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 external spend is worth in the region of £65million per year and covers a wide range of opportunities for suppliers.


For upcoming opportunities we advertise through the Cabinet Office Contracts Finder. Contracts Finder is a one-stop-shop for suppliers to identify contract opportunities. For opportunities above EU Procurement thresholds, we also advertise in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

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.

Pre-qualification questionnaires are not generally used for sub OJEU opportunities, PQQ’s in relation to OJEU opportunities will be clearly stated within the advertisements and will require submission of information about competencies, qualifications, organisation and relevant experience for the particular project advertised.

STEP Procurement Opportunities

The STEP Programme Procurement Plan Schedule is published every quarter and sets out procurement opportunities as well as details of the responsible procurement officer who can be contacted for more information.

Note that tender dates are 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 (see attachment) is issued for low value purchases

  • sub OJEU 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

  • EU Procurement Directives - we observe the requirements of the European Union Procurement Directives for all contracts over the thresholds. Invitations for Expressions of Interest are advertised in the European Journal. All tenders placed in the European Journal are also published on the Cabinet Office Contracts Finder portal once publication in OJEU is confirmed. More information is also available at the OJEU website

Standard purchase order conditions

UKAEA’s Standard Purchase Order Conditions are available in the attached document. UKAEA standard purchase order conditions (PDF, 319KB, 8 pages)

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

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 and you can find details here.

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 recently surveyed the supply chain on initial impacts of COVID-19 - follow the link for a summary of the findings. UKAEA supply chain - COVID-19 summary update, August 2020 (PDF, 3.46MB, 1 page)

Contact the procurement team

Contact us at: