Working with the University: Procurement

Purchase orders

For general purchases, suppliers of goods and services must be in receipt of an official purchase order from the University before any order is fulfilled or dispatched.

You must quote a purchase order number on supplier invoices, otherwise payment will not be made. For further information on how to avoid delays in payment, please read our Guide to Faster Payment.

General conditions

Our standard terms and conditions of purchase will apply to all purchase orders let by the University unless specifically stated otherwise in writing.

Tender notices

Details of the University's current tenders can be found on our Supplier Network. Companies may register their details to express an interest in tender opportunities that may be advertised from time to time.

The University of Sussex also advertises in the Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Community (OJEU) where appropriate.

Other contract opportunities can be found at the Government's supply portal, Contract Finder.

Supplier Network

The University engages with suppliers and individuals via the Supplier Network. This enables the University to maintain better relationships as well as easily identify businesses and individuals that it may wish to engage with in the future.

As such, we require all those with whom we do business to register on the Supplier Network.

Key benefits for suppliers and individuals include:

  • Easily control the information the University holds on you
  • Maintain your payment details in real time (you can update these yourself to ensure they are always up to date for faster payment)
  • Sign up for alerts for future opportunities with the University, wider HE sector or nationally
  • Achieve ‘Approved Supplier’ status

FAQs for suppliers

1. Why have I been sent a link?

You have been sent this link because someone at our organisation wishes to buy your goods or services. Until you click the link and submit your information, answering all questions, we cannot approve you into our Finance System, and will not be able to pay your invoices. Once you are on our Finance System, your goods and services are then accessible to all of our employees.

2. I have been notified by email that an 'Invitation to Engage' has been sent to my organisation but I cannot find this email or an email containing the link.

Sometimes this email goes to SPAM, if so please move the email to your inbox as some email providers will not allow links to work if the email remains in your SPAM folder.

Do not attempt to access our portal by any means other than the link we have sent you. Do not attempt to register yourself on the Proactis Network, this will not register you with the University.

3. I have clicked the link - now what do I do?

Please put aside around 10 minutes to complete the form. You must do this to the stage where you can set a password otherwise you will be locked out of the Portal (if this happens, email There are a number of compulsory questions to answer before you can set a password but if you click save as you go and you can review your answers after you have done so.

Please see How to Respond to an Invitation to Engage on the Supplier Network for further guidance.

4. Why do I need to complete the questionnaire in full?

The University will only work with those individuals and organisations who meet certain criteria around risk profiling and data management; this also includes criteria relating to our policies on working ethics (like meeting the minimum wage as an employer) and the environment. The information we gather in this process will also determine how we work with you in future. If you complete the process in full, your goods and services are then available in searches made by all of our staff. If you do not complete the process, we are not able to work with your organisation.

5. I have received an Invitation to Engage, but I cannot access the account. Why?

1. This may be because your firm is already registered on the platform and are already providing goods and services to other businesses/universities.  You will need the existing account holder within your organisation to log in and add you as a user. If you don’t know who this is, please contact Proactis (the platform provider) on Please let and your university client know that you’ve done this. We may be able to access who your Organisation’s existing user is to assist you.

2. You may have already followed the link and accessed the Portal, but because you did not reach the point where you set a password the Portal has locked you out. Please email so we can assist.

6. I would like to discuss some of the University's PO Terms and Conditions before submitting. What do I do?

You must agree to our terms of purchase in order to proceed. The University will only accept alternative terms in exceptional circumstances, i.e. where we have a large spend with your organisation. In this instance, if we have already agreed alternative terms with you, you can still click to agree and the alternative terms will apply.

For anything else, please email

7. Why does the registration stop me proceeding to page two?

Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and ensure you have completed the CIS Classifications box on the bottom left hand side, as it is a mandatory field. If construction is not relevant to what you provide, select ‘none’.

8. How do I add additional users and contacts (during registration)?

You may wish to add additional users who can have access and update items in your supplier record, for example one team (member) may be responsible for updating banking information and another for Terms and Conditions. There are two different methods for this process depending on whether you have completed Registration (and been approved as a supplier by the University) or whether you are still in the registration process.

Please see our additional guidance documents - How to Add a User in the SRM and How to Amend Contacts and User Details.

9. How do I update my organisation's bank details after I have registered?

Please see How to Amend your Bank Details on the Supplier Network for further guidance.

10. How do I update other details after I have registered?

Please see our guidance documents: How to Amend Contacts and User Details and How to Amend Other Details on the Supplier Network for further guidance.

11. How do I get a new password (after I have registered)?

You can always request a new password by clicking on the link below the login field which reads ‘cannot access your account?’

12. How do I raise an issue with the Portal?

You can log a ticket with the helpdesk provider here:

Please see the Guide to Helpdesk Registration on the Supplier Network for further guidance.