West College Scotland (WCS) was created on 1st August 2013 as a result of the merger of Clydebank College, Reid Kerr College and the Inverclyde campuses of James Watt College. WCS is the largest college in Scotland with a turnover of around £67 million and a student population in excess of 20,000. We deliver learning and vocational training to the West Region of Scotland, a catchment area of 1.2 million people, representing 23% of the resident population of Scotland.
West College Scotland procures a wide range of goods, services and works. The Procurement Team within the College works to ensure all West College Scotland procurements are economically advantageous; robust; transparent and equitable to all suppliers and contractors. Our vision is to be “recognised as a leading public sector procurement body, working collaboratively to support the local economy”.
All requirements over £25,000 (including VAT) are advertised on the national advertising portal, (Public Contracts Scotland) and we strongly recommend you register with the site which is free of charge as this will give you access to all Public Sector tendering opportunities. It’s important you enter as much information as accurately as possible so you are notified when appropriate tenders are published. For example, if you specialise in electrical services please ensure you state this so that if any electrical related needs arise you will be notified. You should also remember to update your contact details, such as email address, if they change. Please ensure you register for the business categories appropriate to your organisations core activity.
What is a contract?
A contract is a formal agreement between West College Scotland and any third party supplier of goods, services or works. The nature of the contract is dependent on the level of spend and the duration of the contract i.e. the total estimated spend over the lifetime of the procurement.
Why does West College Scotland use contracts?
All Public Bodies are legally bound to put contracts in place where appropriate, to secure best value by making sure that not only are the items fit for purpose and the prices reasonable, but also that suppliers have relevant levels of insurance; financial stability; and Health and Safety policies. This protects the interests of all stakeholders of West College Scotland.
How does the College procure low value requirements?
Quotes are obtained though the Public Contracts Scotland Quick Quote facility. Suppliers are selected from those registered under that category; therefore, you have to be registered on the Public Contracts Scotland website. Please provide as much information as possible about your company and ensure to check the categories of work you are interested in.
Does the College use electronic tendering?
Electronic tendering is a way of completing tender documents online rather than filling out Word documents and sending them via PCS. The College is moving towards implementing electronic tendering. Tenders can be accessed via PCS or the separate system PCS-Tender. This can be accessed on PCS Tender.
It is important to keep abreast of legal and regulatory changes to procurement in Scotland. The Scottish Government publishes the Scottish Procurement Policy Notes (SPPN) on an ad-hoc basis to provide advice on current policy issues.
WCS Procurement Strategy
All contracting authorities with an annual regulated procurement spend over or equal to £5million are required to produce and publish an organisational procurement strategy under section 15 of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.
The WCS Procurement Strategy has been written based on the legislative requirements of the above act and other relevant legislation. It is aligned with the College’s Regional Outcome Agreement 2014/17 and Corporate Plan and with the Scottish Funding Council’s key strategic outcomes.
Through working together with staff and collaboration with key partners across the wider education and public sector, it is expected that the Procurement Strategy will contribute to the future sustainability of the College. This will be achieved through the reinvestment of resulting savings and efficiencies from procurement activities to enhance our students learning experiences and outcomes as well as meeting the College’s strategic objectives / priorities.
The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 came into effect on 18th April 2016. Section 35 of the Act requires all public sector organisations to keep and maintain a “Contracts Register” for any regulated procurements, that is contracts entered into since 18th April 2016 for Goods and Services with a value greater than £50,000 (net of VAT) and for Works with a value greater than £2,000,000 (net of VAT).
To date there have been no contracts entered into which fall within the legislative criteria. This is being reviewed on an ongoing basis and once there are contracts which do meet the criteria, these will be included on the Register and it will be posted here.
Safeguarding public funds
Monitoring our procurement performance
The West College Procurement Team is assessed every two years by the Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) against criteria as set out in the Scottish Governments Procurement Capability Improvement Plan (PCIP) to check that procurement practices across the colleges is conducted in line with the required standards embedded in the PCIP. This allows the College to identify where best practice exists, where there are gaps and where improvements and efficiencies can be implemented. We are always keen to develop our services and would encourage feedback from our suppliers and contractors and stakeholders in general as to how we can continually improve our service delivery to our customers and stakeholders on behalf of West College Scotland.
Reporting procurement and contract fraud
The Director of Finance is responsible for carrying out investigations of any suspected frauds in line with the Colleges Fraud and Corruption Policy.
The procurement process is dictated by a number of factors such as the commodity being purchased and the total estimated spend . The process of procurement is governed by The Public Contracts (Scotland) Procurement Regulations and where appropriate, The EU Procurement Directives.
- The service department identifies a need and ensures budget is available.
- A scoping document and specification is developed and an Invitation to Quote/Tender is created.
- Requirements are advertised on the Public Contracts Scotland website and the Official Journal of the European Union if expected spend is in excess of the EU thresholds applicable at the point of procurement.
- Tenders are received from interested suppliers.
- Tender responses are evaluated against the stated criteria.
- Contract award is made in line with Public Contracts Scotland using PCS.
- Award letters / unsuccessful letters are sent to supplier(s).
- Award notice is published on Public Contracts Scotland.
A more detailed explanation about the Procurement process called the ‘Supplier Journey’ can be found on the Scottish Government website along with further information on working with Public Bodies.
How to tender (apply) for opportunities
All West College Scotland tendering opportunities over £25,000 including VAT are advertised on the Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) website. The website is used by all public bodies in Scotland and is free to use. We strongly recommend you register with PCS to receive notifications when requirements are posted there.
It is very important that you provide accurate and detailed information when registering and that you update your details if they change. This ensures you receive notification when a relevant opportunity arises. The PCS website provides guidance documents on this.
The West College Scotland opportunities currently being advertised on Public Contracts Scotland can be viewed below.