Procurement Manager

  • Location


  • Sector:

    Education & Academia

  • Salary:

    Competitive salary

  • Published:

    4 months ago

  • Expiry date:


  • Client:



Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

About our Team

The Governance and Legal Services Directorate supports sound, effective and accountable decision making and stewardship of the University's resources and reputation. The team aims to deliver, enhance and adapt an effective and sustainable governance framework upholding the rights and obligations of all stakeholders, including international stakeholders. Our core objective is to protect Heriot-Watt University's reputation, brand, values and assets through maintaining compliance with standards (legislation, codes of practice, etc.) to enhance value.

Procurement Services provides professional procurement services to the University’s academics and professional services, and also as required, to Borders College and Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. Our remit is to get best value for money from the University's annual £70M+ non-pay spend through proactive sourcing, customer relationship management and professional supplier management. We also ensure that best practice procurement procedures and processes are in place for all goods, services and works, which comply with all applicable legislation.

Detailed Description

Reporting to the Head of Procurement, the Procurement Manager will provide professional procurement services, expertise and support to colleagues throughout the University’s academic and non-academic units and subsidiary companies, enabling the University to reach its strategic ambitions of improved student and community experience, globalisation, research excellence and financial sustainability.

The Procurement Manager will be required to manage, maintain and develop supply agreements for the University, carrying out contracting, tendering and sourcing exercises where required. The Post Holder will be responsible for effectively prioritizing and planning procurement activities which align with the strategic objectives of the Procurement Services department and University, whilst working in collaboration with stakeholders, ensuring that best value, transparent and compliant procurement exercises are carried out at Heriot-Watt. Furthermore, the Post Holder will deliver and embed appropriate contract and supplier management for the University’s supply relationships/agreements, ensuring that optimal value is obtained throughout the life of the contract and that supply risks are mitigated.

A key requirement of this role will be to support the Head of Procurement in driving the University’s new category management approach and to further develop the University-wide procurement network. This includes the development and management of allocated procurement categories in both a strategic and operational nature, ensuring value for money and efficiencies are achieved across the University. The Post Holder will be required to develop and lead a number of commodity groups, as well as upskilling staff by delivering a variety of training programmes, to a wide range of devolved buyers and stakeholder groups.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Work with the Head of Procurement on the strategic contribution of Procurement Services including maximising value for money; managing, controlling and reducing non-pay expenditure; planning and scheduling resources; developing and/or enhancing efficient purchasing processes; and, ensuring proper governance including adherence to legislative requirements.

  • Carry out contracting and tendering exercises for goods, services and works as part of the University’s annual £70M+ expenditure, as directed by the Head of Procurement. This includes delivering best value achieved through strategic sourcing, demand management and aggregating demand, collaboration, and selecting the optimal procurement route. Key tasks include: analysing non-pay expenditure data; ascertaining end-user requirements; developing procurement strategies; compiling output specifications; conducting tendering exercises; and awarding contracts for a wide range of goods, services and works.

  • Implement drive and continuously improve the University’s new category management approach, by developing and managing allocated categories in both a strategic and operational nature, ensuring value for money and efficiencies are achieved.

  • Deliver a variety of training workshops to a wide range of devolved buyers and stakeholder groups, increasing the awareness of procurement legislation, developing best-practice purchasing to increase value for money and drive efficiencies, and reducing commercial and reputational risks to the University.

  • Manage and control non-pay expenditure, as well as support the department drive an assertive category management programme, by utilising management information and expenditure data, commercial acumen and business analytic skills, identifying consistent areas of high and/or non-compliant (maverick) spend and opportunities for cross-directorate/school collaboration. This programme identifies material savings opportunities and informs the contracting action plan.

  • Deliver and embed contract and supplier management for contracts/supply relationships, determining the appropriate strategy route (Strategic, Managed, Route) and utilising the applicable tools (SLAs, KPIs, risk management, review meetings), setting suitable targets, responsibilities, frequency, etc., to ensure that the stakeholders, and University, is receiving value throughout the life of the contract and that supply risks are mitigated.

  • Consult on a regular basis with end-users to provide expertise, knowledge and experience on a wide range of procurement subject matter, including: identification and specification of business needs; advising on appropriate sources of supply; identification of potential savings and the best route to the supply market; sourcing goods and services where no suitable approved University supplier or contract exists; best-practice sourcing practices and obtaining price quotes; and advising on pre-and post-purchase activities for more complex purchases.

  • Manage the University’s supply, reputational and financial risks, which includes inputting into the Contract & Supplier Risk Register, managing supplier appraisals; ensuring Public Contracts Regulations legislative compliance, etc. Further, appropriately applying corporate social responsibility, anti-bribery, equality, and ethical procurement criteria to safeguard against reputational risk and support statutory compliance.

  • Ensure purchasing policy and procedures are understood, appreciated and adhered to, while ensuring acquisitions are fit for purpose and meet end-users’ needs, by dialogue with the University’s internal customers.Ensure procurement activities meet the required project deadlines and are supported by appropriate supply chain strategies.

  • Assist in the coordination of the continuous improvement programme for the department (Procurement & Commercial Improvement Programme).

  • Benchmark the department’s activities against other HEIs, public bodies and the private sector, leading to the continuous improvement and/or development of the University’s own processes and practices.

  • Source the University requirements in an ethical, reliable and sustainable way, reinforcing the University’s reputation in the areas of sustainability and equality, by embedding procurement best practice, monitoring/measuring progress and contributing to the appropriate sustainability working groups.

  • Leverage improved category management, benefits realisation and policy delivery by using a wide range of procurement and purchase-to-pay (P2P) systems.

  • Maintain familiarity and proficiency with current (and future) procurement legislation (e.g. UK and Scottish Public Contracts Regulations, EU Procurement Directives, relevant case law, etc.) to protect the University from potential litigation, business disruption and financial loss.

  • Work with the sector Centre of Expertise (APUC) and various networking groups (i.e. Procurement Development Network, CIPS, HEPA, etc) to action information requests, provide key data inputs, develop and implement best practice, guidance, standards and performance management.Use Scottish Government guidance and previous experience to embed best procurement practices at the University, including continuous improvement and development of template tender documentation, evaluation tools, user guidance, etc., for use with purchasing and procurement activities.

  • Ensure that the University’s, and the Public Sector’s, needs are reflected in collaborative agreements let by other authorities through membership of multi-disciplinary User Intelligence Groups (UIG), delivering Scottish and UK-wide collaborative contracts.

  • Work with, and support, the Academic Schools and Professional Services to ensure that the they achieve their goals of expenditure control, expenditure efficiency and reduction of operating costs through proactive sourcing and supply chain management, provision of management information, training, project management, and liaison with other units.

  • Use, and enhance, managerial and leadership capabilities by (i) managing the department’s Administrative Assistant and (ii) mentoring the Procurement & Systems Officer and Procurement Assistant with their Continuous Professional Development, and (iii) upskilling the Devolved Buyers across the University.

  • Manage, and advise on, the post-build fit-out requirements for capital and major/minor refurbishments projects from early concept design stage through to final completion. Works include: project budget costing and control, sourcing products and suppliers, providing detailed specifications, and planning delivery schedules and installation works. 

  • Provides decision support to Senior Managers and the Capital Projects Team.

  • Any other related job responsibilities as directed by the Head of Procurement.

Education, qualifications and experience


  • Full member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (MCIPS), or working towards full membership.

  • University Degree, HNC/HND or equivalent work experience.

  • Experience of working in a procurement function.

  • Experience in managing large and complex procurement.

  • Experience of managing high value contracts together with proven skills in successful risk management and project management.

  • Knowledge of a wide range of procurement subject matter.

  • Understanding and managing procurement risk and ability to provide expert advice.

  • Excellent partnership working skills, including stakeholder consultation and negotiation.

  • Experience of using of Information Technology to enhance service delivery.

  • Ability to deliver challenging objectives within agreed timescales.

  • Excellent communication skills, with demonstrable ability to effect change through collaboration, negotiation and problem solving.

  • Excellent people skills and evidence of managing relationships with stakeholders at all levels.

  • Experience of working and influencing internal and external stakeholders.

  • Knowledge of legislation around financial and public sector procurement regulations.

  • Ability to demonstrate the impact of procurement, both internally and externally to the organisation.


  • Experience in managing large and complex procurement in the public sector.

  • Experience of working in a public sector procurement function.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of migrant workers. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website:

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.