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How we select suppliers

Selection of suppliers

In engaging suppliers, the University either uses framework agreements as above or puts contracts in place via our tendering process. If you wish to be considered as a potential supplier we recommend that you register on the etendering system at:

Where the overall University spend exceeds the appropriate thresholds, contracted suppliers are put in place. This will be via a formal tender process, run either by our own Procurement team or by one of the collaborative bodies mentioned (see 'Tenders and Contracts' below for more details).

Where the value of the goods or services is below the threshold requiring a tendered contract, the University may nevertheless need to seek appropriate suppliers and may run a tender to evaluate these.

The Procurement team can draw on the list of registered companies in the system if seeking suppliers in a specific field, whether or not a tender process is required. Such requirements may be advertised on the etendering system, regardless of likely value.


The University believes in the benefits of collaborative purchasing and is a member of Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) which amongst its activities puts framework purchasing agreements in place to be used by its members.

Where no corresponding University of Reading agreement is in place we will use framework agreements set up by SUPC and other agencies, including the University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and the Crown Commercial Service. Whenever possible, suppliers registered in our etendering system will be alerted when these organisations publish a relevant new tender.

Tenders and Contracts

Major contracts are awarded through the tendering process: the University is a public body subject to the European Procurement Directives. All expenditure for goods or services where the total contract value could reach the EU tendering threshold (currently £164,176) is tendered under EU regularions either directly by the Procurement team or by national or regional bodies including Higher Education Consortia such as SUPC.

All EU tenders are advertised by Notice on the OJEU website (Official Journal of the European Union) which is published daily.

All University of Reading tenders are run through our etendering website. On the site you can view a list of contracts awarded by the University and details of tenders open to expressions of interest. If you register your company on the site (free and no obligation) this will allow you to express interest in any of the tenders listed now or in the future, and to download related documents. Suppliers tender returns are uploaded to the site, and there is a correspondence function for any enquiries.

If you have any complaint regarding any University of Reading tender process, please contact the Director of Procurement; our full address is shown via the 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of this page.

See also