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Frequently asked Q&As for potential suppliers

How do I get my products listed in the NHS Supply Chain Catalogue?

NHS Supply Chain, as an agent of the NHS Business Services Authority procures products in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended) ( the "Public Contracts Regulations"). The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 apply to public authorities including NHS Authorities and Trusts, therefore NHS Supply Chain is obligated to follow a compliant procurement process when purchasing goods for the NHS.

This means that in order for a product to be listed in the NHS Supply Chain Catalogue, it must be procured through a compliant tender and, if successful, will be listed on a Framework Agreement.

How to I find out about tender opportunities in NHS Supply Chain?

Where spend is above the Public Contracts Regulations threshold (see - OJEU information here):

Where spend is below the threshold:

  • Contact NHS Supply Chain directly as we may be running a pilot in the category.

How can I get onto an NHS Supply Chain Framework?

As our procurements are subject to the Public Contracts Regulations, Framework Agreements are awarded after going through a formal tender process.

NHS Supply Chain Framework Agreements are normally awarded up to a period of four years, but the actual length varies. If you are a new supplier not currently listed on one of our NHS Supply Chain Framework Agreements you would normally be required to wait until the tender process recommences.

There are occasions where a supplier may have an innovative product that does not currently fit on any existing Framework Agreement and may qualify for market testing through a pilot agreement, if the sales value does not exceed the Public Contracts Regulations value threshold.

Tendering and contract process

Our tender and contract process is designed to meet the supply chain management needs of our customers.

The tendering process ensures that NHS Supply Chain's Framework Agreements are awarded to suppliers who meet the criteria of the relevant tender. Evaluation is typically based on a best price and quality ratio.

Throughout the process, we typically engage with groups of clinical and medical professionals to ensure customer input is part of the product selection process.

Our tender process typically uses the open procedure, which meets proprietary and legal requirements and ensures that NHS Supply Chain customers can be confident that the products procured have followed a consistent and customer-driven contracting process.

Our eTendering service, ISS, provides a simple secure and efficient means for managing tendering activity and contract negotiations with suppliers online. It assists buyers and suppliers in reducing the time, effort and costs involved in the purchasing lifecycle.

By logging into ISS, you can:

  • View live procurement opportunities.
  • Express interest in Prior Information Notices (PINs) which notify the market of upcoming tenders and request suppliers to contact NHS Supply Chain to discuss the opportunities.
  • Express interest in live tenders.
  • Download the tender documentation suite and submit responses for live tenders.

Code of Conduct

All our procurement professionals are expected to adhere to the requirements of our Code of Conduct and uphold and enhance the standing of the purchasing and supply profession. Any breach to this code is considered a serious offence and will be dealt with according to our disciplinary policy.

Our code is based on the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s Professional Code of Ethics and covers:

  • Maintaining integrity in business relationships
  • Rejecting improper business practice
  • Declaring any potential personal or business conflicts of interest
  • Acquiring and maintaining latest standards of technical knowledge and ethical behaviour
  • Optimising the use of resources
  • Compliance with UK law, industry guidelines and contractual obligations
  • Fair, honest and respectable treatment of suppliers
  • Common courtesy at all times
  • Incorporating sustainable procurement aspects into procurement processes including human and employee rights and the environment.

Please see - Supplier Code of Conduct - all suppliers to NHS Supply Chain are required to comply with the code of conduct.

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