Standardized Agreements, Bidding Documents and Guidance Manuals

There has been a long tradition of the use of standardized agreements for the procurement of goods and services for traditional public works projects and many international financial institutions including the World Bank require the use of standard bidding documents for the projects that they fund. The use of standardized contracts for complex public-private partnership (PPP) transactions is less common and to date international financial institutions have not produced standardized agreements for PPP transactions.

On the national level many countries have developed model bidding documents, model contracts or key contract clauses, along with guidance manuals. This includes a number of jurisdictions with extensive PPP programs such as the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. Standardized agreements are also increasingly used for specific sectors to reduce the costs for each single contract. Other countries incorporate some standardized elements in overall legislation to govern all PPP contracts.

Set out below are links to examples of standardized PPP agreements, PPP contract clauses, bidding documents and guidance manuals that were developed on the national and international level:

National Standardization Initiatives

Standardized Bidding Documents and Guidelines 

Here you find samples of standard bidding documents and guidance on preparing bidding documents developed for various countries.

Standardized PPP Contracts and Contract Clauses

What is a PPP Contract?

The term 'PPP contract' refers to the contractual documents that govern the relationship between the public and private parties in a PPP transaction. These documents set out the rights and obligations of the parties, deal with the allocation of risk, and mechanisms for dealing with change. In practice, the 'PPP contract' can encompass several documents and agreements. For details see Box 3.9: "What is the PPP Contract" (p. 150) of the PPP Reference Guide.

Examples of Standardized PPP Contracts and Contract Clauses




New Zealand

South Africa


United Kingdom

Sector Specific Standardized PPP Agreements and Contract Clauses


South Korea

United Kingdom

United States

International Standardization Initiatives

Revised Report on Recommended PPP Contractual Provisions

Revised Report on Recommended PPP Contractual Provisions, prepared by Gide Loyrette Nouel at the request of the World Bank, July 2015.

Standardized Documentation for the Public Procurement of Goods and Services

Many international finance institutions including the World Bank have standardized documentation for the public procurement of goods and services. For details visit Procurement Processes and Bidding Documents.

Guidelines for PPP Laws and Concession Laws

Some international development organizations have also developed guidelines for PPP laws and concession laws that contain details with regard to the content of the contractual arrangements. For more information visit PPP Laws/Concession Laws.

Standard Bidding Document (SPD) for Works and Operation Services

This Standard Procurement Document (SPD) has been prepared by the World Bank for Initial Selection of Applicants for the Request for Proposals (RFP) for procurement of Works & Operation Service (Design, Build and Operations for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants. This SPD is applicable to the procurement of Works &  Operation Service (Design, Build and Operate) for water and wastewater treatment plants with IBRD or IDA financing whose Legal Agreement makes reference to the Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers.

Find the documents for Design, Build and Operation (DBO) of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants here World Bank Sample Bidding Documents for Design, Build and Operation for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants

Further Reading and Resources

Video: Should Standardized Agreements Be Used in PPP Contracts - A Debate, Law, Justice and Development Week 2014.

Public-Private Partnership Reference Guide, Version: 3.0, a joint product of the World Bank Group, ADB, EBRD, GI Hub, IADB, IsDB, OECD, UNECE, and UNESCAP, third edition, 2017, Table 3.1 "Examples of Standardized PPP Contracts and Contract Clauses", p. 151.


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Updated: May 3, 2024