Procurement process for school property projects

Find information about the procurement process, access templates and guides, and learn which approach to market is best for your school property project.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Project Managers
  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Proprietors
  • Property Managers

The procurement process must be applied for all school property-related procurement.


Before you begin a school property procurement, you must first confirm that budget is available for the project. Funding may be available through the 5 Year Agreement (5YA), School Investment Package, or Property Maintenance Grant.

There are three stages to the procurement process:

  • initiation and planning
  • approaching the market and evaluating the responses
  • negotiation and awarding.

The school property procurement process is also summarised in the School Property Procurement Quick Guide [PDF, 175 KB].

Initiating and planning the procurement

High-level statement of requirements

Prepare a high-level description of what is required. This is called a (high-level) statement of requirements.

  • Use it to estimate the procurement value.

The ‘value’ should include the estimated maximum value of all project spending.

This includes any:

  • potential contract variations or extensions
  • other work that may need to be done
  • additional contracts that may result from this.

For example, if you need plumbing services you should consider if the services you need are a one-off, or whether you are likely to need more plumbing services from time to time.

Designate roles and responsibilties

Identify and set out a plan for managing personal and commercial Conflict of interest.



Project manager

Runs the procurement

School representative

Represents the school in the procurement, for example the school principal

School property advisor

Reviews procurement decisions and documents

Board representative

Approves procurement decisions and documents on behalf of the school board and is designated by them to sponsor the procurement and sign the resulting contract. To maintain their impartiality, they can’t be directly involved in the decisions they approve.

School property procurement sponsor guide [PDF, 145 KB] 

Evaluation team

Evaluates supplier responses and recommends a preferred supplier.

The evaluation team may include:

  • the project manager
  • the school representative
  • a technical expert, like a designer
  • a board member (but not the one who is sponsoring the procurement)

Identify the needs of the procurement

Conduct a needs analysis, which may include:

  • consulting with stakeholders, such as board members, teachers, your school property advisor, other schools
  • analysing previous projects/spend or similar projects at other schools

Analyse the market

Ensure that a market analysis is conducted during the planning phase. Carry out market research and engage with potential suppliers to gauge availability and encourage participation.

Specify the statement of requirements

Develop a detailed statement of requirements from the initial high-level document. Reconfirm the procurement value based on the detailed statement of requirement.

The detailed statement should describe the:

  • outcome sought
  • the solution/deliverables (goods, services or contract works) required to achieve the outcome sought
  • capability (skills and expertise) required to deliver the required solution
  • capacity (resources and availability) required to deliver the required solution
  • pricing structure: how suppliers will be required to break down their prices
  • intended contractual arrangement (type of contract and key contract terms and conditions).

Plan your approach to market

An 'approach to market' is the way you invite potential suppliers to put in a bid to supply the goods, services or works you need.

There are specific minimum requirements you must meet when approaching the market with your procurement. The approach to market you choose depends on your procurement value. A higher threshold approach to market method should be used if warranted by the risk and/or complexity of the procurement.

In exceptional circumstances procurement exemptions may be granted to allow the use of a lower threshold approach to market method.

Procurement value

Minimum approach to market

Less than $10,000

Non-competitive purchase:

  • Use your market research as a benchmark for value 
  • Select the supplier who offers the best value
  • You don’t need to get a written quote, unless the procurement will result in an asset with a value of $5,000 or more that your school will need to capitalise.


Direct source: Obtain one written quote

  • Use your market research as a benchmark for value 
  • Select the supplier who offers the best value
  • You need to get a written quote from the selected supplier.

Tip: If you think you’ll need to go back to the same supplier more than once over a period of a year, consider choosing a closed tender approach instead. This can help you to achieve better value from your procurement. And save you the effort of having to go back to market multiple times.


Closed tender: Seek three written quotes

  • Try to get three or more written quotes.
  • Invite suppliers to quote using a formal Request for Quote (RFQ) document.
  • You may need to invite more suppliers to quote than you need, in case some do not respond.

$100,000 or more

Open tender: Openly advertise the contract opportunity on the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS).

You can choose a one- or two-stage process.

In a two-stage process, the first stage is a Registration of Interest (ROI). This is used to shortlist suppliers. The second stage is a closed tender, in which the shortlisted suppliers are invited to respond to a:

  • Request for Tender (RFT), which is used for contract works, or
  • Request for Proposal (RFP), which is used for professional services.
A two-stage process may be appropriate if:
  • your market research has shown that six or more suppliers are likely to put in a bid for the contract, and/or
  • the time and cost for suppliers to prepare a bid for a one-stage process is disproportionate to their chances of being awarded the contract.

Draft the procurement plan

Procurement value



$100,000 or more

A procurement plan is not required for a procurement with a value less than $10,000. You will still need approval to go ahead with it from the board representative (procurement sponsor). You can ask for this via an email that explains what you plan to buy and why.

Get your procurement plan endorsed and approved

  • Submit your plan to the school representative for endorsement.
  • If the procurement value is $50,000 or more, submit the endorsed plan to the school property advisor for their endorsement – if you don’t get any feedback after two business days, you can consider the plan endorsed.
  • Submit all endorsed plans to the school board representative (procurement sponsor) for approval.

Draft the approach to market document(s)

Approval from the school representative is required. 

Procurement value


Less than $50,000

Request for quote – lite [DOCX, 97 KB] (optional)


For professional services use:

Professional services request for quote [DOCX, 467 KB]

For contract works use:

Contract works request for quote [DOCX, 486 KB]

$100,000 or more

For a one-stage process for professional services use:

Professional services request for proposals [DOCX, 510 KB]

For a two-stage process for professional services, first use:

Professional services registration of interest [DOCX, 475 KB]

For contract works use:

Contract works request for tender [DOCX, 161 KB], and

Contract works schedul­e of prices [XLS, 57 KB]

For a two-stage process, first use:

Contract works registration of interest [DOCX, 411 KB]

Approach the market

  • For open tenders, advertise the ROI, RFT or RFP on link)
  • For closed tenders and direct source, send the RFQ to identified potential suppliers to invite them to submit a quote.

To use GETS (Government Electronic Tenders Service), you have to first become a GETS Procurement Officer. 

To apply email

Evaluate the responses

The evaluation team selects a shortlist or a preferred supplier using the relevant tools and guides. 

When evaluating…use the …

Responses to any RFx

School property procurement evaluator guide [PDF, 257 KB]

ROIs for a shortlist

School property procurement ROI evaluation workbook [XLS, 182 KB]

Schedules of prices for an RFT

Responses to an RFP or RFT

School property procurement open tender evaluation workbook [XLS, 211 KB]

The evaluation team identifies any due diligence checks that need to be done.

These may include:

  • reference checks
  • police vetting
  • checking professional accreditations.

Recommend a supplier 

The Procurement Recommendation Report [DOC, 118 KB] summarises the evaluation and recommends a preferred supplier. 

  • For a two-stage open tender, a separate recommendation report is required to recommend the shortlist from the ROI before running a closed RFT or RFP. 

Tip: You don’t need to write a recommendation report for a procurement with a value less than $10,000 that isn’t funded by a 5 year agreement.

Get your recommendation report endorsed and approved

Your report requires endorsement from both your school representative and school property advisor. It will need to be signed off by the school rep first. If you do not get any feedback from your property advisor after two business days – you can consider the report endorsed.

The twice endorsed report is sent to the board representative for final approval.

Negotiate and award

As soon as practical after the recommendation report has been approved, suppliers must be notified of either outcome.

For procurements of $100,000 or more, you must notify suppliers in writing and offer to provide them with a debrief after the contract has been agreed upon.

Contract negotiation

The Ministry’s contract templates must be used to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement with the preferred supplier.

  • Advise the supplier that the Ministry intends to enter into a contract with them, subject to funding being released by the Ministry.
  • Request the funding for the project to be released to the board.

To request funds, the project manager submits the following documents to the School Property Advisor:

  • the project management forms
  • the endorsed and approved procurement plan
  • the endorsed and approved recommendation report.

The selected supplier and the board representative execute the contract by each signing two copies of the contract. The supplier signs the contract first. Get the final form of contract endorsed and approved by the school representative, and written approval by the board member representative. Each party keeps a copy of the contract after it has been signed by both parties.

Award the project

  • For procurements with a value of $100,000 or more, post an award notice on GETS.
  • Provide debriefs as appropriate.
  • Retain all procurement documentation for seven years on the project file.

After the contract is awarded, the project manager makes sure that the intended outcomes from the procurement are achieved by managing:

  • the contract
  • the relationship with the supplier, and
  • the supplier’s performance.

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