University expenditure

The University has a non-pay expenditure of circa £64 million per annum which is across a wide range of goods, services and works.

As a publicly funded body we are subject to the Public Procurement Regulations 2015 and are required by law to advertise our requirements over the given thresholds through the Contracts Finder and Find a Tender service.

We are also members of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) which gives us access to a range of Higher Education Framework Agreements for goods, services and works.

Sustainable procurement

As a university we are passionate about embedding sustainable procurement, with this aim we use NETpositive FUTURES to support engagement with suppliers around social, economic and environmental sustainability and is inclusive of safeguarding against modern slavery and protection of human rights. NETpositive FUTURES is free for suppliers to access and empowers them to create action plan, which supports and advises how sustainability relates to your core business practice and importantly how to increase your positive social, economic and environmental impact through choices and the activities you undertake.

NETpositive FUTURES contributes to how the procurement team engage with suppliers, not only in constructive dialogue on sustainability by encouraging suppliers to drive continuous improvement.

In additional to this we are affiliates to Electronics Watch whereby we use the monitoring services of Electronics Watch to achieve increasing compliance with labour rights and safety standards in the supply chains of the ICT hardware goods we purchase.

Local economy and contracts review

To encourage business with local suppliers, in particular micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, our contracts portfolio is regularly reviewed to ensure that those opportunities which are a good match to our local economy do not present barriers through their size or complexity. 

"Whilst we cannot guarantee business to local suppliers, we guarantee that we will make every effort to ensure that local business is aware of our requirements, does not have unnecessary barriers put in their way and that any firm, regardless of size and location, is treated fairly and transparently. We remain committed to putting the best contracts in place for the University and to buying from those contracts once in place. We have many local suppliers who have won and grown their business with us as a result of this approach. As a passionate Civic University we have signed up to the Plymouth City Council Local Procurement Charter where we have pledged to work together to broaden overall support for local business and maximise the potential of the local supply chain. We are committed to a fairer, greener future for Plymouth and have committed to use the Plymouth Supplier Directory to publish details on how Suppliers can engage with us when it comes to procurement." 

- Head of Procurement, University of Plymouth.

Procurement process

All of the University's tenders are run on our e-tendering platform Mercell. It takes just minutes to register as a supplier and you are able to view all of our open opportunities, regardless of value.

The University awards its contracts on the basis of quality, price and sustainability, in line with the University’s Strategy 2030. We will take into account fitness for purpose, total cost of ownership as well as environmental and social impacts in our assessment of value for money.

In all procurement processes we will identify what our award criteria are and their relative weighting when we ask for quotes or tenders.

We will advise all those who have quoted who has been successful and for tenders will provide each tenderer with their results from the tender assessment against the best results.

It is therefore important to read our specifications carefully to ensure that you understand our requirement and that you answer all our questions to demonstrate that you can meet our requirements.