Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
This guide is to advise suppliers on how they can sell their products and services to the Trust.
The guide also tells you about Canal & River Trust business, the type of goods and services it buys and how it buys them.
The majority of contracts of significant value or complexity are let by the Procurement Team. The Procurement Team is also responsible for the provision of policy, standards and best practice advice, support for specific procurement projects, as well as much of the contract management of goods, works and services in the organisation.
We work closely with colleagues in other parts of the Trust to ensure that, having put contracts in place, they actually deliver the benefits and outcomes envisaged at their outset.
Whilst only subject to the European Union (EU) procurement directives, and the regulations that implement them in the UK, for a very small percentage of our expenditure, most large value contracts for the Trust are let by competitive tender/in accordance with best procurement practice, and in certain instances, we may choose to comply in full with the aforementioned regulations.
Advertisements and Invitations to Tender
In the vast majority of cases, we will advertise contract opportunities by way of the following means:
In either case, expressions of interest will be invited for pre-qualification purposes and those companies who qualify after the initial selection process will be invited to tender.
Advertisements and tender documents will always give a contact point from which to obtain further information. Where Canal & River Trust uses a two stage procedure, it will issue a Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) to enable applicants to be shortlisted before being invited to tender. When issuing an Invitation to Tender, Canal & River Trust will be as explicit as possible in specifying its needs, for example, quality, technical capability/specification, delivery and timescales and where applicable Canal & River Trust also includes technical and commercial questionnaires. All invitations will also include the Canal & River Trust Terms and Conditions of contract.
Canal & River Trust uses a formal evaluation process, to identify the supplier(s) who will provide the best overall value for money for the particular purchase, which is not necessarily the lowest price. Tender proposals will be subjected to a thorough evaluation. This may result in an award of contract or it may produce a short-list of the most promising technical and commercial offers requiring further assessment.
Short-listed tenderers may be further requested to clarify their bids or provide additional information in support of their proposals. Further assessment of short-listed tenders may include attendance at Canal & River Trust's offices for the purpose of clarifying aspects of a bid or may also involve a visit by Canal & River Trust's representatives to any relevant facilities operated by the tenderer. In each case, tenderers will be responsible for their own costs.
Short-listed bidders may be asked to provide a presentation which may be held on either the suppliers' or Canal & River Trust premises.
All procurements are conducted in a fair and open manner. Records are made at all stages in order that the procedure is fully auditable. A panel from relevant disciplines is formed to evaluate higher value tenders.
When Canal & River Trust has completed the evaluation of Invitations to Tender and reached a decision it will inform the successful and unsuccessful bidders in writing without delay.
The Trust does not hold an approved supplier list, but with low value orders for goods and services, which are not available through existing contracts and framework, agreements the following will be used to identify potential sources of supply:
Canal & River Trust is committed to using electronic tools in support of its procurement activity and has developed an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program for the purpose of trading electronically with suppliers. Canal & River Trust operates a purchase order mandatory policy, whereby official purchase orders will be issued by the ERP system in respect of all purchases it makes. This ensures that every invoice received can be matched to a purchase order and to the corresponding goods or services. Suppliers will need to have the capacity to accept purchase orders from the ERP system, via email, on a PDF attachment.
Canal & River Trust is committed to pay suppliers in accordance with our agreed contract terms which are normally 30 days from the end of the month of invoice. In order to meet contractual obligations, it is important that your invoice provides the details required for Canal & River Trust to match it to the original order/contract. In particular, it is essential that you provide all information requested on the purchase order or as specified in the contract. If any of this information is missing, it may delay payment.
Where the supplier lets a subcontract in connection with a Canal & River Trust contract then it should include similar prompt payment terms to the above in respect of payments to the subcontractor.
There are increasing opportunities for SMEs to do business with the Canal & River Trust which tries to ensure that companies are invited to tender for work, which is compatible with their capacity and capabilities.
Where appropriate, requirements are divided into smaller lots to encourage participation by SMEs. Canal & River Trust understands the difficulties that SMEs can experience in dealing with large organisations and therefore have designed its procurement procedure to help SMEs engage more easily with the Canal & River Trust.
Last date edited: 3 August 2015