How we buy

The Department of Finance has a number of specialist teams, each supporting a specific area of the financial activities of the University and the Procurement Office is responsible for managing the process relating to the establishment of prospective University suppliers.

Each Faculty and Department is responsible for purchasing its own goods and services by following the appropriate procurement procedures relative to the items being purchased and their value. The University purchases through either:

  • A best value for money approach – for the purchase of some low value goods or services (items below £5,000 excl VAT) which are not covered by an existing contract.
  • Three written quotations- for purchases between £5,000 and £50,000 (excl VAT)
  • Advertised tendering opportunities – for the purchase of more specialist items of equipment or services, or works projects not covered by an existing contract (over £50,000 excl VAT). All opportunities will be advertised on our e-procurement portal, In-Tend, and through Contracts Finder.
  • Existing regional or national contracts and framework agreements which are accessible to the Higher Education sector, such as those made available through the NEUPC.

All orders are placed subject to the University of Sheffield Terms and Conditions or any special terms negotiated by the Procurement Office. (We’ll link to these when they are all available?).

In addition to adhering to our own Financial Directives, the University is also bound by both UK and EU Procurement legislation.

Becoming a supplier

If a Department wishes to purchase goods or services from a new supplier they must contact the procurement team to request the creation of a new vendor account.

Suppliers will not be added to our vendor list at their request.

Once a new vendor account has been approved and created, the Department will raise a purchase order for the appropriate supply of goods or services.

Payment for goods or services will not be made without a valid University of Sheffield purchase order number.

A VALID University of Sheffield purchase order always follows this standard format:

  • Two letters followed by a digit (this can be 0)
  • Followed by a / (if you are using Science Warehouse software to receive University Purchase Orders then this will be - )
  • Then a ten digit number commencing ‘45’ (e.g. AB1/4500000000 or AB1-4500000000 for Science Warehouse)