Contract registers

Learn about contract registers, including why they are useful and how to prepare one.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Staff responsible for buying on behalf of their school
  • Boards

School buying staff can stay on-top of crucial contract information by establishing a contract register.

Contract registers explained

School buyers sign many contracts to purchase various goods and services. The details of these contracts can be difficult to keep track of, particularly when staff responsible for buying in a school change over time.

It is essential that contracts are tracked, to ensure that urgent requirements do not arise unexpectedly or at inconvenient times.

A contract register is a comprehensive list of all the current contracts that a school has in place with suppliers. It may take the form of a simple spreadsheet, or Word/Pages document.

Creating a contract register can take time. However, once established, it will enable a school to save time and money as contracts can be more effectively managed.

Purpose of a contract register

A contract register is an effective tool for contract management as it:

  • ensures that information about all contracts is kept in one easy to access place
  • emphasises the key details of every contract
  • provides an auditable record of every contract.

Being fully aware of contract details enables schools to plan ahead for purchases.

When schools plan for a purchase early, there is more time available for assessing the market, for suppliers to prepare offers and for an effective evaluation of the offers to be completed.

Traits of a good contract register

The simpler a contract register is, the better.

A register should only include key information for each contract, such as the:

  • goods or services covered
  • supplier’s name and their key contact details
  • start and end dates
  • crucial terms and conditions (including if there is an option for renewal, or the amount of notice required if choosing to terminate the contract)
  • contract spend value (both annually and whole-of-life)
  • location of the full contract documentation.

Having a contract register in place makes it clear which important dates should be noted. It is recommended that a reminder is set in a calendar for several months before a contract expires, when planning for a new contract should begin.

Template contract register

The below contract register template will help when establishing a new register.

Contract register template [XLSX, 19 KB]

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