Direct bidding projects are selected through open competition in order to ensure that the best projects are chosen. For projects to reach the appraisal stage, all applicants must pass the Equal Opportunities Gateway questionnaire. Projects must score full marks (6 points) for this section as no other score is possible. There are three separate questionnaires depending on the project type, i.e. targeting individuals, businesses, research, unemployed people etc. Section 4 of the application form contains 9 questions, 8 of which are marked. These are scored on the basis of whether applicants have fully, partly, or not at all answered the appropriate question. Both applicants and scoring panel are helped if answers have reference to each bullet point a, b, c etc. All evidence needs to be recent, relevant and clearly referenced. Each section has a different points allocation and the whole scored section is worth 100 marks.
Government Office is responsible for assessing to what extent the proposed project strategically fits regional objectives outlined in the RDPi. To determine this all submitted applications are scored by a Scoring Panel consisting of representatives from the different sectors. Scoring is done in pairs, two people from different sectors are paired up and score applications that are from a different sector and geographical area. Scoring pairs cannot score applications from their own sectors or their own area. Although scorers can read all of the application it is first the Equal Opportunities Gateway questionnaire that must be allocated full marks and then Section 4 of the application is scored. In order to reach the minimum quality threshold you need to score 65 out of a potential 100 marks. For research projects the minimum quality threshold is 57. All applications that score over the minimum threshold go on to the second stage of project selection – appraisal. Those scoring under 65 are not recommended for funding as they have failed the minimum quality threshold.