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The University of Southampton
Finance, Planning and Analytics

General information for suppliers

General information for suppliers

The University works with a whole range of suppliers to deliver an excellent research and teaching environment. We must comply with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and all internal financial processes and regulations. The Procurement team maintains a contracts register of the agreements and associated suppliers that have either successfully been awarded tenders, or are on framework agreements for supply of goods or services such as stationery, travel, furniture, laboratory equipment and supplies etc. University staff and students are required to utilise University contracts where applicable.

As both a charity and a public body, the University is strictly governed by a body of EU and UK legislation directed at ensuring a fair and transparent process is followed to obtain maximum value for money on all purchases. The procurement activities we have to undertake, when purchasing goods and services, are laid out according to the potential value of spend:

Value Procurement procedure 
 £0-£5,000  Single quotation obtained
 £5,001-£25,000  Minimum of two written quotations obtained or use of approved framework

 £25,001 – EU threshold

(£181,302 until Dec 2019)

 Competitive tender process or use of an approved framework

 Above EU threshold

(£181,302 until Dec 2019)

 Competitive tender process following requirements of Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Note – in relation to the procurement of works, different thresholds apply. For works above £50,000 the University will undertake a competitive tender exercise, where the contract value is above the EU threshold (£4,551,413 until Dec 2019) this will be in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Cheque printing to cease

From 31 July 2019 the University of Southampton will no longer be able to pay suppliers by cheque as our secure cheque printing software will no longer be supported.

If you need to update your suppler record (including bank details), please contact


Terms, conditions and policies

We engage suppliers using University of Southampton terms and conditions, the standard terms and conditions of purchase are available to view here PDF LINK

Where alternative terms and conditions are required due to the specialist nature of a requirements (for example the supply of services, or works) the terms and conditions are contained as part of the Invitation to Tender procurement documentation.

All suppliers must have appropriate contractor insurance, required levels and details will be specified within the procurement documentation. 

We also have a range of policies that our suppliers must be aware of and that we and they must comply with –



Invoice information

We ask all suppliers to ensure that they have been given a University Purchase Order before they begin supplying goods or services. This PO number must be shown on all invoices – without it, we will be unable to pay your invoice. Our aim is to pay all of our suppliers for approved invoices within 30 days of receipt.

Invoices will be treated as valid and undisputed where they: clearly state a valid University Purchase Order number; the invoice details match the information contained on the official purchase order (item / service supplied, quantity, price) and are addressed to :

Accounts Payable
University of Southampton
Building 37
University Road
SO17 1BJ

HMRC guidance states that invoices must also include the following information:

  • the word Invoice is clearly stated
  • a unique invoice number which identifies the invoice
  • your company name, address and contact information
  • the date of the invoice
  • a clear description of what you are charging including the amounts
  • your VAT number (if VAT registered).

Full HMRC guidance for invoicing and taking payments from customers is available on the GOV.UK website

If you are an individual or small organisation and you don't have a suitable format for your invoice, then you may find one of these invoice templates useful:

Invoice template

VAT invoice template


Off-payroll workers / IR35 tax legislation

Due to government changes to the tax legislation known as IR35, from 6 April 2017 the University is responsible for ensuring that individuals working with us through their own limited company (known as a personal service company or PSC) pay the right amount of tax and NI. This means that if you are a supplier who falls into this category, we will need to use a digital tool provided by HMRC to assess your status in relation to this legislation before you start working with us. This may affect the way in which we engage you to provide us with goods and services. If you are a personal service company and believe you are affected by the IR35 rules, please notify your contact at the University before commencing delivery of services.


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