photo for Placing order

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs on Guided Buying

The previous section set out the selection of the most appropriate way to order your requirements.  In this section information is provided on the use of the College ICIS system, and order-related questions.   

Accordion drop down boxes to assist with placing an order / quotation

Getting started

All full-time members of staff are automatically given access to the HR, payslips and expenses modules of ICIS. For permission to access the Purchasing module, guidance is provided within the Finance Knowledge Bank. When you request permission for the module, you are requested to include the codes that you would wish to be able to place orders against. This will not update automatically when new codes are created and you will need to make a new request whenever you want to add a new code, or if your role changes requiring new codes. 

It is strongly recommended that you undertake full training on the operation of ICIS before you place your first order. Detailed training on how to place an order is given by the Finance Training Team and full information on the course can be found on the Finance Training pages. You can make a booking request by emailing the Finance Training team

For continuing advice and guidance, detailed information can be found within the Finance knowledge bank

The P2P Helpdesk are available to assist with any operational queries relating to ICIS, and for all queries relating to areas such as access, coding, hierarchies, and approvals. 

Purchasing Contract

All purchase orders issued will be subject to the College’s standard terms and conditions of business, however, there may be a requirement to issue a full purchase contract to go with the purchase order.

Circumstances where it is recommended that a full contract is issued include:

  • Any purchase that has been subject to a competitive tender run by the Procurement team
  • Any purchase over £100,000 which was not subject to a competitive tender run by the Procurement team, such as an approved case for single source
  • Any purchase for goods or services where development is involved which may have ownership or Intellectual Property Rights implications, or may require strong insurance or liability obligations on the contractor, such as trial drug manufacture
  • Any requirement for an individual to perform short term services which previously may have been paid using the non-payroll fees form. For this the College’s Consultancy Agreement template should be used. 

For information on whether a full contract is best advised, and to assist in the drafting of the contract, contact the Procurement Department

Signing a Contract

In many cases, the company we are looking to do business with will issue their own contract for signature. Signing a contract or licence agreement commits the College to expenditure as well as risks us being tied to the supplier’s terms of business, which we may not be able to accept.

For this reason, it is important that any contract is referred to the Procurement Department to review and is then signed by someone with full authorisation to commit the College to that value of expenditure.

A full list of delegation levels of authority to sign any such contracts can be found in Appendix 1 of the College Financial Regulations

Signing a Quotation

Often, companies request that you sign their quotation as part of the order process. The quotation should not be signed as this is an acceptance of the company’s terms and conditions of business even if the signed quotation is returned with a purchase order, and so our purchase order should be sufficient. If the company insists on this signature, please first pass to the Procurement Department to check that the terms are acceptable.

VAT exemption

The Tax Engine automatically applies a VAT code to Purchase Orders raised in iProcurement. Any claim for relief from the VAT charge must be entered at the requisition stage.

There are 5 grounds for claiming VAT relief, Intended Use 1 - 4 and 7 on the table below, along with an option where it is known a UK based supplier will NOT charge VAT (for a reason other than the Supplier is Not Registered for UK VAT), Intended Use 6.

Intended Use

Brief Explanation

1 - Medical Equipment - 0% Cert

Tangible items, including lab consumables

2 - Medical Substances - 0% Cert

Chemical and medical liquids, gases, solids, powders etc

3 - Charitable Advertising - Cert

Staff recruitment; relating to fund raising etc

4 - New build / DDA

Building construction costs and DDA works

5 – VAT Expected

No relief due

6 - No VAT charged by UK supplier

Supplier confirms no VAT will be charged

7 - Reduced Rate VAT (Fuel and Power) 

5% VAT when for Qualifying Use (Energy Office)

Selection of Intended Use 1, 2 or 3 will print the certificate claiming relief at the bottom of the PO.

In order to claim the exemption, it is therefore essential to ensure that your order is raised before the goods are ordered, and for the purchase order to be sent to the company.  

No Purchase Order needed

The only circumstances where a purchase order does not need to be raised to allow a payment to be made are as follows:

  • Payments to Utility companies for College utility charges
  • Research Partner payments
  • Accounts Receivable refunds
  • Payments made via Bankline to Government bodies such as HMRC
  • Clinical Trials volunteer payments
  • Non Payroll Fees

Useful contacts

Training on ICIS – Finance training Team

ICIS access – P2P Helpdesk

ICIS codes, authorisations and hierarchies – P2P Helpdesk

Supplier pricing – Procurement Department

Supplier recommendations – Procurement Department

Tendering – Procurement Department
VAT queries – Tax team

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