How We Do Business

This guide has been compiled to assist potential suppliers, contractors and consultants who wish to do business with us.

All suppliers are required to read and understand the government guide to keeping children save in education and follow the Academy’s Safeguarding / Child Protection Policy, which can be found on each Academies website.

Government guidance can be found here:–2

What do we purchase?

Northern Education Trust (NET) purchases a wide range of products and services. These include:

  • IT Supplies and Services
  • Uniforms
  • Cleaning
  • Estate Services
  • Stationery and Consumables
  • Print
  • Furniture and Furnishings
  • Catering
  • CCTV and Security
  • Energy
  • HR and Health Services

How do we find Suppliers?

On some occasions, it is pertinent to select a supplier from an existing framework agreement. On these occasions, it is usual to undertake a mini-competition between the providers listed on the framework.

There may be some instances where the requirement is either very low value or is for a very specific commodity when we will short list suppliers based on reputation, suppliers’ catalogues, trade information or trade exhibitions.

For all other procurement exercises, our preferred route to market is through our e-tendering platform;  From this platform, we will advertise small and large opportunities to registered suppliers. Depending on the anticipated value of the requirement, we may invite a quotation, a tender or a Standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ). An SQ is designed to assess a company’s capacity to undertake the work advertised by obtaining financial and technical information from potential suppliers. If a company is successful at SQ stage, they will be invited to complete a full tender exercise.


The object of the evaluation process is to identify the tender or quotation which provides not only the overall best value for money for the particular purchase, but also the ability to meet NET needs, both now and in the future. Our tender evaluation is strictly controlled and conducted objectively and impartially. Evaluation and subsequent discussions with suppliers will generally identify a winning tender. Occasionally evaluation will not separate tenders and in these circumstances, shortlisted bidders may be asked to provide samples or demonstrate their products or services. It may also be necessary for a visit to be arranged to the shortlisted suppliers’ premises. We will also follow up any references that may have been requested.

Depending on the nature of the tender, we may invite suppliers to present on their bid so the panel can gain a greater understanding before awarding the contract.


Once a decision has been reached following evaluation of written quotations or tenders, the successful and unsuccessful supplier(s) will be informed in writing without delay. Within the boundaries of commercial confidentially we will provide, on request, feedback to successful and unsuccessful tenderers.

Terms and Conditions:

NET conducts business on their own terms and conditions of contract. There are several sets of terms in use, covering various categories of goods and services. The relevant set of terms is always included in the Invitation to Tender package. In tenders that are more complex, bespoke terms and conditions could be applied.

In particular it is essential that you quote;

  • Costs
  • VAT
  • Delivery charges (if applicable)
  • A current valid Purchase Order Number

Post contract performance measurement:

NET monitor ongoing performance of our suppliers against agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Specific measures will vary from contract to contract, but the broad themes for all suppliers to perform against are:

  • Commercial
  • Delivery
  • Quality and Environmental
  • Partnership