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Qualifying Sub-Contract or "QSC"

For a contract to be a qualifying subcontract (QSC) it must fulfil the following: 

Scope of Supply

It is a contract under which the contracting authority procures anything for the purposes of a QDC or QSC.

Monetary Value Threshold

It is a contract that has a value of £25 million or more and at least 50% of the value of the obligations under the contract are in support of fulfilling a QDC(s) or QSC(s).

Excluded Contract Descriptions (Categories)

It is a contract that is not within an excluded contract category (see note 1). 

Contract Nature & Notification

It is a contract where the award is not the result of a competitive process and the contracting authority has notified the sub-contractor and the Secretary of State that the contract is considered to be a QSC (see note 2)


Note 1: Excluded contract descriptions are (a) contracts made within the framework of an international cooperative defence programme; or (b) contracts made wholly for the purposes of one or more of the following — 

(i) the acquisition of land (including existing buildings or other structures, and land covered with water), and any estate, interest, easement, servitude or right in or over such land; 

(ii) the management or maintenance of any land or buildings or other structures; or 

(iii) intelligence activities. 

Note 2: The subcontractor may appeal the QSC assessment decision through the SSRO.

Please note that the Single Source Contract (Amendment) Regulations 2018 has made amendments to the 2014 regulations in order to seek to limit the extent of the exclusions for intelligence activities and international defence programs described above