Procurement Journey

All University staff who are authorised to purchase for Glasgow Caledonian University are required to demonstrate value for money through their procurements of goods and service for the University.

The University aims to procure the ‘most economically advantageous’ solution taking account of criteria that reflect qualitative, technical and sustainable aspects of the tender submission as well as price when reaching an award decision.

Thresholds for all procurement activity should be based on the maximum spend over a 4 year period.

The below flow chart summarises the thresholds and Procurement processes required to follow.

Flow Chart Procurement Process

Required reading before undertaking GCU procurement activity

The University will seek, together with other Higher and Further Education Institutions, sector and national centres of procurement expertise and other public sector bodies, to utilise collaborative arrangements to obtain optimal terms for the purchase of goods and services where such collaboration provides demonstrable benefit to the University.

The Procurement Team will support academic and administrative needs in obtaining goods and services at competitive costs.  The Executive, Heads of Departments and Budget Holders are responsible for ensuring that all purchasing activities within their areas operate in accordance with these Procurement Procedures, the University Financial Regulations and are compliant with all applicable legal requirements.

Prior to any member of staff undertaking procurement activity, Section 2 and Section 3 of the  which outline Disclosure of Interest responsibilities and Principles of Conduct requirements, should be read and understood.

The University mirrors its procurement processes to the Scottish Government Procurement Journey.

This journey is intended to support all levels of procurement activities and to help manage the expectations of stakeholders, customers and suppliers whilst facilitating best practice and consistency across the public sector.  By following the journey, we help you to manage the procurement process and reduce the risk of challenge.

GDPR - Procuring Goods, Services & Works

GDPR - Procuring Goods, Services and Works

In order to assist with assessing the requirement for GDPR compliance, the University has developed a Due Diligence Framework for Working with Third Parties.

GCU Connected -  Information Matters

A summary of the Due Diligence process can be found here


Existing Collaborative Agreements

Prior to commencing any Procurement Process, you should first contact Procurement to check whether your goods or services are covered by an existing agreement.

Details of existing agreements can be viewed at Existing Collaborative Agreements.  You may not have access to view all available agreements, so it is always advisable to contact Procurement before proceeding.

If there are no suitable agreements available, you should revert to the Procurement Journey following the appropriate route based upon the threshold levels for goods and services over a 4 year period.

i.e £15k per annum x 4 year contract = £60k total contract value therefore Procurement Journey route 2 applies.

Threshold levels for goods and services over a 4 year period

Threshold levels for goods and services over a 4 year period

Threshold levels for works/construction
Procurement Procedures Exceptions Form

(formerly Sole Supplier Justification Form)

The majority of purchases of goods and services should be based on the above competitive bids processes.   Where the supply of a good or service can only be purchased from one supplier because of its specialised or unique characteristics, this should be justified through the 'Procurement Procedures Exception Form' (formerly Sole Supplier Justification Form)    

This form should be used where there is a genuine exceptional operational reason for not using an existing collaborative agreement or for subjecting the purchase to open competition.  This method of acquisition should not be used to avoid competition or where decisions to procure have been postponed and insufficient timelines to procure through the Routes above exists. 

A 'Sole Source' procurement means that only one supplier (source) exists, to the best of the requester's knowledge and belief, based upon thorough research, (for example. conducting a market survey), is capable of delivering the required product or service.  Similar types of goods and services may exist, but only one supplier, for reasons of expertise, and / or standardisation, quality, compatibility with existing equipment, specifications, or availability, is the only source that is acceptable to meet a specific need.

The 'Procurement Procedures Exception Form' sets out the reasoning behind the sole supplier claim and can be downloaded from the Forms section of the Finance website

Procurement Procedure Exceptions are open to challenge by the Head of Procurement and copies of all documentation should be attached to any order which is placed, as evidence of appropriate value for money checks.

Where the value of the purchase exceeds £10k, the completed Procurement Procedures Exception Form must be sent to the Head of Procurement for approval and authorisation

Download:  Procurement Procedures Exception Form

Full guidance on the use of the Procurement Procedures Exceptions form can be found Guidance for use of Procurement Procedures Exception Form

GCU Procurement Journey Route 1

This route provides guidance for procurements of relatively low value, risk and a non-repetitive nature.  If your procurement does not fall within this description or you do not have the authority to procure you should contact Procurement

If the estimated value of the goods/services you are buying is more than £50,000 (over its lifetime - four years max) you should contact Procurement before proceeding.   

The main objectives of the toolkit are:

  • To provide a step-by-step guide to conduct a low value procurement exercise
  • To provide a set of guides and templates that can be used to collate and analyse the data required when conducting the purchasing exercise
  • To standardise the public sector procurement process across organisations for lower value procurements
  • To highlight the minimum legal and policy obligations involved at each stage of the process

Now you are ready to begin your Route One of the Procurement Journey.  

Route 3

This Route provides guidance for the procurement of goods and services classed as high value/high risk/strategic procurements, and where the estimated value of the goods/services you are buying is more than £189,330 (over its lifetime - four years max).  Procurement processes under this route should only be undertaken under the guidance of trained Procurement Officers.  If your procurement falls within this route please contact Procurement.  This process would normally take between 4-6 months. 

Procurement will facilitate your Route 3 process through:

  • Providing documents compliant with a procurement exercise of high value/high risk/strategic procurements
  • Assisting you with the regulatory requirements of a procurement under the EU Directives
  • Guiding you through the evaluation, award and standstill requirements of EU regulated procurements
  • Highlighting the minimum legal and policy obligations involved at each stage of the process
Supplier Change - Procurement Guidance Document

Where there is a requirement to change supplier in the University,  this guidance has been developed to assist in managing the communication process.

Supplier Change -Procurement guidance Document

Authority to Procure

All Procurement is subject to the approval processes and limits set out in the Financial Procedures‌ and in line with the Scheme of Delegation which forms part of the University .

As part of the budgetary control process, it is the Cost Centre Managers' responsibility to control departmental expenditure.  The Cost Centre Manager may choose to delegate authority for procurement related matters to nominated buyers. This does not absolve the Cost Centre Manager from the ultimate responsibility and accountability for the proper execution of the purchasing process.

The extent to which nominated buyers are accountable should be clearly defined and documented by the completion of the Scheme of Delegation Form