Procurement at UKAEA

Information for those looking to become a supplier or contractor for the UK Atomic Energy Authority.


We implement procurement best practice by focusing on achieving value for money, transparency and seek to treat all contractors (including SMEs) fairly and equitably and recognise the important contribution that small businesses can make to the delivery of our organisational objectives and strategies. See the UKAEA Supply Chain Charter for more information about our approach to procurement.

Our Modern Slavery Statement has been revised and published for the financial year 21/22. This update includes new additions, such as our new method of mitigating the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chain by utilising the Modern Slavery Assessment Tool. We encourage our suppliers to read our statement to understand UKAEA’s policies in regards to modern slavery and human trafficking.

Opportunities

Our external spend is worth in the region of £83 million per year and covers a wide range of opportunities for suppliers.

UKAEA manages and posts opportunities through EU Supply to the platforms Contracts Finder and Find a Tender. Contracts Finder is a one-stop-shop for suppliers to identify contract opportunities. For opportunities above EU Procurement thresholds, we advertise on Find a Tender.

Expressions of interest, requests to participate or enquiries, where applicable, should be submitted directly to the named Contracts person in the advertisement who is responsible for that package of work.

Selection questionnaires (SQs) will be clearly stated within the procurement advertisements and will require submission of information about competencies, qualifications, organisation and relevant experience for the particular project advertised.

Procurement Pipeline

UKAEA’s Procurement Pipeline is reviewed and published every quarter and outlines probable, upcoming procurement opportunities with relevant details such as the responsible procurement officer who can be contacted for more information.

Note that information may be subject to change.

Routes to market

We use a number of methods to purchase goods and services. The approach taken will depend on the contract value, type of product/service, the complexity of the requirement and the duration of the agreement.

  • Low value off the shelf purchases (current threshold <£20,000) – a simple purchase order with terms and conditions is issued for low value purchases. See UKAEA standard purchase order conditions (PDF, 319 KB, 8 pages) for more information

  • Opportunities – Contracts are set up following a competitive tender exercise or single supply contacts are set up in exceptional circumstances. Tender exercises are published as opportunities on the Cabinet Office Contracts Finder portal

  • Collaborative supply agreements – we use the government negotiated collaborative agreements wherever possible, and places contracts through the Government Procurement Service portal

  • Framework agreements – a framework agreement is an arrangement where terms, conditions and often pricing are agreed with a supplier(s) for a set period, which then allows orders to be placed quickly without a full tender being completed. A tender exercise is undertaken to set the Framework up in the first instance

Procurement during COVID-19

Limited operations have resumed on our Culham site, using a phased approach, in line with the Government advice. The intention is for distinct work packages to be undertaken by small teams, however, the majority of employees will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future.

Like UKAEA, many of our suppliers will be making similar plans, although we understand that the pandemic will have created a variety of issues for organisations, with differing degrees of uncertainty. UKAEA is actively supporting the supply chain but if you have any questions please email our procurement team at procurement@ukaea.uk.

As you will be aware, there are a number of Government schemes available to businesses to help them through this difficult time and advice on how to return to work. To stay up to date visit the Government Business Support website.

UKAEA have been surveying the initial and continued impacts of COVID-19 on the supply chain. The first summary of findings was published in August 2020 and can be viewed with the following link. UKAEA supply chain - COVID-19 summary update, August 2020 (PDF, 3.46 MB, 1 page)

Following a survey distributed to the supply chain in December 2020, we now have a new summary update capturing the impacts of COVID-19 over time and in the near future. These can be viewed using this link. UKAEA supply chain - COVID-19 summary update, February 2021 (PDF, 2.39 MB, 1 page)

Supplier events

In February 2020, UKAEA held its first Supplier Day in Coventry and intended to run a series of events over the coming months. We have moved these events online due to COVID-19.

We have developed an annual structure of Suppliers Forums that we will host focusing on various aspects of UKAEA activities.

  • February-March: Executive Overview
  • June-July: Programme & Project Overview
  • November-December: Procurement Overview

As well as our structured events, UKAEA also host market engagement activity and industry days for tenders where the project team feel more information and clarity around the opportunity would be beneficial. These events aim to provide context around the tender, more information on the requirements, and time for questions and answers.

To ensure the supply chain is kept up to date with our supplier events and industry days, there is an option to join our supplier mailing list. Suppliers can also check our procurement portals for information on market engagement activities.

Supply Chain Newsletter

UKAEA publishes a newsletter providing quarterly updates on the organisation and its supply chain activities. See the current and previous editions using the following links:

November 2020

February 2021

May 2021

August 2021

November 2021

Contact the procurement team

Contact us at: procurement@ukaea.uk.

For supplier enquiries, contact us at: supplychain@ukaea.uk.