Scottish Public Sector Bodies

There are a large number of public bodies in Scotland who can procure goods and services in a number of ways.  The method used depends on what is being bought and which organisations are involved i.e. a public sector body can:

  • buy goods and services for their needs only.  This is sometimes referred to as a Category C procurement or a local procurement.  An example is window cleaning;
  • join with other organisation(s) at a local level to procure goods and services for all to use.  This is sometimes referred to as a Category C1 or a regional procurement.  An example may be courier services;
  • use another organisation, known as a Centre of Expertise,  to procure on their behalf.  This is sometimes referred to as a category B or sectoral procurement.  Examples are wheelie bins or medical equipment;
  • utilise Procurement Scotland contracts.  These are national contracts that are sometimes referred to as a Category A procurement.  Examples are IT equipment and office supplies.


Collaboration or collaborative procurement, is where buying organisations work together to procurement goods and services for the use of all of the buyers named.  This normally occurs to procure goods and services that are common amongst all of the buyers e.g. landscaping.  Collaboration can occur at national, sectoral, regional or local level.

Centre of Expertise

A Centre of Expertise awards contracts on behalf of different parts (or “sectors”) of the public sector. They also work to improve processes and collaboration between public bodies.

These Centres of Expertise are:

The below diagram and table illustrates further with some contract examples.

Category A

Collaborative Contracts available to all public bodies

  • Scottish Procurement

Category B

Collaborative Contracts available to public bodies within a specific sector

  • Scottish Procurement
  • APUC
  • Scotland Excel
  • NHS National Procurement
Category C Local Contracts for use by individual public bodies
Category C1 Local Contracts for use by individual public bodies

Please refer to Tenders to find out further information about the types of contracts that a public sector buyer may use.

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