Opportunities and Contracts

How does the University select its suppliers

The University uses a range of different methods to identify and appoint suppliers. We do not hold lists of ‘approved’ suppliers, instead we use formal contracts, framework agreements or similar arrangements.

Purchases below £50,000

At this value, the University’s colleges and professional service areas are responsible for undertaking their own purchasing. Typically this will involve obtaining three quotations, it is up to the college or professional service area to determine which suppliers they seek quotes from. The Procurement Team is not directly involved in these purchases and the opportunities will not normally be advertised.

Purchases above £50,000

The University’s Procurement Team will become involved at this value and a more formal process will apply. This will sometimes involve advertising opportunities on Contracts Finder. This is a free to use website on which a wide range of public sector contracts are advertised.

The University is also subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. This is legislation which requires purchases with values above certain thresholds to follow formal tendering procedures. All expenditure for goods, services or works with a total contract value above the thresholds have to be advertised on Contracts Finder and on the Find a tender website. The relevant thresholds are as follows:

Type of Contract Threshold
Supplies/Services £179,087
Works Contracts £4,477,174

Framework Agreements

For some purchases, the University accesses suppliers (and awards contracts) through framework agreements in order to benefit from collaborative procurement. These are established by third party organisations such as North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium, The University Caterers Organisation and Scape.  Framework agreement opportunities are advertised on Contracts Finder and on Find a Tender.

Construction suppliers

For contracts for the University’s Estates team, if the contract value is less than the above thresholds, the University may use the Constructionline website to identify contractors to be invited to compete for contracts. Constructionline is the UK’s largest register for pre-qualified contractors and consultants working in the construction sector. The Scape frameworks are also regularly used for construction (and related professional services) contracts.

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