How we buy goods and services

Find out how your business can become a supplier and when we tender for contracts.

The usual route to become a supplier is via a tendering process. Contracts with a value of £75,000 or more will usually (subject to certain exceptions) be put through a tender process, with the most common procedure being an open tender available to any supplier. 

The process varies depending on the value and type of contract on offer:

  • Contracts for more than £172,514 of goods and services and more than £4,332,012 for works are advertised in the Official Journal for the European Union (OJEU).
  • For transactions of £75,000 and up to the OJEU threshold we will follow a formal tender process and seek at least 3 competitive tenders.
  • For transactions of more than £5,000 but less than £75,000, we will seek at least 3 written quotations before a formal purchase order is issued. 
  • For transactions under £5,000 it is down to the purchasing member of staff to select an appropriate supplier. 

Consortia arrangements 

We also access suppliers through consortia arrangements. The most common consortia that we access are: 

You will need to contact the consortium directly to become a supplier.

Supplying schools

Purchasing powers are vested in each school's governing body and they control their own budgets. 

Schools have a duty to ensure fair and transparent competitive procedures and may have contracts large enough to require tendering.

Schools are subject to EC public procurement requirements and where individual contracts exceed the EC thresholds they must comply with the EC directives for purchasing.

The Supplies Team helps schools source their requirements.

Last updated:
11 July 2017

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