The term 'procurement' covers, for all areas of an institution's non-pay expenditure, the entire process of acquiring goods and services from third parties. It includes identification of requirements, specifications, assessment of risks, management of tendering processes, ordering, contract award and management and monitoring of suppliers' performance. The procurement process takes into account factors such as the cost over the life (whole life costs) of the good or service, and the quality necessary to meet users' requirements. It is distinct from 'purchasing' goods and services, which refers to the specific activity of committing expenditure and which tends to focus on issues of price rather than of value.
For further information, please refer to the Procurement Cycle section.