Business & Enterprise

Trading with us

Procurement & Business Services is your first point of contact for doing business with the university.

We are a major modern UK university delivering teaching and learning covering various subject areas to a diverse range of students. Our three campuses extend from Maritime Greenwich to Medway, serving South East London, Kent Thames-side and West Kent. Procurement and Business Services overseas arrangements for non-pay spend on supplies, services, and minor maintenance works are in excess of  £35 million per annum, in addition to special capital projects.

The information provided below seeks to assist suppliers, contractors, and consultants who wish to express an interest in doing business with the University.

Our objectives

Our Procurement Vision and Policy

Working collaboratively with clients, providers and public bodies to implement efficient and cost-effective procurement practices that achieve Value for Money expended on Supplies, Services, and Works and support the University's Strategic Objectives including corporate social responsibilities, primarily equalities and sustainability

Our Strategic Objectives

The Strategic Procurement Objectives for the University' are:

  1. Raise the level of appropriate procurement knowledge, skills and expertise and make them accessible to all staff involved in the supply chain and students where appropriate.
  2. High priority to supporting research and enterprise activities through targeted procurement action.
  3. Embed the University's Corporate Social Responsibilities at all stages of the Procurement process and encourage the engagement and long term commitment of senior management, Requisitioners, user representatives, Governors and suppliers to a collaborative procurement culture.
  4. Train and develop staff engaged in the Procurement process to enhance service quality outcomes.
  5. Procurement Arrangements and Practices to reflect the internationalisation of the University.
  6. Train and develop students in Procurement to enhance their employability.
  7. Procurement Practice to reflect and embed University Values.

Our Buyer Profile

Providing contact details and future, outlines of our Procurement Policy, information on purchase plans, current and past contracts in a freely accessible on the University's web site. By posting and communicating this procurement information, suppliers and contractors are provided the opportunity to access Procurement Policy and Procedures, current and past contract awards and future tenders to be undertaken by Procurement & Business Services.

Purchase Plans

Information on forthcoming contracts will be advertised via the e-Tendering system.

Policies, permits and contractor documents

All Suppliers and those working on university premises must adhere to the university policies some of which you are to made aware of are below:

Contractor Rules | Contractor H&S Questionnaire | Contractors Working on University Premises | Sign up to - Safety, Health and Environmental Requirements for Contractors | Permit to Work Checklist | CDM Guidance | Guidance - appointment and control of contractors | Anti-Bribery Policy | Equality and Diversity Policy Statement | Fire Policy & Procedures | Public Interest (Whistleblowing)  | General Data Processing Regulations Policy (Agreement) | Modern Slavery Statement | Insurance at the University | Safeguarding Policy

Equalities and small, medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

Suppliers qualify as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) if they fulfil the criteria laid down in the recommendation which are summarised in the table below. In addition to the staff headcount ceiling, an enterprise qualifies as an SME if it meets either the turnover ceiling or the balance sheet ceiling, but not necessarily both.

Enterprise categoryHeadcountTurnover(or) Balance sheet total
Large organisation250+ employees€ 50 million +€ 43 million +
Medium-sized< 250

< € 50 million

< € 43 million
Small< 50< € 10 million< € 10 million
Micro< 10< € 2 million< € 2 million

The university aims to support our local and small medium enterprises (SME). 

The university aims to be an equal opportunity buyer to find out more visit our Equality in Purchasing Cycle and our Equality in Purchasing Process.

Sustainability matters

We are aiming to become more a sustainable buyer thereby reducing the impact on our planets resources, and of course we can not do this without your help. Please see the below links for more information.

How Does Sustainable Procurement Affect You?

All suppliers and contractors should be committed to assisting the university and supporting our Sustainability Policy and Sustainable Procurement Policy.

These policies affect suppliers and contractors in numerous ways. Key implications affecting businesses include:

  • demand for sustainable supplies and services;
  • importance of environmental management systems;
  • whole life costing.

Sustainable supplies and services

The University of Greenwich, fellow HEIs and the wider public sector all have environmental policies and targets. Procurement plays a big part within this and as a result, organisations are increasingly requiring more sustainable supplies and services.

At the University of Greenwich, we are working to embed the 'Government Buying Standards' into our specifications. The Standards have been developed by Defra and while they are mandatory for central Government bodies they are considered best practice for the wider public sector too. The specifications cover a large range of supplies including electronics, IT and building and construction materials. By supplying products that meet these standards, businesses will place themselves in a good position to continue supplying the public sector in the future.

Other specifications to be aware of include:

Environmental management

An environmental management system (EMS) allows businesses to measure improve and their environmental impacts. At the University of Greenwich, we are asking suppliers and prospective suppliers to provide us with information about any EMS they have as this confirms that they are committed to continual sustainability improvement.

The two most common environmental management system certification programmes are:

SMEs: If you work for a small or medium sized business (SME) in the London area, free support is available from Global Action Plan, a climate change charity helping companies and individuals to make environmental and financial savings. This support can assist smaller businesses in measuring their environmental impact and identify areas for cost savings. Reductions are also available on their EMS training. 

The University of Greenwich currently holds EcoCampus Silver certification and we are working towards Gold. EcoCampus is closely aligned with ISO14001 and is designed for the higher education (HE) sector.

Whole life costing

Whole life costing involves consideration of the full cost of supplies, services and works to an organisation over their lifetime. As well as acquisition costs this includes energy costs, disposal costs. Procurement & Business Services at the University of Greenwich are currently embedding this approach within our tender process. National and regional purchasing consortia are also adopting this approach when undertaking large tenders. It is thus important for businesses to be supplying energy efficient, sustainable options.

The life cycle impacts of supplies extend far beyond just their cost to the university. However, The university's purchasing power has an effect not just on the product use stage, but also throughout the entirety of the product life cycle. On key commodity groups, we will be working with suppliers and contractors to encourage lower life cycle impacts. Environmental management systems and supply chain management are important here.

Sustainable Policy

Sustainable procurement is a process whereby organisations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organisation but also to society and the economy, whilst minimising damage to the environment

The University of Greenwich has policies and strategies to highlight our commitment to inform, encourage all interested stakeholders including staff, students, suppliers and prospective suppliers to be committed and responsible for ensuring a successful shift to improve a more sustainable procurement.

Any questions or comments regarding sustainable procurement please contact us.

Resources and Links

Freedom of Information Act statement for tenderers

The attention of Tenderer's is drawn to the following statement on the University's obligation regarding disclosure of information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

  1. The University undertakes to use its best endeavours to hold confidential any information provided by Tenderer's in response to an Invitation to Tender, subject to the University's obligations under law regarding disclosure.
  2. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 applied to the University and all its wholly owned subsidiary companies from 1st January 2005. From that date any individual can request access to any records held, subject to the various exemptions provisions in the Act.
  3. Tenderer's who wish that any of the information supplied in the Tender should not be disclosed, should, when providing the information, identify if any of the information supplied in response to an Invitation to Tender is confidential or commercially sensitive and should not be disclosed in response to a request for information under the aforementioned Act. The tenderer should state why they consider the information to be confidential or commercially sensitive. The onus is on the Tenderer to identify sensitive areas to the University in the tender submission.
  4. Please note that the University is not under any obligation to refuse to release any information that is marked confidential, and it is up to the University to judge whether exemptions apply and whether information should be released. Please also note that in the event that no information is identified as confidential or commercially sensitive, then it is likely to be released in response to a request under the Act. It will be the policy of the University to consult with relevant parties prior to making a decision under the Act, where possible. The University will in all instances be bound by the findings of the Information Commissioner with regard to any requests under the Act.

Preferred list criteria

Suppliers' Obligations

Suppliers who are registered on our e-Tendering system are responsible for updating their basic details as an when changes occur and at least annually. Suppliers will receive automatic notices by the In-Tend system of documents that are due to expire.

Accredited and Framework Suppliers

Suppliers who are accredited Constructionline Gold/Silver or who have been awarded a contract from a consortia body (LUPC, SUPC, NWUPC, CCS, etc.) are exempt from uploading documents for the categories which they have been assessed, However, it would be appreciated and mutually beneficial if all supplier detail fields are completed to ensure that you are included in tender lists for future projects.

Supporting Documents

With the exception of Accredited and Framework Agreement suppliers, the University's Due Diligence process requires that supporting documents are provided before adoption as a supplier to the university, particularly where the value exceeds our tendering threshold. Suppliers satisfying the criteria become eligible to express an interest in and may be invited to tender.

The process will then be as follows:-

  1. Complete all Supplier Details on the system, the following company information is requested if applicable: -
    • Financial (Audited Accounts/Credit Check)
    • Insurances (Public/Employers/Professional Indemnity/Products etc.)
    • Policies (Health & Safety/Equal Opportunities/Environmental/Quality)
    • References (Client contact information)
    • Accreditation's applicable to your business.
  2. Upload the documents to your Company Documents area, the Help section and Supplier Guide is available to aid you in the process.
  3. Download, complete and submit the tender documents via 'My Tenders' in the e-Tendering system.
  4. A successful or a unsuccessful notice will be sent informing you via the system. Tenderers will either receive an unsuccessful decline letter or successful award letter and possibly issued  Articles of Agreement/Contract to sign and submit via In-Tend.
  5. You will be registered for an order to be issued via our purchase ordering system.

Supplier's status' categorised using on of the following traffic light system:

StatusCriteria
GreenPreferred or Constructionline accredited.
AmberAble to provide business under tendering threshold, process commenced but incomplete, require supporting documents or updates, if exceeding the financial limit/tendering/contracted.
GoldSME's (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises including local suppliers meeting specific needs in expenditure levels below £10,000 pa and not yet required to complete the full assessment process.
RedSuppliers who are not to be used as a result of expired documentation, poor service performance or unresolved issues.

Suppliers will receive automatic notices of documents due to expire.

Priority will be given to suppliers with a Green status when selecting firms for competitive quotations by Faculties and Directorates and tenders by Procurement & Business Services.

Suppliers with Amber status may be invited to submit quotations and tenders, subject to outstanding information Being uploaded.

Quick Quotes

How Quick Quotes Works

We are gradually rolling out the use of "Quick Quotes" through our e-Tendering System. "Quick Quotes" allows authorised staff in Faculties, Directorates and Institutes to invite suppliers and contractors to submit quotations for expenditures below the competitive tendering threshold of £75,000.

This will enhance efficiency in transacting business between the university and suppliers, as well as provide information on the requirements profiles across the University for Procurement planning purposes.

The procedure to submit your "Quick Quote" proposal is the same as the tender return procedure so please see our Guide to In-Tend for more information.

Suppliers' contact details must be kept up to date as "Quick Quotes" requests are sent out by email notification and we are keen to ensure that potential suppliers are given every opportunity to quote for requirements.

Tendering procedure

The University's Procurement rules and procedures are based on probity, accountability,  efficiency, and value for money.  Our financial thresholds reflect these.

For expenditure under £75,000, competitive quotations are sought by authorised staff in Faculties, Institutes, and Directorates in consultation with Procurement & Business Services.

For expenditures exceeding £75,000 competitive tenders are sought by Procurement & Business Services.  Where the EU Financial Thresholds are likely to be reached, i.e. £181,302 for Supplies and/or Services, and £4,551,413 for Works, tender opportunities are advised in the Official Journal of the European Communities, Suppliers must meet the specific selection criteria for inclusion of a Select List of Tenderers.

The tendering procedure involves the provision of documents for completion by suppliers, which usually include the following sections:

  • Pre-Qualification Questionnaire
  • Invitation to Tender letter
  • Form of Tender
  • Conditions of Contract and Special Conditions
  • Requirements Specification
  • Preambles and Tender Return Instruction
  • Instructions for Tendering
  • Schedules/Bills of Quantities

Tenders are to be submitted via the University's electronic tendering system for opening, analysis, and evaluation by a Tender Evaluation Panel comprising of the clients/users, and a representative of Procurement & Business Services. All tenderers are informed of the result of the tender process based on good practice and compliance with University Financial Regulations, Procurement Procedures, and statutory provisions.

On acceptance of a tender by the University, a Purchase Order will be issued via our eProcurement system, and performance monitored jointly by the lead client and Procurement & Business Services.

Procuring systems

With a range of electronic systems in place our procuring processes are more efficient and cost effective.

Our e-Tendering system is being used in a phased manner by both Procurement & Business Services buyers and potential suppliers. Provided suppliers maintain their information, the facility removes the need to re-submit additional pre-qualification information for every tender invitation, facilitates managing Approved Lists, Tenders, Mini Competitions, Quotations and Contracts at no cost to you.

For more information on you are invited to visit our Guide to the e-Tendering System.

The Purchase Ordering system allowing the University's Faculties and Directorates to order efficiently.

Constructionline - Contractor pre-qualification Scheme which reduces the need for duplicated analysis.

How to register

In order to secure and sustain value for money we pursue a Collaborative Procurement strategy involving participation in some consortia and framework agreements. If you are registered under a HE or Consortia framework agreement, do let us know and you may be admitted onto our Preferred Suppliers List without having to re-complete the full assessment process.

Contractors and consultants registered with Constructionline the UK's largest qualification register forms the basis of our accredited supply base for works and construction-related procurement. Streamlining the process of selecting suitable contractors through integration with our e-Tendering system. If you are not on Constructionline, you are strongly advised to register now and thereby avoid duplication of effort as well as improve your opportunities of securing contracts.

For other applicants you are required to register all information outlined in our preferred list criteria.

Please, complete our Initial Registration Request Form (IRRF1) or alternatively supply to procurement-team@gre.ac.uk your basic company details, i.e.

  • Registered Company Name.
  • Registered Number.
  • Registered Address.
  • General Contact Information.
  • Contact Details (e-mail and telephone numbers) for two persons.
  • Your Business Types - The Goods/Services/Works you provide as per the UNSPSC Coding Structure.