Purchasing Process and Thresholds Update

Following internal audit recommendations by PwC and consultation across the University (primarily via the P2P Process User Group and P2P Process Oversight Group) changes are being made to the University's purchasing processes, these changes have been approved by Committee. 

What is changing?

The changes from 1 August include:

  • Raising the threshold for quotes to be obtained to £2.5k
  • Raising the threshold for the involvement of the Purchasing Department to £125k 
  • Replacing the departmental tender process with a simplified Request for Quote process for purchases between £25k and £125k
  • Introducing a new form to document justification where departments have not obtained the recommended number of quotes (i.e. dispensing with recommended competition) below £125k
  • Introducing a risk-based approach for referring non-standard contract terms and conditions to the Purchasing Department

Why are the changes needed?

The changes are designed to:

  • Simplify the purchasing process to improve efficiency and compliance
  • Adjust thresholds for tenders and quotations to reflect inflationary pressures
  • Promote more competitive action to help ensure value for money is achieved

Do I need to do anything?

From 1 August 2023 you must apply the new processes to any new procurements. Procurements initiated prior to 1 August 2023 should be completed in accordance with the requirements of the old processes.

This web page will be updated with details of the resources and training as they become available.

You should prepare for the changes by reviewing the videos and training below.

Help and support

From 1 August 2023, please contact your department's Finance team in the first instance if you have any questions on how to apply the new process. 

Videos and training

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Details of the proposed changes were shared at the Mid-Year Roadshow. Watch an extract of the Roadshow outlining the changes (4:04) (SSO required).

This P2P Process changes overview video (5:33) outlines the new processes and the steps you will need to take from 1 August 2023.



Watch the full briefing (28:08).

Watch the overview briefing (24:15).


Details of the briefings and workshops for staff and students involved in making purchases:

Full briefings

Hour long updates aimed at finance staff and those heavily involved in purchasing, providing full details of the changes to the process, what action you and your colleagues need to take and the resources available to support you.

Briefings were held as follows:

In person only

  • Friday, 2 June 2023 - BDI Building Seminar Room 1, Old Road Campus - 10:30-11:30am
  • Wednesday, 7 June 2023 - Lewis Carroll, Finance Division, Hythe Bridge Street - 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Tuesday, 13 June 2023 - Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Department of Physics, Parks Road, OX1 3PU - 10:30-11:30am

Online via Teams

  • Thursday, 15 June 2023 - 10:30-11:30am
  • Tuesday, 20 June 2023 - 13:30-14:30pm
  • Thursday, 29 June 2023 - 11:00am-12:00pm

Watch the full briefing (28:08).

Overview briefings

Half hour updates aimed at non-finance staff and colleagues involved in purchasing, outlining the actions to be taken and resources available to support you.

Overview briefings were held as follows:

Online via Teams

  • Monday, 19 June 2023 - 11:00-11:30am
  • Wednesday, 21 June 2023 - 11:30am-12:00pm
  • Tuesday, 27 June 2023 - 13:30-14:00pm

Watch the overview briefing (24:15).

Fully updated training will also be available on CoSy from Monday 24 July 2023.

Resources for administrators

Distributable resources are available for administrators to help inform your staff and students of the changes and the resources and training available to them.


Contact us

 : Purchasing Department
       Finance Division
       University of Oxford
       23-38 Hythe Bridge Street
       Oxford OX1 2ET

 :  01865 (6) 16022

 : For further information
      please contact the
      Purchasing Department