Making a purchase

Please use this site as a guide to assisting you in a speedy and thorough procurement process.

Systems contract requisitions and purchase requisitions

The Systems Contract Requisition Form is used when a requisitioner would like to make a purchase from a company on the System Contract List. If your purchase does not qualify, you should use the Purchase Requisition.

Purchase requisition

Policy 17 states the University of Waterloo's standards of ethics pertaining to procurement. All purchases on campus must adhere to Policy 17.

Thresholds P-card Purchase order Quotations Formal RFP
100,000+ No Yes No Advertised
$25,000 - $100,000 No Yes 3 formal written Optional
$10,000 - $25,000 No Yes 3 written No
$5,000-$10,000 No Optional Optional No
$0 - $5,000  Yes Optional Optional No
***Please note that all consulting must have three competitive quotes, regardless of dollar value***

Special cases-controlled product

Does your purchase fit under one of the Inhibited Commodities categories below? If so, check the Inhibited Commodities to make sure it meets specifications.

  • Alcohol 
  • Animals 
  • Banking Services 
  • Books 
  • Cabling 
  • Consultants 
  • Controlled Substances/Drugs 
  • Electrical Equipment 
  • Food 
  • Furniture 
  • Limousines 
  • Moving Services 
  • Printing, Graphics 
  • Radioactive Products 
  • Software 
  • Security Systems 
  • Travel


When choosing office equipment (chairs, keyboards, mice or accessory equipment such as document holders or foot rests), pay attention to the ergonomic details of the office equipment.

Adjustability is key for a task chair. A good ergonomic task chair should have enough adjustability to fit a variety of body statures.  Look for adjustability in the seat pan (height and depth), the chair arms (height and width), and the back angle.  The chair should offer an adjustable lumbar support which not only moves up and down, but also provides adjustability in the amount of curvature it provides. 

Different types of mice are available which re-position the wrist (vertical mice) or change how the functionality is controlled (roller balls or bars).  Some mice come in different sizes or are purposely built for left handed users. 

Keyboards can be curved or split but can also be purchased in compact form without the numeric keypad, bringing the mouse arm closer to the body.

The Safety Office Ergonomics webpage includes a catalogue of equipment which is ergonomically supportive.  If you are unsure of your need or what might be best piece of equipment for you, contact the Safety Office to request an ergonomic assessment.

Electrical Compliance

The Electrical Safety Authority, lists recognized certification marks on products that are approved for use in Ontario.

According to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code Rules 2-022 and 2-024, all electrical equipment must be certified before use in Ontario to ensure that the equipment is built safely. Equipment that is not certified cannot be used on campus so it is prudent for certifications to be taken into consideration when planning research and purchasing new equipment. See the safety office website for more details.

When purchasing unapproved new equipment, field evaluation can be arranged by Procurement & Contract Services department.  Additional funds will be required to pay for the cost of the inspection, and, to remedy any deficiencies found during inspection.


Take into account safety issues when you make purchases. Do not purchase equipment that will obstruct passages or compromise safety. Double check any potentially dangerous commodities with the University of Waterloo Safety Office. Clear any chemicals with Plant Operations and Procurement.

Submit to procurement

After the form is completed and an account has been made for special cases send the form to Procurement. Please, keep a copy of the form and take special notice of the form number.

Follow up and expediting

If you have any questions or concerns about your purchase call one of the buyers directly or reception at ext.84501.
Purchases that have already arrived on campus can be tracked through Central Stores.