the opportunity.

Do suppliers get invited to register, or does the buyer register the supplier?

All suppliers can register through the BC Bid Public Portal. After a supplier registers, you will be able to invite them to a particular opportunity.

Do contractors need multiple accounts in BC Bid if they support more than one organization/ministry?

No, contractors only need one BCeID and/or IDIR to create an account in BC Bid and post on behalf of Broader Public Sector (BPS) organizations or ministries. The contractor should register for a BC Bid account under one BPS organization or ministry they provide support for. To post on behalf of:

  • A BPS organization, the contractor must register using a Basic BCeID (not a Business BCeID).
    • The BPS Access Agreement for the BPS organization would cover the contractor, and the contractor should not submit a BPS Access Agreement.
  • A ministry, the contractor can register using an existing IDIR if they have one, or a Basic BCeID.

After this account is ready for use, the contractor needs to contact the BC Bid Help Desk to request access to any other BPS organizations or ministries they support. The Help Desk will seek approval from the organizations/ministries identified, and if approved, the Help Desk will provide the requested access to the contractor.

Another option, at the sourcing project level, would be to invite registered users manually to only access that opportunity. Users added in this way wouldn't have a view into any other buyer portal opportunities.

When I’m setting up my team in a project, do I have to set myself to a specific role as contact for the posting?

If you don't want to receive any communication from suppliers, then you could reassign the official contact role to a different person and you could stay in that project as either a read only or as a contributor. For more information on roles, please see the Create a Sourcing Project step in the appropriate user guide.

Will we be able to see the number of suppliers that have submitted proposals before the opportunity closes? Can I see if we are receiving a good number of responses and possibly complete an amendment to extend the date?

Buyers can see who has clicked Start Submission, however you won’t know if those were completed and submitted until after the closing date. The responsible role for the opportunity should receive a notification when a submission is submitted electronically. If you intend to extend the closing date of an opportunity, you must do that prior to the closing date.

Why am I getting an Access denied message when I try to logon to BC Bid?

  • If you receive the Access Denied message at the Supplier registration form, make sure you are using an active Business BCeID and not a Basic BCeID.
  • To confirm your BCeID account type, log on to the BCeID website and click on your name (top right corner) to display your account information including your BCeID account type (basic, business, personal).
  • If you do not have a Business BCeID, visit the Register for a Business BCeID page to start the process.
  • If you have an active Business BCeID, and you still get an access denied message in BC Bid, please contact the BC Bid helpdesk for assistance at bcbid@gov.bc.ca and provide your Business BCeID username.

Ministry buyers

What supports are in place to help me learn the application?

There is a full suite of learning resources available on BC Procurement Resources’ Ministry Buyer Guide, along with a link to access the practice environment. Users are encouraged to continue learning and practice in the training environment.

If you have any questions as you complete self-guided practice and training, please connect with one of your ministry's Super Trainers or Ministry Trainers/Coaches for additional support.

As a Ministry Buyer, how do I access the Training Environment?

The training environment is accessed from the Ministry Buyer Guide learning resources web page.

If you do not have access to the training environment, try the troubleshooting tips below before sending an email to bcbid@gov.bc.ca.

  • Ensure you are using your IDIR to log in.
  • Google Chrome is the suggested browser - please ensure you have the latest version downloaded.
  • In Chrome you can try to clear your cache (Ctrl+shift+Del) or go to the 3 vertical dots in the top right of the window > hover the indicator over More Tools > click Clear Browser Data.

Is BC Bid going to allow me to track views and downloads for a particular opportunity posted by myself and/or by my organization?

A buyer can see when a registered supplier has logged in and accessed a particular opportunity, when they have downloaded one or more files from the posting, how many times they have logged in to that opportunity, and the last time they accessed that opportunity.


Broader Public Sector buyers

If we had a BCeID for the previous BC Bid, do we have to get another one for the current BC Bid or can we use the same one?

BPS Buyers must use a Basic BCeID, or a government issued IDIR to register in the current BC Bid (not a Business BCeID). To confirm if an existing BCeID is Basic or Business, please go to the BCeID website and log in. After you log in, it will tell you what type of BCeID you have. If your existing BCeID is a Basic BCeID, you can use it to register as a BPS Buyer.

Once you have your Basic BCeID, it is important that you follow the process on the BC Bid Portal, login, and registration for BPS Buyers page to complete your registration. Not following the appropriate process for registering as a BPS buyer may result in creation of a supplier account instead of a buyer account.

Do BPS entities need to update their templates for BC Bid?

The province does not provide direction on broader public sector (BPS) procurement templates. If you wish to update or make changes to your existing templates, you may start by exploring the new ministry templates for examples of how templates can be structured to work within BC Bid. Corporate ministry templates can be found on the Solicitation processes and templates page on the BC Procurement Resources website.

Can we use BC Bid to post opportunity and notice links to other procurement platforms, without adding all the documents and additional information?

Yes. When you post in BC Bid, fill in the basic information so that people can find your opportunity, then use the ‘other submission delivery field’ and post your link to your procurement platform. Please be aware that the responsibility to align with trade laws, legislation, and your organizational policies remains with you as a buyer.

As a contractor who assists broader public sector clients by posting on BC Bid on behalf of my clients, how will BC Bid know that I’m associated with a specific BPS entity when I register for an account?

Based on the information in your registration, there is a process the help desk will work through to verify that you are authorized to have an account with the ability to post on behalf of a specific BPS entity.

As a contractor using BC Bid on behalf of a BPS entity, do I need to complete my own Access Agreement?

No, one Access Agreement form is completed by each BPS entity. When you register as an Additional User on a BPS entity account, the form completed by that entity will apply to you.