Becoming a Supplier

Before UCL enters into a contract with a supplier, a competitive process will be undertaken. This is likely to involve UCL requesting a supplier to submit a quotation or a tender for the contract. UCL does not place contracts in response to direct marketing.


These can be sought by telephone, fax or email and are for low value purchases. A more formal quotation may be requested in writing for higher value purchases.

Tender Process

Tenders are sought for all goods and services where the value exceeds £50,000. Where the value exceeds the European Procurement thresholds, the procurement process will usually be handled by this route. There are a number of different tender processes depending on what is being purchased, the time-scale involved and whether the EU Regulations apply:

Open Process

All potential contractors / suppliers can bid for a contract.

Restricted Process

A two or three stage process allows only those potential contractors/suppliers who satisfy a number of criteria to be short-listed and allowed to bid.

Competitive Dialogue

Used for complex purchases under the EU Regulations where dialogue with selected suppliers is required to develop one or more suitable solutions for our requirements and on which bidders will be invited to tender. Careful consideration is given to the use of this process.

Negotiated Process

Used for those purchases where Competitive Dialogue is not appropriate to achieve UCLs objectives. Careful consideration is given to the use of this process.

Accelerated Procedure

This is used if there is insufficient time to go through the Open or Restricted procedures under the EU Regulations and a Prior Information Notice has been issued. Suppliers have to respond within 15 days of dispatch of the notice, and the time limit for the receipt of tenders is 10 days from invitation to tender.
When tenders are invited, bids are submitted by the time and date in sealed, unmarked envelopes to the address specified in the Invitation to Tender.

Received tenders are kept secure and unopened until the closing date, when they are opened in the presence of two members of staff and formally recorded.

Once evaluated, which may take a few days or several weeks, all tenderer's are notified of the outcome in writing and the successful tenderer will be issued with a contract. Unsuccessful tenderer's can request a debriefing.

Once the contract is in place, contract management is key to a successful relationship. We expect you to manage your part of the business and work with us to improve the contract over its lifetime.