Information for suppliers

Procurement at the University of Reading

All procurement activity within the University is carried out in accordance with legal requirements, financial regulations, our procurement policy and procedural guidance. This includes spend funded through research grants. Our objective is to secure maximum value for money, consistent with acceptable standards of quality and service.

The University operates a category management approach to procurement activity. This category approach enables us to be strategic about the way we buy goods and services, so that we maximise the funds that we commit to research and teaching. Category Managers are responsible for different areas of spend.

Visit our supplier selection page to find out more about how we select suppliers.


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 Government Procurement Service - Buying Solutions. Whenever possible, suppliers registered in our etendering system will be alerted when these organisations publish a relevant new tender.

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.

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 regulations 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.

Audit hotline

When doing business with the University of Reading if you suspect any type of collusion or fraud between members of University staff and staff in your company, please telephone the Internal Audit confidential hotline on 0118 378 6353 and one of our internal auditors will be able to discuss your concerns.


Complaints Procedure

Procurement endeavours to provide a satisfactory, prompt and courteous service at all times. We recognise however that there may be occasions when standards fall short or when the normal feedback routines may not fully address an issue. We therefore have a formal complaints procedure to ensure that your complaints are dealt with in a prompt, polite and professional manner, and further contribute towards improving our service.

Procurement Complaints Procedure PDF


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See also

  • Sustainable Procurement
  • Tenders Electronic Daily at TED  - the online Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union

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