Procurement Process Guideline

Contact Officer:  Director Strategic Procurement Services


These guidelines provide additional information and clarification to particular sections in the Procurement Policy.


Preferred Suppliers

The term preferred suppliers is used to describe those suppliers with which we have established contracts following a rigorous tendering process that is compliant with the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act. Proposals representing the best quality and range of products, level of customer service and delivery and potential cost savings were selected to become Preferred Suppliers for the Queen's community. 

These contracts come from one of three sources: 

  1. Queen's University
  2. Ministry of Government Services
  3. Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace (OECM)

Consultancy and Professional Services


  • "Consultant" means a person or entity that under an agreement, other than an employment agreement, provides expert or strategic advice and related services for consideration and decision- making.
  • "Consulting Services" means the provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making.
  • "Contractor/Professional Service" is a person or entity retained under a fee-for-service arrangement that is not an employment agreement, to perform specific tasks under a client's direction for a limited period of time.

Please contact Strategic Procurement Services if assistance is required in determining if the service is consulting or professional service.

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Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 (AODA)

As per Ontario Regulation 191/11 made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, Queen's will incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring, goods, services and facilities, except where it is not practical to do so. 

Proposals from suppliers should consider accessibility features as follows:

  • Description of features promoting accessibility. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • monitor screens with adjustable colours and contrast
  • Support materials, such as manuals, training or service calls, available in accessible formats at no additional charge
  • accessible customer service, as required under the Customer Service Standard
  • software containing accessible features allowing people with disabilities to use it 

If accessible options are not available, the supplier should be required to explain why and the member of staff or Faculty requesting the goods or services must complete a statement explaining why accessibility was not addressed in this particular case.

The law doesn't specify what accessibility criteria to use when purchasing products and services. Every organization and situation is different; so the law is flexible to help you buy what meets the needs of your organization, employees and customers.

Think about any barriers the product or service might present for people with different types of disabilities and how you can avoid them. Consider general principles of accessibility, such as:

  • Accessible: can a person with a disability use the service at all?
  • Equitable: can someone with a disability use the facility as quickly and easily as a person without a disability?
  • Adaptable: can a user configure the item to meet their specific needs and
  • Preferences: will it work with common assistive technologies?

When purchasing new computer monitors, Jonas required the monitors to allow users to adjust the colours and contrast, making them more accessible to people with vision loss. He also required the monitors to allow users to identify the buttons by feel and operate them with one hand with minimal force. This assists individuals with both vision and mobility limitations. Finally, he asked vendors to make sure their instructions were available in accessible formats. 

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Here are some accessibility criteria to consider with different types of purchases:

Type of Purchase Criteria to Consider
  • Can the good be used by someone:
    • in a seated position
    • using one hand, with limited upper body strength, or limited fine motor skills
    • with vision loss or low vision
    • with hearing loss
  • Does the product meet ergonomic standards and can it be
    • customized to meet a variety of needs?
  • Are support materials, such as manuals, training or service calls, available in accessible formats at no additional charge?
  • Does the firm provide accessible customer service, as required under the Customer Service Standard?
  • Can the service provider accommodate the needs of people of all abilities? For example, if you're hiring someone to conduct research, do their surveys and interviews accommodate people with different types of disabilities?
  • Will the company use accessible signage, audio and/or print materials? For example, if you're hiring an event coordinator, will they use high contrast signage for the event?
  • Can someone using a mobility aid, like a wheelchair or walker, get around the facility?
  • Are signs placed at an accessible height?
  • Does the facility have emergency procedures to assist people with disabilities?

If you are writing a request for proposal, add your accessibility criteria to the tender, along with any specific features you're looking for. Don't forget to include accessibility requirements in your evaluation process; so if you score bids on cost, quality and timeliness, give points for accessibility too.

Omar's business is booming, and he's opening a new office downtown. When sourcing possible locations, Omar looks for a visible alarm system to alert people with hearing loss, and elevator buttons that use raised lettering for people who are blind.

If you can?t find a good, service or facility that meets your needs, look for ways to make it more accessible. If someone asks, you must explain why the option you chose isn?t accessible.

Santosh is purchasing a new printer for the office, but the accessible version is not compatible with his office computer network. So he buys a printer that works with their systems, but puts it on a lower table to make it more accessible to people in wheelchairs. He makes a note that, when it's time to buy new computers, he should make sure they are compatible with other accessible technologies. 

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For further guidance on accessibility and accommodation for particular goods and services contact the Director of Strategic Procurement Services or refer to;

The Accessible Procurement Toolkit

Government of Canada Accessibility Resource Centre

Controlled Goods

For detailed information on Controlled Goods refer to the Canadian Controlled Goods Directorate website 

The Controlled Goods program at Queen's is managed by Environmental health and Safety and assistance can be provided by calling extension 32999.


Date Approved:
Approval Authority:   Vice-Principals' Operations Committee 
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:  Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Invoices, Procurement Card Policy, Hospitality Policy, Perquisites Policy, Procurement Policy, Procurement Procedures

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