Competitive Pricing

UCalgary Procurement Services manages supplier purchases/agreements for goods, services, furniture, equipment, capital construction and renovations for faculties, departments and research initiatives.

Procurement Services Include:

Requestors will identify their requirements and complete a purchase requisition using the university eProcurement module in PeopleSoft.

Establishing preferred supplier agreements

Expediting supplier order deliveries

Managing competitive bid and sole/single sourcing process

Strategic sourcing

Supplier development and performance management

Supplier contract negotiation and administration

Procurement Methods

Only those persons authorized by the University of Calgary may commit University funds to purchase goods or services or enter into an agreement with a supplier to purchase goods or services.

Employees will only use suppliers from the preferred suppliers list to procure goods or services. When specific categories are not listed or when preferred suppliers cannot meet the requestors' requirements, Supply Chain Management will work with the requestor to source an appropriate supplier.

Goods or services may be purchased by authorized employees through the following:

University Authorized Payment Methods for Purchase Orders

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) an electronic method of remittance for payment within 30 days from invoice date
  • Visa Payables Automation (VPA) an automated payment process utilizing a virtual Visa card similar to an eTransfer with payment within 7 days after invoice approval
  • Wire Transfer a bank to bank transfer with payment within 30 days from invoice date (Note: only available for non CDN/US suppliers)

University Authorized Purchase Orders

  • Requestors will identify their requirements and complete a purchase requisition detailing their requirements using the university BAS eProcurement System. For access, refer to 'Getting Started' in Business Administration Systems.
  • When approved, the purchase requisition will form the basis for a purchase order which is a binding document between the University and a supplier.
  • Purchase orders may only be issued by authorized individuals in Supply Chain Management.
  • The purchase requisition and purchase order process is outlined in the Purchasing Handbook.

University Issued Credit Cards

  • Supply Chain Management manages the Corporate Card program that offers a Procurement Card (PCard) for low-dollar value, low-risk purchases and a Travel and Expense Card (T&E Card) for travel and meetings costs to minimize incurring expenses personally. For information on obtaining a Corporate card refer to university credit cards.



Sourcing Guidelines

Supply Chain Management acquires goods or services through open and transparent competitive bidding, tendering and sole/single sourcing procurement processes. In cooperation with university departments, Supply Chain Management shall coordinate all procurement functions related to the acquisition of goods, supplies and services through one the following methodologies:

A competitive bid process or methodology shall take place for all purchases greater than $25,000 (not including GST).

Based on the purchase amount and complexity of the purchase requirement, Supply Chain Management invites competitive bids from suppliers through one of the following methods:

  • Purchases between $25,000 to $75,000: solicits a minimum of three supplier price quotations from the marketplace
  • Goods and service purchase requirements $75,000 or more: must be advertised on the Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC) electronic tendering website
  • Construction purchases greater than $200,000: must be advertised on the Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC) electronic tendering website or Calgary Construction Association CoolNET electronic tendering system

A non-competitive procurement process takes place when the purchase is placed with only the supplier without a competitive bid process being undertaken.

Supply Chain Management may, at its sole discretion, purchase or single source a purchase under $25,000 through one vendor. Single/sole source procedures and limitations are outlined in the Supply Chain Management Purchasing Handbook.

Northwest Partnership Trade Agreement

As member of the MASH sector (municipalities, academic, school boards and health) of the Government of Alberta, the University must comply with the Northwest Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA). Under the NWPTA agreement, the MASH sector annual dollar competitive bid thresholds have been set at:

  • Goods and Services: $75,000
  • Construction: $200,000

Purchase Orders, Invoicing and Materials Delivery

Special Notice about recent fraudulent activity:

UCalgary has been fully co-operating with the Calgary Police Service as they investigate these reports of fraudulent activity. We are thankful that the CPS takes such criminal acts very seriously. The supply chain process within The University of Calgary has very stringent controls in place regarding purchase orders.

Phone Number

Every purchase order has a phone number to the UService to validate the purchase order. Confirmation telephone numbers are verifiable at

Email Address

Every purchase order indicates the buyer for the product or service along with their valid email address.

PO Address

Suppliers should be suspicious of any PO shipment address outside of 2500 University Drive NW.

Purchase Order

Every purchase order comes from a University of Calgary email address that employs anti spoofing protections.

More Information

To ensure your product or service is properly authorized and that your payment will not be delayed, suppliers, contractors and consultants must ensure they receive a University Purchase Order (PO) number prior to starting work. See the university's Standard Purchase Order Terms and Conditions for more information.

Accounts Payable facilitates the payment of suppliers through invoice submissions

Invoice Payment Terms: 

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Wire Transfer are net 30 days from date of invoice.
  • Automated Virtual Visa Payments (VPA) within 7 days of invoice approval.

Suppliers are expected to pay special attention to packaging, shipping instructions and delivery dates.

Unless otherwise instructed by Procurement Services, deliveries are to be F.O.B University of Calgary, Central Shipping and Receiving, Physical Plant Building. The goods are to be shipped in the most economical manner that will meet the stipulated delivery date.

Due to delivery location access restrictions and equipment handling limitations, suppliers are requested to contact the Procurement Specialist or Distribution Services to arrange delivery of shipments of extraordinary size or weight.

Quick Links

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Procurement FAQs

Browse these frequently asked questions and responses concerning procurement services at the University of Calgary, including what you need to know about how and when you will get paid, and how to read your pay statement. Use key words to help refine and improve your search.

If your question is not answered, contact UService at 403.210.9300 or

The Supply Chain Management policy clarifies and supports accountability for the procurement, payment and distribution of goods and services for the university. The SCM policy supports cost efficiencies, process improvements, internal controls and accountability. View the policy on the Legal Services website.

We have negotiated agreements with local, national and international suppliers; these are the university's Preferred Suppliers. By leveraging UCalgary's considerable purchasing power, faculty and staff can buy more or get better value with the same or fewer dollars. Price is only one factor when defining cost for an item.

Other factors include:

  • transaction costs
  • transportation
  • warehousing
  • inventory costs
  • purchasing administration
  • packaging
  • payment terms
  • obsolescence
  • warranty
  • specifications
  • expediting
  • sustainability

Selection of preferred suppliers is based on a competitive bid process that identifies suppliers who provide the best overall value to the University based on defined specifications and contract deliverables.

We post Competitive Bid Requirements for preferred suppliers on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website.

We use three methods to support the university’s purchasing requirements:

  • portal eProcurement orders (Requisitions)
  • Procurement Cards (PCards)
  • Travel and Expense cards (T&E Cards)

By using one of the authorized methodologies, the university can ensure procurement activities have received appropriate approvals, is properly tracked, reported and accounted for in a fiscally responsible manner.

A requisition is to be used for all purchases of goods or services when a PCard or T&E Card is not a suitable purchase method.

A PCard should be used when acquiring a majority of low-dollar (under $5,000) and low-risk goods and services purchases. Using the PCard for these types of purchases eliminates the need to generate Purchase Orders, reducing administrative costs by as much as 75 per cent.

A list of exceptions can be found in the Corporate Card Program Handbook.

T&E Cards should be used for:

  • Travel and travel-related expenses (e.g. airfare, accommodations, meals and car rentals)
  • Miscellaneous incidents to a maximum of $250 incurred during travel
  • Travel and travel-related expenses incurred through the preferred travel agency (Maritime Travel)

View the Corporate Card Program Handbook for further details.

All purchase requisitions must be entered before the goods or services are ordered. Suppliers must receive a copy of the purchase order (not just the purchase order number) before they provide goods or services.

A purchase order is a legal document between the supplier and the University. It specifies the terms and conditions under which the goods or services are bought. Without the purchase order, there is no legally binding agreement.

There are four main types of purchase requisitions:

  • Direct connected contract supplier requisition (contracted suppliers such as G&T, VWR, etc)
  • Special request (non-preferred supplier requisition)
  • Amount only requisition (when multiple payments are required)
  • CFI (Canadian Foundation for Innovation) Discount Orders.

If you have any questions regarding what type of requisition to do, contact UService.

Job Aids are available on how to do special request, amount only and CFI requisitions. Refer to the Training and Development site for assistance.

Yes, the requisition should be set up to mirror the lines on the quote. This allows multiple receiving on an order if a partial shipment is sent and appropriate payments to be made.

If you know the exact or approximate shipping cost, enter it as a line item on the requisition.

Purchase requisitions default to Canadian currency. If an international currency is required, please change it when entering the requisition.

This usually happens when there is missing or different information on lines of a requisition. For example:

  • When a vendor is not selected for one or more of the lines
  • When multiple suppliers are selected
  • When an approver misses approving a line
  • When multiple approvers are required due to chartfield information

You need to receive the goods in eProcurement. Job Aids are available on the HR Training and Development website, 'Receiving Goods on a Regular Requisition' and 'Receiving an Amount Only Requisition'.

Check in Manage Requisitions in portal. A Job Aid is available on the HR Training and Development website, 'Monitor Your Requisition Status'.

  • Confirm that the service is not available through a Preferred Supplier
  • Contact UService to discuss the required contract

We have a standard credit reference form that can be sent to suppliers. You should never sign a supplier form. The information on this form provides all the standard information that the supplier should require and eliminates the need to complete different supplier credit application forms.

Please have the supplier contact UService at 403.210.9300 or

We are required to comply with the agreement on Internal Trade and the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, which have the following requirements:

  • Less $25,000: one quote
  • $25,000 to $75,000: minimum three quotes
  • Purchases (non-construction related) over $75,000: Competitive Bid issued to the marketplace
  • Construction purchases greater than $200,000: Competitive Bid issued to the marketplace

Splitting an order into multiple requisitions in order to avoid these limits is prohibited.

If you believe only one supplier can provide the equipment you require that is over $25,000, and you reasonably believe it is a sole source, you can submit a sole/single source justification form. This can be found at, 'Enterprise systems' > 'Supply Chain Management service request forms' > 'Sole Source justification form'

For sole source orders over $75,000 (and at Supply Chain Management discretion for orders less then $75,000), we post an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) on Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC) to verify the validity of the sole source. If no suppliers successfully challenge the ACAN in this period, we can go ahead with the purchase. If a supplier does successfully challenge it, a full competitive bid process may be required.

If you can't find the supplier in the portal, before requesting a new supplier you should considering the following questions:

  • Are the goods or services covered until a Preferred Supplier Agreement?
  • Is there a supplier that supplies these goods or services already setup as a supplier?
  • Can the purchase be made on a PCard?

If the answer is NO to all of these questions, you must complete a ‘New Supplier Request’ form. Please see the "Forms & Resources" link in the main menu and then ‘Suppliers to UCalgary.'

You may see the following error message when trying to set-up a supplier: “Supplier Detected – ID# #######” but when I try to enter that supplier ID# I get an error message –“ Invalid Supplier ID, Please check your Entry.” This message indicates the supplier is in the system but is inactive. Send an email to to have the suppliers re-activated. If the supplier has not been used for two years the suppliers will be treated as a new supplier.

The University of Calgary GST number is 108102864.

For questions regarding the import and export of goods, contact Rob Lang,, 403.220.7224, or Judy Loewen,, 403. 220.4273.