Roundtable: Purchasing Power – Ashley Shelbrooke

In the last in our series, Steve Wright quizzes five experts on the key issues, pitfalls and best practice in university procurement

Ashley Shelbrooke is Procurement specialist at the Higher Education Procurement Association (HEPA)

Q. Are there ways in which the student body can get involved with procurement – eg sitting on tender assessment panels, collaborating on major projects, helping to safeguard against unethical practices in procurement and supply chain management?

Last year, the Higher Education Procurement Association (HEPA) ran the Procurement Value Survey (PVS) to gather institutional and sector-wide efficiency data from procurement teams in England in line with the sector benefits methodology. From the responses received, the survey recorded a total impactable spend of £7.7bn, with gross efficiencies of £316m.

The survey also asked teams to share examples of the impact of the procurement function on value for students. Two-thirds of respondents gave examples of how procurement has been involved in creating or enhancing the physical environment, and around a third used examples of improving academic services using technology.

A third of respondents also used examples that demonstrated how their procurement teams are delivering added value through opportunities to improve student employability. Procurement teams are leveraging their relationships with contractors and suppliers, working in partnership to provide students with valuable opportunities to improve their employability.

Examples range from collaborative working and research opportunities, the provision of guest lecturers, educational visits and additional learning opportunities to training, placements, apprenticeship and graduate schemes. In some cases, the procurement function provides those opportunities – developing career pathways to procurement, delivering lectures

To find out more about HEPA,

HEPA’s Procurement Value Survey will open again for submissions from institutions in December 2019.

For more info, visit:

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