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Purchasing Thresholds & Request to Waive

Ready to make a purchase? If you’re purchasing on behalf of the university, the steps vary depending on what you’re purchasing and how much your anticipated cost will be.

Things to consider before getting started:

Purchases fall under three categories — goods, professional services and consulting services. How you proceed depends on the type of purchase you’re making.

The total procurement value should include all anticipated costs such as any extension, maintenance, service or warranty costs. Before making a purchase, you should also confirm there is sufficient budget available.

There may already be an existing contract offering the goods or services you need. Check the vendors of record list for your options or contact Purchasing Services for guidance.

Goods and professional services

Goods are tangible products while professional services are provided by individuals or firms with the necessary professional licenses, certifications or training to contribute to defined and approved projects at the university. As they tend to include hands-on roles, professional services are distinct from consulting work as the latter provides strategic advice used for decision-making.

Some examples of professional service providers include chartered accountants, engineers, medical doctors, lawyers, architects and some specializations from IT professionals.

For help differentiating between professional and consulting services, please contact Purchasing Services.

Spend threshold

Purchases in this category include any non-consulting good or service from a single supplier for university business.

You’re encouraged to source goods or services yourself if the vendors of record list does not include an appropriate option. Guidance is available from the purchasing team on request.

Process:

  1. Assess your needs and source the good or service, ensuring the university receives fair market value.
  2. Expedite purchasing and payment by using your Ryerson Purchasing Card (P-Card); submitting the invoice on the self-service invoicing feature in the Invoice Approval System (MarkView), opens in new window; or using petty cash for purchases up to a daily limit of $100. Please note that P-Card is the preferred means of payment for all purchases under $5,000 and that RUFIS purchasing (iProcurement), opens in new window should be used only if the above three options are unavailable.

Purchases in this category include any non-consulting good or service that’s required to conduct university business and is supplied by a single vendor. These are one-time only acquisitions.

Process:

  1. Assess your needs and source the good or service, ensuring the university receives fair market value.
  2. Pay for the good or service with a Ryerson Purchasing Card (P-Card) or via RUFIS purchasing (iProcurement), opens in new window. Note if using a P-Card, you may need to increase your spend limit by contacting the P-Card administrator at pcardadmin@ryerson.ca.

Purchases in this category fall under the invitational procurement category, which means you’re required to request vendor proposals for your good or service. As negotiations for specific requirements such as delivery, warranties or terms and conditions are often involved in this spend threshold, you may wish to request assistance from Purchasing Services.

Process:

  1. Assess your needs and source the good or service, ensuring the university receives fair market value while demonstrating transparency and fairness to all vendors.
  2. You’re required to source a minimum of three different vendors.
  3. Evaluate the responses and award the contract to the successful bidder.
  4. Complete a purchase requisition (PR) and submit through RUFIS purchasing (iProcurement), opens in new window including all quotes.
  5. Purchasing Services will issue a purchase order (PO) and forward it to the vendor along with any supporting documents to the PO. If an agreement or contract is required before the PO can be issued, Purchasing Services will notify you of the additional documents needed.
  6. Once you confirm goods are received or services are complete, reference your PO number on the invoice and forward it to poinvoices@ryerson.ca.

In cases where supplier proposals exceed the maximum allowable spend of $100,000 or, if you’re extending a contract or PO resulting in the spend exceeding $100,000, please contact Purchasing Services to discuss next steps.

Internal and external regulatory frameworks require purchases in this category to go to open procurement. This means the purchase must be publicly tendered in a competitive bid process, either in a request for proposal (RFP), request for quotation (RFQ) or request for supplier qualification (RFSQ).

Process:

  1. Once you’ve identified your detailed needs, please contact Purchasing Services to determine the appropriate procurement strategy. We will manage the competitive bidding process on your behalf and serve as the point of contact with vendors to ensure an open, fair and transparent process.
  2. We’ll draft and post bid documents, and collect vendor submissions, consistent with requirements of the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive and other applicable trade agreements.
  3. We’ll facilitate the proposal evaluation process which will ultimately identify a successful supplier.
  4. Upon completion of the evaluation process we will draft, along with Ryerson Legal Services, an agreement and send to the vendor for execution.

Consulting services

Consulting services provide expertise or strategic advice that is presented to the university for consideration and decision-making purposes. Consulting services are required to go to a competitive bid, regardless of the dollar value of the spend.

Spend threshold

Purchases in this category fall under the invitational procurement category, which means you’re required to request vendor proposals for your good or service. As negotiations for specific requirements such as delivery, warranties or terms and conditions are often involved in this spend threshold, please contact Purchasing Services for assistance.

Process:

  1. Assess your needs and source the good or service, ensuring the university receives fair market value while demonstrating transparency and fairness to all vendors.
  2. You’re required to source a minimum of three different vendors.
  3. Evaluate the responses and if an award is appropriate, award the to the lowest bidder.
  4. Submit a purchase requisition (PR) on RUFIS purchasing (iProcurement), opens in new window, including all quotes.
  5. Purchasing Services will issue a purchase order (PO) and forward it to the vendor along with any supporting documents to the PO. If an agreement or contract is required before the PO can be issued, Purchasing Services will notify you of the additional documents needed.
  6. Once you confirm goods are received or services are complete, reference your PO number on the invoice and forward it to poinvoices@ryerson.ca.

In cases where supplier proposals exceed the maximum allowable spend of $100,000 or, if you’re extending a contract or PO resulting in the spend exceeding $100,000, please contact Purchasing Services to discuss next steps.

Internal and external regulatory frameworks require purchases in this category to go to open procurement. This means the purchase must be publicly tendered in a competitive bid process, either in a request for proposal (RFP), request for quotation (RFQ) or request for supplier qualification (RFSQ).

Process:

  1. Once you’ve identified your detailed needs, please contact Purchasing Services to determine the appropriate procurement strategy. We will manage the competitive bidding process on your behalf and serve as the point of contact with vendors to ensure an open, fair and transparent process.
  2. We’ll draft and post bid documents, and collect vendor submissions, consistent with requirements of the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive and other applicable trade agreements.
  3. We’ll facilitate the proposal evaluation process which will ultimately identify a successful supplier.
  4. Upon completion of the evaluation process we will draft, along with Ryerson Legal Services, an agreement and send to the vendor for execution.

For further clarity on determining between professional and consulting services, please contact Purchasing Services.

Request to Waive (RTW)

There are circumstances that allow the competitive bid process to be waived, provided it meets criteria in a Limited Tendering Exception (including Sole or Single Source)  or Non-Application Provision of the:

  • Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)
  • Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
  • Trade and Cooperation Agreement between Ontario and Quebec (OQTCA)

All other regulations and trade agreements applicable to Ryerson at any given time will also be enforced.

Disclosure requirement

When a Limited Tendering Exception is used, the conditions that justified its use are required to be publicly disclosed, along with the total value of the award if it is $100,000 or more. This information will be collected, posted and reported to the province by Purchasing Services on behalf of the university.

How to request an RTW

If you’re seeking an exemption from the competitive bid process, please contact Purchasing Services to complete a Request to Waive the Competitive Bid Process Purchasing Policy Exemptions Form. You’ll need to have this in place before engaging a supplier.

Note, it is strongly recommended that sufficient planning and timing be allowed for the competitive bid process to take place. Per Ryerson’s guidelines, time constraints are not considered grounds for waiving the purchasing process.

Types of procurement documents

The following are the most common types of procurement documents used at Ryerson. Click the options to learn more.

The purpose of an RFI is to obtain a list of possible services or products needed. This list is used to create and inform a future procurement process.

RFPs are generally required for large, complex projects estimated to have a total cumulative spend of more than $100,000. The RFP is posted on MERX, external link to enable suppliers to view and respond with a proposal for pricing, based on the specifications and technical requirements listed in the RFP document.

RFQs are for when the specifications of a product or service are known and price is the main or only factor in selecting the successful bidder.

A request for qualified supplier(s) to respond to a bid posted on MERX for specific goods and/or services, as the first stage in establishing a list of vendors of record for subsequent project work.

A formal document that captures and defines the work activities, deliverables and timeline for a pre-qualified supplier (from a vendor of record list), identified through a completed RFSQ.

Engage with the Purchasing Services team to determine the appropriate procurement strategy.