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Procuring via Framework System

In the public sector, many organisations may be required to procure services through a framework of approved/appointed suppliers. We know this can seem like a complicated process and want to make it straightforward for you.

We’re on a number of the most commonly used national Frameworks/Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS), so that you can easily commission our services in line with your organisation’s procurement rules. 

We are also happy to work with you to identify the most appropriate procurement route or can contract with you directly if your procurement rules allow. 

Frameworks and DPS we belong to

We’re an approved/appointed supplier on a large number of national frameworks and dynamic purchasing systems. This means that public sector employers, including local and central government, the NHS, police forces, and more can easily procure our services. 


What is a framework/DPS?

Frameworks and Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) operate in much the same way.

They provide employers (buyers) with a list of approved/appointed suppliers, who have gone through a form of vetting in applying and being accepted onto the framework.

Whilst there are nuances between them, the processes effectively remain the same for employers accessing them.

Why procure through a framework?

Frameworks and DPS satisfy internal and external public sector procurement rules.

They seek to reduce the time and administrative burden associated with finding the best suppliers, speeding up procurement, and saving time and money.

They also offer an additional layer of assurance, so you can award in the knowledge that providers have been through a thorough and compliant evaluation process.

What does means of award mean?

Means of award’ refers to the process by which a contract is awarded to an approved/appointed supplier.

  • Direct/Rapid Award - Employers appoint a provider (via the framework owner) from the list of approved suppliers on the framework based on who they deem to be most suitable.
  • Mini/Further Competition - Employers run a time-bound competitive tender process (via the framework owner) to identify a suitable provider. The competitive process is open to all suppliers on the framework.

Not all frameworks/DPS allow for direct award so if this is your preferred method, check the details carefully.

How do I procure through one of the listed frameworks?

Download our brochure for step-by-step guidance on how to procure our services through frameworks where The Open University is an approved/appointed supplier.

How do I contract direct with the OU?

If your procurement rules allow, you might want to contract with us directly.

In the case of apprenticeships for example, we have our own Apprenticeship Training Services Agreement, which is fully compliant with ESFA funding rules.

If you’re interested in contracting with us directly, contact your Account Manager or email

How do I procure through a framework not listed here?

We’re always happy to consider joining new frameworks/DPS but our ability to join will be subject to a review of any associated terms and conditions.

If this sounds like you, get in touch with

Need more information?

Download our brochure on how to procure with the OU

Contact us if you still have any questions

Find out how we can help your organisation

Please contact us to speak to one of our business team advisors.

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