UK SBS provides an end to end procurement service to the public sector. Our customers include the Research Councils, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and its partner organisations. We provide service to the wider public sector through our strategic alliance with the Crown Commercial Service. UK SBS leads on the pan-Government research frameworks on behalf of the Government.

Suppliers are critical to the success of our procurement service. That’s why UK SBS work with customers to select suppliers who deliver to our customers expectations.
As a public sector mutual, UK SBS shares the goals of its public sector owners and customers to deliver value for money for UK taxpayers and an ongoing focus to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of its service.

Working on behalf of the public sector, UK SBS complies with the EU Procurement Directives and UK procurement regulations in the selection of its suppliers. We are committed to improving the transparency of, and ensuring equality of access to, public sector business. Key to delivering on our commitment is our focus on removing the barriers to participating in opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

How do I become a supplier?

UK SBS does not hold an approved supplier list or maintain lists of potential suppliers. If you are interested in becoming a supplier to the public sector, UK SBS has two approaches to supplier selection - one for lower value requirements and the other for requirements above the EU threshold limits. UK SBS uses e-sourcing to support all procurements above £10k.

Lower value requirements

To fulfil lower value requirements (under £10k) that are not achievable through an existing contract or framework agreement, UK SBS identifies potential suppliers via:

  • The web
  • Supplier catalogues
  • Trade information
  • National and trade press
  • Existing supplier network
Requirements between £10k and OJEU thresholds

All requirements between £10k and OJEU thresholds are advertised on Contracts Finder

Requirements above OJEU threshold limits

Requirements above the relevant OJEU threshold levels - whether renewals or for new requirements - will be taken forward in accordance with the public procurement regulations, Government policy and best practice.

Opportunities are advertised through Tenders Electronic Daily (TED).

Guide to Procurement stages


What does this mean?

Prior Information Notice (PIN)

Advanced warning of an upcoming procurement exercise

Contract or OJEU Notice

A document outlining all of the information bidders will need in relation to the procurement exercise

Expressions of Interest

A process where suppliers are invited to register their intent to take part in the bidding process

Request for Information (RFI)

A process where suppliers are asked to provide written information to support evaluation of their capability to provide a service

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

A process where suppliers are invited to submit a proposal for a specific requirement

Call off, mini-competition, further competition

A further or mini competition is a process followed to place an order against a framework agreement, where the details of the requirement and the supplier have not been specified.


E-sourcing tools

UK SBS uses Emptoris as its e-sourcing tool. A guide to registering and using for the first time can be found below.

Logging in to Emptoris for the first time

Emptoris Training Module

We have also created six videos as training tools to assist Bidders to review clarify and respond to sourcing activities within Emptoris E Sourcing.
Click here to view our videos.

Useful Links

UK SBS Procurement terms and conditions

All UK SBS procurements are conducted in a fair and open manner. Records are made at all stages in order that the procedure is fully auditable.

Procurement Transparency Statement