UK Universities Purchasing Consortia 


UKUPC (UK Universities Purchasing Consortia) is the evolved convergence of eight UK Consortia; APUC, HEPCW, LUPC, NEUPC, NWUPC, SUPC, TEC and TUCO who created a formal partnership to support collaborative procurement within Higher Education.


The UKUPC Board was established in early 2012.  Delivering a first class procurement service to all consortia members is at the heart of everything that we do, and we strive to do that responsibly and add value.

We work together to share knowledge and best practice, to support each other and our wider procurement community. The Board is comprised of the Heads from APUC, HEPCW, LUPC, NEUPC, NWUPC, SUPC, TEC and TUCO.

The UKUPC Board’s vision is to improve procurement across the higher education sector by working collaboratively, to develop plans that are aligned and make best use of resources, while being responsible and sustainable.

UKUPC’s key objectives are to:

  • Provide an overarching strategic framework, to guide the development and support the delivery of consortia plans

  • Coordinate and align activities, where and as appropriate, of the consortia

  • Ensure the delivery of compliant framework agreements that add value for our members.

  • Share knowledge, information and resources, to benefit the sector

  • Identify and explore opportunities to add-value for our members and improve their membership experience.

To achieve these aims effectively, we need to ensure that we have an appropriate communications strategy, to raise awareness and share information with our stakeholders. We also need to adopt effective systems and resources, which support service delivery to our members. We are working together to ensure that, where appropriate, our practices are aligned and deliver what our members need, when they need it. UKUPC provides strategic leadership to its working groups:  Joint Contracting Group, Communications Group and Consortia Information Systems Strategy Group.

Joint Contracting Group (JCG)

The Joint Contracting Group (JCG) is a long-standing group consisting of the strategic procurement leads from each of the UKUPC Consortia, as well as Crescent Purchasing Consortium  (CPC) and JISC.  The group meets four times a year as well as having regular dialogue outside of these meetings.

The JCG's core focus is to provide strategic overview of the delivery of the national Joint Contracting Programme, working collaboratively to ensure that we have the right framework agreements in place at the right time.  We work together, to identify opportunities to optimise the benefits made available to members through the agreements; reducing duplication, increasing efficiency and maximising value.

The JCG also provides oversight of the operational groups that report into the strategic leads.  These include each of the National Category Groups with the JCG ensuring collaboration at a national level and the alignment of resources to facilitate delivery.

It is the role of the JCG to help raise the profile of procurement within the HE sector and they work with the UKUPC Comms Group to facilitate this.  It is done through sharing best practice and engaging with stakeholders across the community as well as developing operational procurement with a collaborative approach.

The JCG is committed to being at the forefront of responsible procurement practices and ensuring that this activity is embedded at a strategic and operational level across the sector.  All aspects of Social, Environmental and Economic sustainability are considered and implemented within our strategies.

JCG have many exciting projects underway and provide many opportunities for engagement, if you have any questions, please contact your local consortium.

Consortia Information Systems Strategy Group (CISSG)

The UKUPC Consortia Information Systems Strategy Group (CISSG) was established in February 2018, to improve the information systems used by the consortia and member institutions. A range of systems are used, assisting with procurement activities including electronic tendering, reporting, contract management, spend analysis and developing category strategies.

The CISSG aims to improve the interoperability and functionality of systems, utilise the valuable data assets, take advantage of improvements in technology, to ensure they enable good procurement and provide the information needed to support and improve procurement; improving the quality, timeliness and accessibility of information.

The CISSG are reviewing the use of current systems and investigating opportunities to work collaboratively at a national, inter-regional or local consortia level. The CISSG’s first task was to establish the common activities across the consortia, and the systems in place to support these activities. This was an extremely useful exercise, which allowed the group to identify areas where greater collaboration could take place, and allowed the group to prioritise activities.

CISSG members have expertise and experience in use of the different systems, and are able to provide guidance on their functionality and where they add value to procurement processes. The group will also consider opportunities to standardise systems and establish best practice.

Communications Group

The UKUPC Communications Group aims to promote the benefits of collaborative procurement, identifying key audiences and developing tailored messages.  For some time now, the sector has focussed on a collaborative approach to procurement activities as a means of delivering increased efficiency and effectiveness. Making better use of available resources has never been more important.

Group members, consisting of marketing and communications leads at each consortium, ensure information regarding contracting activities are promoted through the appropriate channels, and provide details of additional benefits and opportunities available through consortia membership. We also work collaboratively to coordinate events, where appropriate, to facilitate greater networking across the sector and reduce duplication of activities.

The Group recognises the importance of promoting the positive contribution that collaborative procurement makes to the sector, delivering savings and efficiencies.

UKUPC Website

The new UKUPC website was launched on the 19th of October 2020, hosting the latest news and resources from UKUPC as a whole, the UKUPC Strategy 2020-2025,, responsible procurement updates, and up-to-date contact details. UKUPC set up a Responsible Procurement Network in July 2020 with the aim of achieving a consistent approach across the consortia to responsible procurement throughout our activities. Through this a Responsible Procurement Glossary has been created to help bring clarity to some of the terms used. The site can be found here


UKUPC Newsletter - July 2022

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Page Updated - 21/02/2023