Luminate Education Group Procurement
Procurement services for Luminate Education Group are provided by the team based at Leeds City College.
We welcome interest from businesses wishing to supply our colleges with goods and services which can help us fulfil our missions, secure value for money and deliver the exceptional student learning experience that we aim to provide.
As a public body funded by taxpayers’ money and accountable to the Skills Funding Agency and other funders, colleges are required to achieve value for money and demonstrate financial probity at all times.
Goods and services that the colleges purchase
We currently spends about £30 million per year on ‘non-pay’ expenditure, which includes:
- Books, online services and other learning resources.
- Equipment and materials.
- Estates, property-related costs, utilities and facilities management.
- Contracted staffing services such as temporary staff and seasonal staff.
- Food ingredients cooked and sold through our food outlets.
- Professional services such as consultancy services, legal, audit and financial services.
- Outsourced services such as student catering and cleaning.
- Sub-contracted education and training delivery partnerships.
- Capacity building and delivery partners for our external business contracts funded by the European Social Fund and Skills Funding Agency.
- Staff and student travel.
- Sponsorship and promotional services promoting the colleges as providers of choice for students and employers.
What we look for in potential suppliers
- Goods and services which are fit for purpose, reliable and professionally delivered.
- Long-term value such as goods that last and that offer lifecycle benefits such as energy savings and ease of maintenance.
- Compliance with our health, safety, safeguarding, equality and diversity requirements, especially when suppliers will be in contact with students and staff or working in college premises.
- Compliance with legal requirements including data protection, environmental responsibility, probity and good employment practice.
- Fair dealings with the businesses and people working in your supply chain.
- Mutually beneficial business relationships which offer the colleges continuity of supply, efficient ordering, payment and communication processes and effective contract management.
- Supporting the colleges, the local community and the economy as a whole to stimulate growth, economic recovery and skills development, especially through innovative product development and investment in the future skills of the workforce.
What we offer to our suppliers
- Efficient ordering and purchasing processes.
- Prompt payment in accordance with agreed contract terms.
- Advance information, where possible, of our future purchasing plans.
How we undertake purchasing
- Our Purchasing Policy outlines how we undertake all our procurement activities.
- We use the e-Tendering Portal for further education colleges, sponsored by the Association of Colleges, to advertise many of our contract opportunities. This can be accessed at in-tendhost.co.uk/fe/aspx/Home. The colleges recommend that all businesses wishing to access opportunities to work with us should register on this site. Registration is free of charge and will also provide access to business opportunities with many other FE colleges.
- In some cases, contract opportunities are also advertised on the government’s contracts finder website and in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
- We generally ask for three written quotations before committing to any transaction over £1,000 and follow more formal tender exercises when we are proposing expenditure over £20,000.
Collaborative approaches to procurement
Many of our contracts are let with suppliers who hold framework agreement contracts with public sector purchasing consortia. Framework agreements enable public sector bodies to combine their spending power and secure cost-effective supply arrangements while still enabling individual public bodies to enter into contracts which meet their specific organisational requirements.
We work with the Crescent Purchasing Consortium (a national purchasing consortium supporting the further education sector in the UK), the North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium, YORHub, a construction and consultancy focused consortia jointly operated by several local council / local government departments across Yorkshire and Humber and with The University Caterers’ Organisation (TUCO) for purchase of food.
In other cases, we make use of the centralised purchasing arrangements set up by the Crown Commercial Service and by the Pro5 local government consortia (including Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation and Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation). See the following websites for more information:
Supporting our colleges’ missions
We aim to use our purchasing activities to support fulfilment of the colleges’ missions, for example through curriculum links (including site visits, industry links, classroom materials, work placements and more) and engagement with employers and businesses.
Lasting relationships with suppliers
Where appropriate, long-term relationships with suppliers provide mutual benefits. They provide a reliable indication of future business levels for suppliers and justify investment in electronic communications for ordering and payment processes and regular communication and contract management activities.
We know that suppliers are interested in becoming a ‘preferred supplier’ with a working relationship underpinned by contract, and we will seek to appoint suppliers to ‘preferred supplier’ role contracts on the basis of supplier suitability, value for money and additional benefits.
Such ‘preferred supplier’ relationships will always be time limited. From time to time, we will test whether our existing suppliers offer best value and may then enter new contracts – this will not mean that new contracts will automatically be awarded to existing suppliers.
Purchasing systems and processes
Purchase orders are generally issued by email from our ‘Agresso’ financial system, it is therefore important that we have an email address to which orders can be sent. You should not begin to provide goods and services before a purchase order or a contract ID number has been issued. Invoices for payment must include the purchase order number or contract ID number and may be returned unpaid if the number is not stated.
The colleges’ conditions of purchase apply to all contracts and purchase orders. In the absence of any specific terms and conditions covering a contract, our standard conditions of purchase will apply.
Payments are administered by the Accounts Payable team based at Leeds City College, Park Lane Campus, Park Lane, Leeds LS3 1AA. All invoices should be sent to this address or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Payments are made by BACS transfer within our standard 30 day payment terms.
The colleges are signatory to the Prompt Payment Code and we encourage our suppliers to also adopt the code. By adhering to this code, the colleges pledge to pay suppliers on time (within agreed terms), give clear guidance to suppliers and encourage good practice.
Where possible we use Government Purchasing Cards (GPC) for lower value purchases and purchases made away from the colleges.
The colleges take our mutual financial protection very seriously and take careful steps to prevent procurement fraud. For example, you will see this reflected in the steps we take to ensure that bank payments are made to the correct account.