Procurement Services

Heriot-Watt Procurement Services provides professional, qualified procurement expertise, advice and services for the University’s non-pay expenditure to ensure the University gets value for money in all its transactions. 

Procurement advises all the University's schools, professional services departments and the wider Heriot-Watt group across all five campuses, on how to purchase goods and services at the optimal balance of cost, quality and sustainability while ensuring compliance with legislative requirements including Scottish, UK, World Trade Organisation and European Union Procurement Law.

We support the University in achieving its Strategy 2025 ambitions by delivering strategic procurement solutions that facilitate excellence in research, education and enterprise, with a focus on building flourishing communities in all our local regions. Our objectives are detailed in the procurement strategy below.

Procurement strategy

All contracting authorities with an annual regulated procurement spend of £5million or more must produce an organisational procurement strategy under section 15 of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

The University’s annual procurement strategy was approved by our Audit and Risk Committee and covers the period 2021-2022.

Annual report

The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 requires all contracting authorities who are obliged to publish a procurement strategy to also prepare and publish an annual report on its regulated procurement activity.

The University’s annual procurement report was approved by our University Court and covers the period 2020-2021.

Modern slavery statement

The University is committed to protecting and respecting human rights and will not tolerate slavery or human trafficking in any form.  Please refer to our statement on modern slavery and human trafficking, which sets out how we make sure it does not take place in our supply chains or any part of our business.


Heriot-Watt University recognises that its procurement activities have a significant impact on the environment, society and the economy though our research and teaching activities, and accepts that it has a responsibility to strive to effectively manage and optimise those impacts. 

The aim of the University’s Sustainable & Ethical Procurement Policy is to provide a vision, set of principles and framework that guide our actions in embedding sustainable purchasing within the processes and culture at the University, in line with the objectives and commitments set out in the University’s Strategic Plan 2025, and in support of the University’s approach to Global Environmental Sustainability and attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure all staff involved in the procurement of works, goods and services manage their activity in a way that:

  • Maximises the environmental, social and economic benefits of investment;
  • Maximises value for money;
  • Minimises any adverse environmental, social and economic impacts from procurement;
  • Allows the University to make a material contribution to the achievement of the Government’s National Performance Framework outcomes; and
  • Allows the University to meet all social, moral, economic and legal imperatives associated with the supply chain sustainability

All tenderers are required to sign and agree to the Sustain supply chain code of conduct developed by the Sustain Project on behalf of the higher education and further education  sectors.

Contracts and APUC

Heriot-Watt university is a member of Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) Ltd, Scotland’s centre of procurement expertise for universities and colleges.

APUC works collaboratively with universities and colleges in setting up framework contracts on behalf of the higher and further educations sectors in Scotland. Through its membership of APUC and as a publicly funded body, the University also has access to:

  • National Higher and Further Education Framework Contracts
  • Scottish Public Sector Framework Contracts established by Scottish Procurement (Scottish Procurement and Commercial Directorate)
  • Crown Commercial Services Framework Contracts.

Where the University requires goods, services or works not covered by the framework contracts above, or it is determined that a local institutional contract would offer better value, the University complies with limits stipulated in the University Financial Regulations and Procurement Procedures, as well as national and international procurement legislation and regulations.

Advertising our requirements

In line with Scottish Government guidelines, the University will advertise all procurements above £50,000 on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) and through Public Contacts Scotland – Tender (PCS-T), the Scottish public sector e-tendering tool. 

Suppliers should register with Public Contracts Scotland to be alerted to any procurement opportunities within the University.

Current contracts

The Procurement Reform Act (2014) requires that the University must maintain a public facing contract register for all contracts over £50,000.  The University’s contract register is available to view.

University terms and conditions

Heriot-Watt University’s terms and conditions apply to all purchases made by the University unless otherwise agreed in writing.

No purchase order, no payment

The University operates formalised procurement and finance processes to support a more efficient purchase-to-pay process. As a direct result of this, the majority of orders for goods and services must be placed using an official purchase order from the University’s electronic procurement system, Oracle.

The purchase order placed will provide details of the requirement, the delivery and invoice addresses, and will specifically contain a 12-digit number beginning with a 9 or a 2 which must be quoted on any invoice submitted for payment. Where an invoice is submitted without a valid purchase order number quoted these will not be processed or paid.

Unless specific contract terms have been agreed, the University’s standard payment terms are 30 days from receipt of a valid invoice, and an invoice will only be deemed valid if a purchase order number is quoted upon it.

Procurement team

Any questions relating to procurement of goods and services should be directed in the first instance to   

Please note we do not reply to unsolicited sales emails.

Key information

Enquiries Procurement