Becoming a supplier

Before we enter into a contract with a supplier, a competitive process will have been completed in line with University Financial Regulations which can be accessed via:

The most common approach we take is to involve the University seeking quotations or responses to tenders via our electronic tender package ‘In-Tend’. The University does not place contracts in response to direct marketing. 

If you, or your organisation would like to be considered for these opportunities, in the first instance please register your interest via:

This free to access and use platform allows organisations to register for potential opportunities; submit expressions of interest; appropriately download tender documents and upload bids - not just for University of Cambridge but other ‘In-Tend’ client groups too.

The system is easy to navigate, with clear guidance steps along the way. New registrants will be asked to complete in full information around:-

  1. Company details;
  2. Compliance with Modern Slavery Act 2015;
  3. What goods, works or services are core for you, defined by us as ‘business classifications’;
  4. Type of organisation - both by number of employees and/or ownership structure.

Once registered, as opportunities arise organisations who meet the selection criteria defined for each tender, which may for example include listing under certain ‘business classifications’ and/or of a certain ownership structure, will receive further information to enable them to determine if they would like to be considered for inclusion in the tendering activity.


We may, at our discretion seek quotations for low value purchases by telephone or email but a more formal tender process will be required in writing for higher value purchases exceeding £50,000 total value.

Tender Process

Tenders are sought for all goods and services where an exclusive contract does not or a non-exclusive contract may not exist where the value exceeds £50,000 total value in line with the relevant University Regulations which can be accessed via

There are a number of different tender processes depending on what is being purchased; the timescale involved and if EU Regulations apply.  Each individual tender opportunity will clearly state the process by which it is running, what it is for, and the timelines associated with each of the various stages along with the award criteria.

When tenders are invited, bids are submitted in the manner required by the time and date detailed in the tender pack.

We use ‘In-Tend’ as our preferred method for the release, receipt and management of tender packs. Once the tender process as described in the tender pack has been completed, the successful bidder(s) will be notified by letter and move to contract execution.  Unsuccessful bidders can request a debriefing meeting.

Bidder selections

Each individual tender will clearly detail how potential bidders have been selected to receive further information around an opportunity, and also how they will be assessed moving through the tender process. These include:

  1. Those appropriately registered on ‘In-Tend’
  2. Those appropriately registered on ‘Constructionline’
  3. Those who respond to direct advertising in relevant trade publications and local press
  4. Those who respond through a voluntary notice in the Official Journal of the European Union

Please note, those identified through points 2 - 4 above will be asked to register on ‘In-Tend’ as their means of submitting an expression of interest.

HMRC off-payroll worker rules

When the University engages a new supplier, we need to assess whether self-employed individuals or people providing services through companies should be deemed to be employees for tax purposes (“off-payroll workers”), resulting in an obligation on the University to account for PAYE and NI.  To fulfil this statutory obligation we need to check some of your personal information against publically available sources e.g. Companies House, and we may share your information with third parties such as our external employment tax advisers.  This information is retained for six years in case we need to provide evidence to HMRC during tax audits.  For general information on how we handle personal data, see:

For completeness, we would draw your attention to the fact that the University of Cambridge is not a public body within the meaning of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (Directive 2014/24/EU) and is not subject to the European procurement legislation. Where the University advertises contracts in the Official Journal of the European Union, it does so on a voluntary basis and does not undertake any obligation to comply with the procurement legislation. The University reserves its rights in full to adapt or step outside the procedures in the procurement legislation as the University considers necessary.