photo for Identify need

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs on Guided Buying 

Once you have identified a genuine business need, the factors set out below should be considered prior a purchase. It is important to understand the financial impact before committing to a purchase and acquiring relevant approval prior the purchase. The Procurement Department are always available to provide help and advice on any aspect of the P2P process.


In this section, you will find information to use when assessing the need for the new equipment or service.

List of information to assist you to Identify need

Resource already available

It is important to check if your required need of purchase is already available within the College.

  • Consider reaching out to another department if they can supply through an internal trade, shared system or service loan.
  • Consider the WARP IT site. 

Joint departmental needs

If the items required are only available in large volume units of measurement, you should consider the option of sharing the order with another section in your Department to avoid the need to store excess stock, or the risk of stock exceeding its lifespan.

Leasing option

It is not standard College policy to agree to long or short term leases of equipment instead of outright purchase, although there may be exceptional circumstances such as limited funds available or specific terms in a grant award which insist on leasing.

If you are considering a lease, please discuss this with your Departmental Operations Manager in the first instance, who may then discuss it further with the Faculty Finance Officer.

Lease agreements may only be signed by a representative of the Procurement Department.

Outright purchase

When you are looking to purchase equipment, you should consider the whole life cost of the equipment, including the operating cost and maintenance cost, not just the initial purchase costs when putting forward a funding request or budget planning. This helps to ensure that you have sufficient budget available for the long term operation of the equipment.  

Tips for long term needs

When you are looking to award a low small value contract to carry out a proof of concept, or pilot study for a project, when selecting your supplier it is important to consider the longer term and what will be the next step if the pilot or proof of concept is a success.

If the intention following a successful proof of concept or pilot is to roll out the project on a wider scale using the same supplier, it would be inappropriate to seek single source approval to appoint the supplier for a high value contract based on the low value proof of concept. As such, the initial supplier selection should be based on the value of the full project and tendered as appropriate at the start of the project.

Tips for larger purchases

When purchasing equipment, consideration should be given to whether the new equipment requires a significant amount of laboratory space and/or building alterations, which will need to be agreed and authorised before tendering commences.

Grant related purchases

If the equipment is to be ordered on a research project, consideration should also be given to any specific requirements from the Funding Body regarding tendering before any quotations are obtained. For example, a funder may require that the EU Regulations for Public Sector are followed for any procurement under the award.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Next section – Value of Purchase