Procurement deliver central purchasing and contracting services. We are a subsection of Finance and report to the Finance Director.

University Office
University of Aberdeen
King's College
AB24 3FX

t: +44 (0) 1224 27 4467


The Procurement team provides help and advice on all aspects of buying goods or services for the University. We will help you select the best suppliers and achieve best overall value for money, whatever you are buying, whether from unrestricted or research funds.  We aim to ensure that institutional procurement activity remains compliant with institutional regulations and national legislation. We will assist with questions on best practice; assist with any purchases; will provide guidance on major projects, and are responsible for ensuring that all University Schools and Directorates operate within the Public Procurement - Procurement (Scotland) Regulations and EU Directives.

If your requirement may be £50,000 or above, you must contact the Procurement Office (with the exception to building works that are controlled by the Estates Section).

Our Team
Helane Gannicliffe - Head Procurement

Helane heads the section and manages the work of the team. She sets procurement strategy and operational planning.  Provides advice on all procurement matters particularly on high value/high risk procurements.  Helane approves any requisitions of values greater than £50,000 and reviews any sole supplier transaction over £25,000.

Leon Mouat - Contract Manager

Leon line manages the Contracts Team and Supplier Administrators.  He provides advice on all procurement matters, manages and conducts tender exercises of particularly high value (i.e. over £50K).  He is responsible for management of the University Contract register and the local management of national and consortium agreements.  

Linda Leslie and Demie Hall - Supplier Administrators (job-share)

Linda and Demie deal with Supplier set ups - from actually setting them up on the Finance & Procurement system, amending details of existing Suppliers, to carrying out credit checks. They also maintain the supplier information and product catalogues held for the Finance & Procurement system.

Awo Frimpong - Contract Officer

Awo manages tenders in compliance with current legislation and University Finance and Procurement Regulations.  She is responsible for preparing procurement sourcing strategies for each tender exercise she is involved with.  Awo advises and guides non-procurement staff on procurement matters and legislative requirements. She participates in and leads user intelligence and commodity group activities and leads on institutional procurement initiatives. 

Awo contract manages the University's contract with Office Depot, who provide the University with stationery, paper and computer consumables and the taxi services contract


Martin Phillips - Trainee Contract Officer

Martin manages tenders in compliance with current legislation and University Finance and Procurement Regulations.  He is responsible for preparing procurement sourcing strategies for each tender exercise he is involved with.  Martin advises and guides non-procurement staff on procurement matters and legislative requirements.  He participates in and leads user intelligence and commodity group activities and contract manages the central contracts for leased vehicles and lab maintenance and assists with Estates Termed Contracts

He is working towards MCIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) professional membership

Aileen Johnston - Procurement Assistant

Aileen is the first point of contact for queries by telephone, email or post. Amongst other things, she provides admin support to the Procurement Team and routine contract tasks.  Aileen maintains the section web pages, the Procurement helpdesk and eInvoicing adoption project. She is also involved with ordering and expediting goods and services using the Finance & Procurement system.

Buying Procedures

The following information is designed to give an overview of the Buying Procedures. This includes the preparation before the process is started, what the thresholds are, and how to handle receipt of quotations, along with all other relevant information.

The Procurement Thresholds are as follows:-

Procurement Thresholds & Buying Procedures

The definitions of "quotations" and "tenders" vary from institution to institution. The interpretation used for the purposes of this guide is that "quotation" is the relatively straightforward exercise of seeking price and delivery details for goods or services which are easily specified. A "tender" is the more formal and detailed exercise of obtaining sealed bids for goods or services where the value is high, or the specification is detailed or complex, or where special terms and conditions apply.

Please contact Procurement on who will be happy to provide you with help, advice and examples of quotation documents. 


Based on the above thresholds use appropriate procedure

  • Plan the process. Agree what the significant dates will be and who will be involved at each stage.
  • Establish a means of recording the process from start to finish. It is recommended that departments maintain a register of all quotation exercises.
  • Allow sufficient time and resource to manage the process. This especially refers to projects over £50K.  Some complex tender exercises can take several weeks of work to complete and it is not possible to cut corners.
  • Properly explore the market.  Ensure that the required amount of suppliers are given an opportunity to bid. Prepare a Bid Summary of all of the suppliers who have applied to quote or who have been invited to quote
Procedures for £1K to £10K
  • Prepare the Standard Quotation template and email to the selected suppliers
  • Obtain at least *Three written quotations from suitable suppliers (where practicable)
  • Allow adequate time for the suppliers to respond properly. This will obviously vary with the complexity of the specification, but a minimum of one week is recommended.
  • Treat all potential suppliers equally.
  • If valid questions are received from one firm before the deadline, it is important to ensure all suppliers have the same information.  This could be sent to all suppliers as a Question & Answer sheet.
  • Evaluate quotations and record all quotations received on a Bid Summary form
  • Award the contract to selected supplier and inform the other suppliers that they have been unsuccessful. (See Award Letter template and Unsuccessful Letter for Standard ITQ)
  • Create a requisition on OneSource and complete Message Field advising relevant quotes obtained
Procedures for £10K to £50K
  • Indentify and select suitable suplliers
  • Prepare and issue the Formal Invitation to Quotation template.
    • Conduct a Formal procedure and obtain at least THREE written quotations from suitable suppliers (where practicable) and include full specification of requirements, scope of contract, evaluation criteria & standard terms & conditions.
  • Allow adequate time for the suppliers to respond properly. This will obviously vary with the complexity of the specification, but a minimum of two weeks is recommended
  • You will have fixed a time for receipt of tenders.  Any late tenders should not be accepted. 
  • Allow adequate time to evaluate responses.  Treat all potential suppliers equally.
  • If valid questions are received from one firm before the deadline, it is important to ensure all suppliers have the same information.  This could be sent to all suppliers as a Question and Answer sheet.
  • Evaluate and score quotations and record all quotations received on a Bid Summary form.
  • Informing Bidders - When the evaluation of the offers received has been completed and an award decision has been made, an award letter (see Award letter template for both Standard & Formal ITQs, use where appropriate) should be emailed to the selected supplier and "with regret" letters sent to the unsuccessful bidders.  (See Formal ITQ regret letter template).
  • Create a requisition on OneSource & complete Message Field advising relevant quotes obtained.
Single Source Justification (SSJ) 

Single Source Justification should only be used in very exceptional circumstances when:

  1. Product/services is unique and no other supplier can provide an equivalent that meets the users requirements: or
  2. Specific product/service is required to meet existing infrastructure/system or for reasons of continuity.

SSJs must meet one or more of the above criteria and be accompanied by evidence. 

The completion of a Single Source Justification Form (i.e. a request to waive University Procurement Policy & Procedures and/or Procurement Legislation) is required where the intention is to award a contract and/or place an order in excess of £1,000 excluding VAT direct to a supplier (where no contract exists) without exposure to competition.   The form (see Appendix J) must be formally approved and signed by Head of School and retained for audit purposes.

Where the purchase is in excess of £25,000 excluding VAT, the form must be completed as above and submitted to the Head of Procurement for review prior to any commitment being given to the supplier.

Where the purchase is in excess of £50,000 excluding VAT, it must be completed as before and an Award notice must be published by Procurement on Public Contracts Scotland in line with Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015.  Standstill period of 10 days is then applied to allow potential suppliers the opportunity to challenge the decision.



Tendering over 50K


Regulated Procurement

Purchases of £50,000 and above (before VAT) made outwith current University contracts are regulated by Scottish Public Procurement legislation. If you have a requirement for goods and/or services with a total value of £50K or over (excluding VAT) for the period of the contract, then Procurement must be involved. (Note: In the case of services the threshold covers a 4 year period, therefore a recurring procurement of £12.5k per annum will be subject to a regulated procurement exercise).  The requirement must be advertised on the Public Contracts Scotland portal and award of the contract must also be published on this portal.

If the total value (including whole-life costings, such as post warranty maintenance etc., but excluding VAT) exceeds £181,000, then the Public Contracts Regulations require a contract notice to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union.

In existing legislation the University of Aberdeen is considered a public contracting authority and this brings with it a number of duties and responsibilities; we strongly recommend early Procurement involvement. 

We have to comply with international/European legislation and University Regulations and be able to demonstrate that we are obtaining best value for public money.

This is a guide through the normal stages for a high value procurement of goods or services. It is recommended that tender exercises over £50K in value involve a Project Team which might include:

  • a representative of the Client, School or Section and their Line Manager;
  • someone from Procurement and possibly a Technical Adviser (such as a representative from IT for a software purchase).

For more detailed information please contact Procurement on

Drawing up Specification of Requirements

What to Include in the Description of Your Requirement

An initial specification should be drafted and sent to Procurement who will liaise with you and make any amendments as necessary.  The specifications should include your award criteria and the weightings of the criteria.  These will be the things which are important to you and which will allow you to make your final decision.  They might include price, proposed maintenance and technical support, experience, references and delivery lead time.

There are two main elements to the specification: a brand-less, generic statement of need accompanied by a request for a "whole-life costing" for equipment offered.

The Specification should describe what is important to you and might express your requirement in terms of:

  • The application: where and how the equipment will be used and what for;
  • Minimum required performance: volumes, speed, magnification, data to be produced etc;
  • Inputs and outputs;
  • Results expected;
  • Quality requirements;
  • Ease of use;
  • Operator requirement;
  • Upgradeability;
  • Physical limitations: weight and dimensions, mobility, access, floor strength, building requirements (such as for room modifications or shielding);
  • Compliance with prescribed standards;
  • An opportunity for the tenderer to include an alternative offer which might include joint research, use of the University as a reference site, a novel approach, application of new technology or ex-demonstration equipment etc. 

The "Whole-Life Costing" will reveal the true cost of ownership and provide a proper basis for comparison between competitive quotations; it is not unknown for a supplier to quote a low capital cost to secure the business, then uplift the cost of maintenance services to increase their margin. 

Consideration should be given to:

  • Capital purchase price;
  • Delivery date (does this meet your timescale?);
  • Delivery to site and insurances;
  • Rigging into position;
  • Installation;
  • Testing;
  • Training for operation and local maintenance (both on and off-site);
  • Number of operators required;
  • Expected life of the equipment in a normal working environment;
  • Anticipated running costs over the expected life, including an estimate of annual costs for utilities in a similar operation and cost of replacements and wearing arts (with a guarantee that these will remain available); 
  • Product life and upgradeability – when will the model offered cease to be produced and what is the approach to upgrading? Warranties and extended warranties;
  • Post-warranty service and maintenance proposals for the life of the equipment (if this is not known then request that details for a five-year period be included);
  • WEEE: Waste electrical and electronic equipment legislation requires manufacturers to participate in a scheme for removal at end of economic life.  Request costs associated with the supplier/manufacturer meeting their responsibilities within the regulations;
  • End of life replacement or disposal: what options are available when the equipment is no longer required, and what are the costs involved? (top)
Issue Tender Invitations

Invitations and Time Allowed

Procurement will then issue the Invitations to Tender along with all of the tender documentation, including the specification of requirements, and this will include a date for receipt of tenders which will usually be around twenty one (21) days from despatch of the invitations. 


Selecting the Winning Tender

Fairness and Transparency

Procurement will administer the scoring of tenders.  The Selection Team will mark the tenders individually, then discuss and agree the final scoring.  Decisions and reasoning must be recorded. 


We may not use any reason that was not detailed within the selection criteria to either make an award or reject any submission.

Invitations and Time Allowed

Procurement will then issue the Invitations to Tender along with all of the tender documentation, including the specification of requirements, and this will include a date for receipt of tenders which will usually be around twenty one (21) days from despatch of the invitations.

Issuing Notice and Rejection

We have a legal obligation to inform all of the Tenderers of the decisions made and give them full details of how they were reached (i.e. their overall score, the name of the successful supplier and other relevant information).

A letter of our intention to award is accordingly issued by Procurement; the unsuccessful firms are afforded an opportunity to challenge any award made, and standstill period is included following announcement of selection.

It is common to receive requests for further information at this stage, and we must do our best to accommodate them: the alternative might be that these will be received as Freedom of Information Requests, or even legal challenges, so provided the information is not considered commercially confidential (an in the public sector very little is), details should generally be released, but this must always be treated as a formal matter, and all communications should be through Procurement.

After this period is over, and as long as we do not receive any challenges, we can begin discussing and agreeing the terms and conditions of contract with the successful supplier.

Tender Clarification and Agreement on Applicable Terms

How to Conclude the Agreement

Once tenders are in we are not permitted to enter into further negotiations with the firm selected, and until the agreement is in place we must continue to communicate formally with the supplier. We may however work with them to clarify or refine the final content of their offer. If there are a number of communications with minor changes, one clear way of concluding matters is for Procurement to obtain a final confirmation of the requirement from the client department, then request a Full and Final Offer from the supplier containing all of the minor revisions to the specification.

In parallel with this Procurement will be negotiating the contract terms and conditions that will apply to the deal with the supplier. As a general rule we should never accept a supplier's terms as the basis for agreement, and it is normal for them to receive a draft contract along with the Invitation to Tender documents.

Agreement of Terms & Conditions to Purchase and Supply

The Client, School or Section will normally raise a purchase order using the nominated budget code (note that they may have to be set up as a new supplier, if so a Supplier Set-up Form must be sent to them for completion and return) to get the financial commitment into the system.  The purchase order number should then be shared with Procurement and will become the contract reference number.

The contract will be printed as two originals and they must both be authorised at an appropriate level within the University before being sent to the winning firm.



How to Buy Goods & Services

This section provides information on how to go about obtaining various standard items. If you have any more questions or require more information about any of the services, please email:

Before you buy - ask yourself the following:

  • Do I really need it?
  • Can I get it from someone else within the University?
  • Where is the money coming from?

Find out if an existing framework agreement or contract is in place.  The University has agreements with a number of suppliers for commonly purchased goods and services.  The use of Framework Agreements or University Contracts which will deliver best value is mandatory.

Get in touch with the Procurement Team at or phone: 01224 274467.


Stationery/Computer Consumables/Paper

The contracted Supplier for stationery, computer consumable items and paper orders is Office Depot.

All orders should be placed directly through the Office Depot marketplace (a punch-out site) via OneSource.  Paper is also now ordered by the individual rather than "bulk ordering", however this is done slightly differently and is detailed below.

Delivery days are Monday and Thursday and your order must be approved and sent to Office Depot by 5pm on a Friday and Wednesday for delivery on Monday and Thursday.  If your delivery has not arrived or if you are unable to find an item that you require, please contact customer services at Office Depot on or 0844 391 3950.

Office Depot provide desktop delivery for all stocked items, meaning all goods should be delivered to your room/desk on Monday and Thursday. If you have any problems with the service provided by this Supplier, please email Procurement at

It is very easy to launch into the Office Depot market place through OneSource without the need for user names and passwords. In the past there have be issues with pulling back to our previous system of Pecos, we detail this here in case a similar issue appears with OneSource:

Occasionally a pop up box asking for login details might appear. When you come across such a request you should configure your internet explorer to accept cookies, as detailed below:

  1. In the Menu bar, select:
  2. Tools > Internet Options > Privacy tab > Advanced
  3. The Advanced Privacy Settings box appears
  4. In the Cookies section, choose Override automatic cookie handling
  5. Under First Party Cookies, select Accept
  6. Under Third Party Cookies, select Accept
  7. Select Always allow session cookies
  8. Click OK to close the Advanced Privacy Settingsbox
  9. Click OK to close Internet Options
  10. Close all web browsers
  11. Open a new browser.
Paper Ordering

Paper is ordered directly from Office Depot via OneSource using subproject CF10287-15 and account 4205.  Note that the standard paper to order for the MFDs is :

5226498   -   FSC4 Recycled Bright White A4

5226489   -   Recycled Bright White A3

No other paper should be ordered for the MFDs – the spend against CF10287-15 and account 4205 will be monitored by IT Services and any other paper ordered will be charged back to Schools / Depts.

If you have any queries, please contact:

  • Procurement on extension 4467

Equipment order and supply

  • IT Services can provide advice on choosing and buying an approved UoA desktop, laptop or item of peripheral IT equipment, for example a printer. Further details on the standard desktop, laptop or peripheral IT equipment. Orders should be placed through IT Services. However, individuals using this service should ensure that they have the necessary authorisation at departmental/school level prior to beginning.

    IT Services will setup your UoA PC with the standard software library which includes email, calendaring and printing to relevant printers including Multi Functional Devices. The software provided will depend upon your College or Admin Unit, please contact IT Services for further Information.

    Antivirus software is included as part of the standard software and regular updates are provided automatically. Critical operating system and Microsoft Windows updates are also made available automatically.
  • IT Services will come to your UoA office and unpack, connect and test your new computer for you. IT Services can also install items of approved UoA peripheral IT equipment and licensed software not on the standard list

    Where a new UoA PC is being supplied, IT Services will remove your old UoA PC, remove files and arrange disposal. Further information on disposal.

All furniture purchases should be co-ordinated with the University Furnishings Officer, Mrs Marilyn McIntosh in Estates. Mrs McIntosh can advise on your requirements, keeps up-to-date with current HE contract deals for furniture and can access other major public sector agreements.

She can be contacted on:


As a general rule vehicles should not be bought by the University as they are not considered cost effective capital investment.  From year 4/5 of ownership, vehicles tend to become unreliable and a financial liablity: it is an established Institutional practice to lease them.    

If you are considering leasing a new or replacement vehicle (car or light commercial vehicle) please contact Procurement at 


Vehicle Lease


Longer terms vehicle lease requirements must be acquired through the University’s Framework Agreement with contract hire suppliers.   Prices will be provided including Service Maintenance and Road Licence Fund costs and other information which enables quick and easy comparison between make/models.  Details required in order to seek quotes include:


         •  Make and model of vehicle

         •  Annual Mileage

         •  Fuel type

         •  Transmission

         •  Lease period (usually 3 or 5 years)

         •  Accessories


Vehicle Hire – Short-term


Short-term hire (one year or less) vehicles should be obtained from the appointed Vehicle Hire Framework Agreement supplier. 



Business Travel should be obtained for the appointed Travel provider to the University.  No other firm has qualified by tender and been selected to supply these services.  As the University spends overs £1.5m per year on business travel, it is essential these services are subjected to a procedure which complies with EU Public Procurement Directives and Procurement (Scotland) Regulations 2016.    

If you wish to book travel please visit here

Supplier Set Up

Supplier Set Up Amendments | Supplier Account Applications

New applications for Supplier Set Ups and amendments are processed by Demie Hall and Linda Leslie, using the OneSource Supplier Form. This form is to be used for companies, partnerships and sole traders. For full guidance on payments to individuals please refer to Guidance on Payments to Individuals: which can be found here and then click on Other Payments

Please read the Completion Guide for Staff and follow the instructions related to the form before sending to the Supplier. If you are unsure please call 2824 or email us at

  • Check to see that the new Supplier you are requesting to be added is not already on OneSource
  • Try to search on part of the name and scroll through
  • Please make sure that no orders are made until the Supplier is actually set up, if there are no issues and the form is completed properly then this will be within three days (top)

Should the supplier be Self Employed, please ensure that they also complete the Workers Status Questionnaire, under the 'Other Payments' tab. The Workers Status Questionnaire should, once completed by the Individual and finished by the requestor, be submitted to Sarah Simpson in Payroll for checking and verification received from Payroll before submitting the final Supplier Request through OneSource.

Also, attention should be applied to the requirement for a Bid Summary Form, this form is available here.

The Type of Supply/Service Box must be completed, using the correct Supply/Service Code. (At present please contact Procurement)

Product codes (UNSPSC) help other users to search for a supplier,  At present please contact Procurement for the correct code.

Once the Supplier Form has been completed, please visit and follow the guide entitled Setting up a supplier.

Supplier Set Up Amendments

Amendments are completed on the same Supplier form given above, just check the box given on page 2 for amendment and complete as before. Please note that changes to company name, address or bank details need to have headed paper confirmation or official email from the requesting Supplier. (top)

Supplier Account Applications

Supplier Credit Account Applications are often received when we are dealing with a Supplier for the first time. These are completed by the Supplier Administrators. The forms can be scanned in and emailed to Procurement at, faxed to 01224 273875, or mailed to Procurement, Room 46, University Office, Kings College. (top)

Procurement Policy

The Procurement Policy applies to the University and all its subsidiaries and is subject to regular review.


Compliance with the Procurement Policy is compulsory for all members of staff connected with the University.


The current  Policy reflects changes following implementation of the revised Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations & the Procurement (Scotland) Regulations 2016 and follows an Internal Audit – Procurement Review - in 2017.  It also relates to University’s Procurement Strategy & Action Plan which was approved by the University Court and it takes account of the move from Colleges to Schools. 

  • The full Procurement Policy: 2018 can be found here
  • A summary of the Essential Procurement Procedures can be found here
  • The University Procurement Strategy & Action Plan can be found here
  • Scottish Government Procurement Journey: This set of procedures is subject to change from time-to-time, so a link to the Scottish Government Portal is provided here

University Procurement Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2021

The University Procurement Strategy was approved by the University Court.

The Procurement Strategy sets out our strategic approach to all the University's procurement activity over the next five years in line with section 15 of the procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.  This strategy underpins the University Strategic Plan and demonstrates how Procurement will support the University in achieving its goals.

Download the Procurement Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2021 here

Modern Slavery

Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement

Purpose of the Statement

This statement is made pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern slavery Act 2015. 

It is designed to demonstrate our commitment to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, (and specifically to section 54 (1)), and the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 by informing our students, staff, partners and the public about the University of Aberdeen and its policy with respect to modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour and labour rights violations in its supply chains..

Full details can be found here



APUC stands for Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges. It acts as the procurement Centre of Expertise for the 62 Universities and Colleges in Scotland. APUC's aim is to maximise the contribution that advanced procurement makes to teaching expertise and research within these establishments.

Rules and Regulations

Terms and Conditions

Our General Conditions of Purchase are incorporated into all orders made and if not should be provided to all suppliers on the University's behalf.

The University as a Buyer

If you have any queries from companies asking for their terms and conditions to be accepted please contact Linda Leslie or Demie Hall in the first instance on

The University of Aberdeen's normal payment terms are 30 days from receipt of a valid invoice.

Code of Ethics

The University of Aberdeen Code of Ethics is based on that published by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. CIPS is an international education, qualification and networking body representing procurement and supply chain professionals.

EU/UK Regulations

This note is intended for staff who need to acquire equipment or services valued at over £181K  including maintenance to provide them with a brief description of the current EU/UK legislation and guide them through the procedures. The process needs to be properly planned with adequate time allowed for it.

Buyer's Profile
Our Buyer's Profile can be found on the Public Contracts Scotland Website.
Suppliers' Guide

The University of Aberdeen is committed to obtaining the best value possible from all of its business transactions. Procurement at the University of Aberdeen will apply the highest ethical standards in terms of: our treatment of suppliers; our sustainable approach; the personal conduct of our buyers and legal compliance.

The University’s Contracts Register is available here.