Procurement Guidance for Irish Schools | Free Online Course | Alison

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Guidance for Irish Schools on Good Procurement Processes

A step-by-step course on the official procurement processes for primary and post-primary schools in Ireland.

Free Course
This course has been prepared as a practical guide on public procurement for school personnel and Boards of Management in primary and post-primary schools in Ireland. It is intended for use as a reference document of best practice, which may be consulted for guidance on all aspects of procurement as laid out by the Department of Education's Schools Procurement Unit.





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This course is applicable to all areas of a school’s procurement activity. It will help personnel and management boards to benchmark their current policies and practices against a best practice model, set within the context of current obligations under the law. This does not place any additional responsibility upon a school to adhere to National Guidelines and public procurement law, above that which already exists and perhaps of which individual schools may not be fully aware.

The material takes a step-by-step approach to put in place procurement processes for schools. It contains diagrams and templates to support personnel in putting these systems in place in a practical way. It is important to mention from the outset, that a school is best advised to only embark on procurement activity in the absence of a suitable alternative arrangement provided by the Office of Government Procurement, and particularly so for areas of high expenditure. Using central arrangements, while not mandatory, fosters reassurance and convenience in several areas: it reduces exposure to the risk of litigation and exploitation, reduces administrative effort and cost, and delivers best-value outcomes through large-scale bundling arrangements.

Guidance of this nature cannot ever be totally definitive. It is intended to keep it under regular review, to take account of any amendments and changes which occur in the guidelines and legislation which governs how public procurement is conducted in Ireland. In this regard, the Schools Procurement Unit welcomes comments and suggestions from any source which might lead to improvements in this guidance, or publicises evidence of further good practices in schools.

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Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyse a school’s accounting system and see whether it is fit for purpose
  • Understand what a ‘category’ is in relation to the procurement process and how to break them down appropriately
  • Explain the role of the Office of Government Procurement and identify where their framework does and does not exist
  • Recall the procedures for low value and high value tendering
  • Outline the importance of the value for money (VfM) model
  • Evaluate the need for contract management when dealing with suppliers
  • Discuss a typical requisition to pay process
  • List the steps involved in the evaluation process


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