Direct award

What is direct award?

Some agreements allow you to place an order directly with a supplier of your choice without the need for further competition. You can find out if this is an option by looking at the ‘how to buy section’ of the relevant agreement details page

You can also place a direct award when ordering from one of our catalogues.

Who can use

All public sector and non-profit organisations are able to buy from our agreements using direct award.

Some organisations do not allow direct award as a way of purchase. Always check your organisation’s policy to make sure that direct award is a compliant route for you.

You can use a direct award to buy a range of products and services if the agreement allows. They are best used for low volume, low value and urgent requirements.

  • complex requirements for solutions or services 
  • bundled commodity items where you may expect a discount from the retail price due to the volume of items you are buying
  • organisations that do not allow direct awards as a route to market

Ways to buy through direct award vary depending on the agreement and can include:

  • evaluation processes: a catalogue process where you evaluate product or service descriptions against pre-defined criteria before making a selection 
  • restricted elements: a catalogue which has a list of suppliers against each product, including an automated supplier selection based on criteria such as price, which restricts you to buying from the supplier that meets the selection criteria 
  • unrestricted but advisory elements: a recommendation is made by the catalogue to choose a supplier by set criteria, such as cheapest price, but this is not mandatory and you can choose to override the recommendation

The agreement’s buyer guide will include the direct award process for that agreement in more detail. Take a look at our current agreements.

Supply time depends on the types of goods or services you need. Common goods that are held in stock usually have short lead times.

Some agreements allow you to complete pre-engagement with the supplier to clarify specifications. If required, this would usually take 2 to 3 days to complete.

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