Commercial and Procurement Services


Contracts and agreements

Commercial and Procurement Services competes and negotiates agreements and contracts with suppliers on behalf of UCL.

This page sets out the ways in which UCL contracts with suppliers as well as provides information on the conditions and requirements that govern our business relationships with suppliers.

Regarding competitions, UCL has concluded that it is not a contracting authority for the purposes of the EU public procurement regime and/or the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended) therefore we are not obliged to publish forthcoming competitions via UK Government’s Contract Finder. Subject to the best outcome for UCL, we may choose to compete goods and services via the market. Such competitions may be advertised via our online electronic tendering portal In-Tend.

If you are a supplier wanting to engage with us, check the information below, and for more details, go to information for suppliers

Ways in which UCL contracts with suppliers

Below is a list of the the different purchasing vehicles we use, i.e. the ways in which we engage and contract with suppliers. 

UCL Terms and Conditions

We contract on our own terms and conditions only. We have standard terms and conditions for off-the-shelf goods and services - excluding software and any services including processing of personal data or transfer of staff - as well as more detailed terms and conditions for project specific activities.

Please note we have separate UCL terms and conditions specifically for:

Please contact procurement@ucl.ac.uk for further details as to which agreement to use for more complex or higher risk purchases.

Master Service Agreement (MSA)

UCL has Master Service Agreements (MSA) with suppliers where there are a number of repeat purchases from this supplier. The purpose is for the main agreement to set out the general terms (quality, indemnity and what happens if something goes wrong). More specific issues such as price, quantity and more detailed quality or sign off requirements or any specific requirements in addition to those in the main agreement are dealt with via individual Statements of Work (SoWs). All SoWs must reference the main MSA (or Framework).

Purchasing Consortia and Frameworks

A Framework is an overarching agreement with a supplier that may have been entered into by any of the UK University Purchasing Consortia members or negotiated by the Crown Commercial Service (a government agency). UCL is a member of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortia (SUPC)

eCatalogue / eMarket Place

UCL has an electronic marketplace solution in place - One Advanced (formerly Science Warehouse). This service is designed for the purchase of low value, standard (off-the-shelf) goods.

Requirements for engaging and contracting with UCL

In order to protect our reputation and ensure our suppliers are aligned with UCL, we have minimum requirements, including the ones below.

Please contact us if you would like to understand more about how we contract with  Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs).

Responsible procurement

Responsible buying is at the heart of UCL's strategy and of our Commercial & Procurement practices. This means that we, and our suppliers (and supply chain), abide to sound environmental and social performance measures and reporting. For full details, go to responsible procurement

Insurance policies

All suppliers are required to have valid insurance policies of typically £5m or more, for each of the following:

  • Employer’s Liability (where applicable)
  • Public & Product Liability
  • Professional Indemnity (of £5m or more)

Click for a description of each insurance requirement.

Credit worthiness

Commercial & Procurement Services will conduct a credit worthiness check on all suppliers prior to setting them up.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 imposes a duty on public authorities such as UCL: (1) To confirm or deny that the information requested is held and (2) If the information is held, to communicate it to the applicant. This applies to our information provided by our suppliers unless it is commercially sensitive or covered under a specific Exemption.


UCL’s name and logo must not be used without express permission from UCL Brand team, pursuant to the Logo Request process. As a rule, we do not permit the UCL logo to be used to endorse our suppliers' services.

Successful contract management

UCL views contract management as key to a successful business relationship. If your company is awarded a contract or framework agreement we expect you to manage your part of the business and work with us to improve the contract over its lifetime including regular review meetings to discuss, amongst other things, performance against agreed SLA and KPI targets.