Framework Agreements

NWUPC members have access to over 100 professionally arranged agreements, and we are constantly adding to this range. Our agreements cover a range of goods and services, and are tailored to the specific requirements of our membership.
NWUPC Ltd was established by a group of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to deliver solutions that would provide them with more advantageous goods and service contracts due to their collaborative economies of scale.  NWUPC Ltd has developed over time as is now a limited company owned by it’s members whose core function is to produce Framework agreements that;
Organisations that are part of the public sector are governed by a set of regulations that shape the way that they buy their goods and services.  These regulations are called the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR15) and are derived from EU Directives. 
NWUPC Ltd sets up Framework agreements for commonly purchased goods and services which are fully compliant with PCR15.  We work with our full members within Higher Education as well as public sector bodies spanning councils, police and NHS.
A Framework Agreement is a compliant commercial arrangement that seeks tenders from organisations that are capable of delivering a certain requirement to the members of NWUPC.  A list of the agreements that we have in place and the suppliers currently awarded to service those frameworks is available. A group of suppliers will be awarded to the Framework Agreement based on the requirements of the tender and the arrangement will be in place for a set period of time, generally four years.
  • We have run a competitive, compliant tender exercise to give you assurance that we have selected the most capable suppliers in the market to service your requirements.
  • NWUPC Ltd are experts in UK public procurement law and all tenders are conducted within the regulations governing public sector bodies.  As a contracting authority we have followed a rigorous process and can provide a robust audit trail.
  • We have established Terms and Conditions for each Framework which have been agreed by suppliers.
  • Because we have run the a competitive tender you can conduct a simplified process with reduced administrative effort and associated cost savings.
  • The Framework allows for the flexibility to determine specific requirements at the call off stage but within the structure of compliance.
  • Framework agreements support longer term business planning as they span a period of typically four years.  This allows some stability from market fluctuations and the development of longer term commercial relationships.
  • Our Frameworks offer more advantageous pricing based on economies of scale from aggregated spend which delivers cash savings to your organisation.
  • Savings can be base lined by comparing prices with the prices you previously paid or with market value. We apply an agreed sector wide methodology and can provide supporting data for each agreement.
  • NWUPC has a number of category experts with commercial knowledge that will work with suppliers to manage relationships and monitor their performance against set KPIs.
  • NWUPC undertakes regular reviews of our suppliers financial stability to reduce risk to members.
  • NWUPC will provide contract management support to you should you experience any issues with suppliers and will act in your best interests.
  • We have a commitment to sustainability and will tender and manage all contracts with responsible procurement at the heart of all our activity.
  • We have access to a large, diverse, portfolio of suppliers ranging from multi national corporations to micro business and we are proud that 70% of our supply base are SMEs.
We have a wide range of frameworks that are available to you covering a huge variety of goods and services.  We apply category management techniques and our agreements are split across eleven categories with a dedicated specialist manager responsible for all areas and available to answer any queries.
By clicking on a Category Group below you will be taken to a page of up to date information on frameworks in that category such as lot structures, benefits of using the framework, suppliers awarded and interactive videos. This is an ongoing area and pages are updated regularly with new information about individual framework.  
How to use a Framework:
A NWUPC Ltd framework agreement is produced following a competitive tender exercise conducted and advertised in line with the compliance requirements of PCR15.  Following that exercise we have selected the most suitable suppliers to service your requirements.
The next step is to issue your specific requirements to those awarded suppliers to identify which one will provide you with the best solution offering you quality, service and value for money.
This can be done through two methods;
  1. Direct Award
  2. Mini Competition
1. A direct award means that all the specifications laid out in the tender meet your own and that your requirements were fully addressed within the tender documents.  You then contact the top scoring supplier and discuss the finer details of placing an order with them.  This gives you a quick route to market.
2. If the nature of your requirement means that you have slightly different priorities or conditions than that of the criteria of the tender exercise then you need to reopen competition between the suppliers awarded to the agreement.  To do this you would issue your specification in writing to all those suppliers and assess from their responses, which of the suppliers will give you the best result.
Every Framework has a user guide available that will tell you how to run either of these processes in more detail and any criteria you need to take into account.  Our Category Managers are always on hand for any advice that you need.
Where to find information on NWUPC Ltd Frameworks:
The NWUPC Ltd website provides an A-Z list of the Framework agreements that are currently live and available to members.  You can search this list to find a suitable Framework to meet your needs.  If you’re not sure what the title is likely to be then you can also search by category for example computing.  When you find the agreement you can see some headline information such as start and end date and the suppliers available.  Members can log in and see full details about the agreement on the HE Contracts database.  A user guide and essential documentation can be found for each agreement. 
Page Updated - 13/01/2022