COVID-19 Updates

Please see below regular updates and resources in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Update 28-04-2021 - PPE Availability


Thanks to the suppliers on the new APUC PPE Framework agreement (see below) you can see here a list of current stock availability as well as lead times for PPE products.  Should you have any queries please contact 


Update 06-01-2021 - New PPE framework agreement

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Work & Sports Wear framework agreement (JAN1012 AP) is now live and will run for a period of two years, with the option to extend up to a further 24 months.

This national framework agreement has eight lots, split by region and providing access to both national and local contractors:

A - Scotland Wide (APUC members)          

B - England and Wales (LUPC, SUPC, HEPCW, NEUPC members)

  • Lot 1 A/B - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Lot 2 A/B - General Workwear
  • Lot 3 A/B - Catering and Front of House
  • Lot 4 A/B - Sports Clothing
  • Lot 5 A/B - Footwear
  • Lot 6 A/B - Laboratory Coats / Dentistry wear
  • Lot 7 A/B - Specialist PPE
  • Lot 8 A/B - One Stop Shop

Each lot is supported by a core product list of frequently used items with fixed pricing and the following added value services:

• Personalisation / Branding (with the exception of Lot 5 – Footwear)

• Repair and Takeback for damaged and redundant items

• Measuring / fitting / issuing services

• Sustainable / Green / Vegan clothing and footwear options

Appointment to the framework agreement was evaluated with a weighting of 50% Technical and 50% Commercial offering an excellent blend of good quality products and services with competitive pricing. The tendering process included strong sustainability measurement including fair working practices and supply chain traceability.

Call-off is available via Ranking and Desktop Evaluation (both Direct Award), or Mini-Competition.

A copy of the Buyers Guide, supplier contacts, pricing, added value services rates and other supporting documents are available on HE Contracts.

For any queries, please contact Antonio Ramirez.

Update 21-09-2020 - On-site COVID-19 testing guidance document

Click here to access a guidance document compiled by UKUPC covering on-site COVID-19 testing. It covers a wide range of information regarding SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) tests, testing and what our members are doing in order to inform those who are considering the options available to them for their own organisation. 

Update 21-08-20 - IBISWorld UK Economic and Industry Impact webinar

IbisWorld, providers of business intelligence information, has produced a 10 minute webinar, COVID-19 - UK Economic and Industry Impact Webinar.

The pre-recorded webinar covers:

  • COVID-19 statistics and government response
  • Economic indicators
  • Sectors most affected by COVID-19
  • How COVID-19 has changed the way industries operate
  • Post-lockdown industry impacts

For further information and articles on coronavirus insights, visit IBIS World’s Industry Insider.


Update 10-08-2020 - Back to work supplies - a UKUPC guidance document

Through our conversations with you, our members, we recognise that during this time of uncertainty it helps to have some guidance to refer to on topics which are new.


A guide has been developed collaboratively by the UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) and serves to act as a reference point for anyone responsible for or involved in the procurement or specification of return to work products and personal protective equipment relating to COVID19.


Should you require any further assistance please contact Antonio Ramirez, senior category manager, LUPC.


Update 2-07-2020 - Disposal of PPE for non-healthcare providers

The department for the environment, food and rural affairs (DEFRA) has issued some useful guidance on how to dispose of personal or business waste,  including face coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE), during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full DEFRA guidance , which applies to non-healthcare settings.


Update 8-07-2020 - VAT on PPE

The VAT exemption for high demand PPE items was due to expire on the 31 July, however this has now been extended to the 31 October.


Update 23-06-2020 - Temporary concession for tier 4 students

Update from LUPC supplier, Eversheds Sutherland


Update 18-06-2020 - travel

Please find below an update on travel.

Taxi firms have told us how they are keeping their vehicles safe. Please see the links below for examples:

Comfort Executive Decontamination & Sanitising Process

ComCab/DAC Decontamination & Sanitising Process

All passengers and drivers on all transportation are to wear personal protective equipment.

Information on how to wear and make a face covering can be accessed via this government link.

Please see further updates on Travel.

Please see the letter, we have received from the Business Travel Association in response to the letter Jayne at SUPC sent on behalf of the sector. While Clive Wratten does reference SUPC, he is, and continues to work on behalf of all members within the sector.

For any further information, contact Joyce Kadri.

Update 16-06-2020 - reducing risk

Tips from Banner for creating a low-risk educational setting

Update 15-06-2020 - back to work - PPE zero-rated

During our “Back to Work” webinar which took place on 11th June, we were asked how PPE items should be treated in terms of Tax.  Andrea Marshall, Tax Specialist at BUFDG confirmed that new temporary legislation has been introduced which confirms that all PPE can be zero rated between 1 May 2020 and 31 July 2020 (even if it is not being purchased for COVID 19 related activities). PPE can be ordered for central stores and no record of use is required to be kept. The information is as follows:


(1) In this Group “equipment to provide protection from infection” means personal protective equipment recommended for use in connection with protection from infection with coronavirus in guidance published by Public Health England on 24th April 2020 titled “Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)”(1) namely—

(a)disposable gloves,

(b)disposable plastic aprons,

(c)disposable fluid-resistant coveralls or gowns,

(d)surgical masks (including fluid-resistant type IIR surgical masks),

(e)filtering face piece respirators, and

(f)eye and face protection (including single or reusable full face visors or goggles).


If you have other items not listed above, please get in touch with either Andrea or Emma who will seek to clarify for you.


Update 09-06-2020 - how to operate safely and industry webinar


Bolton University has made a 3-minute long video about how a university can operate safely given the challenges of COVID-19.


IBISWorld UK Economic and Industry Impact webinar


Please click on the link below to register and view IBISWorld's webinar.  

COVID 19 – UK Economic and Industry Impact webinar – 13 minutes


The recorded webinar covers:

  • The current Government policy in response to COVID- 19

  • Leading indicators of recovery

  • A closer look at Healthcare and Manufacturing amid COVID -19


For further information and articles visit IBISWorld's COVID-19 Information Hub, Industry Insider page


Update 02-06-2020 - travel refunds


Support for universities waiting for travel refunds


Update 01-06-2020 - return to work safely


Our sister organisation, NEUPC has collated a range of brochures/ guidance available to support members’ safe return to work. The resources cover social distancing, protective screens and also furniture to support home-working. 


In the second of our monthly blogs, Neil Bailey, Head of Education at software suppliers CDW, explains how technology can help to manage the safe re-entry of students into university life, following the outbreak of COVID-19.


Update 21-05-2020 - return to work and travel refunds


Returning to the workplace document

A document on returning to the workplace after the COVID-19 lockdown has been written in association with CIPD, Mind, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network and ACAS. The document is for professionals to use to provide advice for employers and employees returning to work so that employers can manage risk alongside their legal obligations. It is subject to change depending on government announcements.

Travel Refunds


A number of UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) members are facing problems obtaining travel refunds, with some airlines being slow to respond or issuing vouchers or credit notes with no option to get cash refunds.

This is proving very challenging for a number of institutions particularly where the travel was paid for with grant funding.

As owners of the travel framework, SUPC is writing to the chair of the Business Travel Association (BTA) to request this is raised at their board meeting, highlighting the sector and the unique challenges it faces. LUPC is endorsing this action on behalf of its members, and the framework suppliers are being asked for their support.

An FAQ document has been produced to answer a number of questions that have arisen as a result of the near global shut down on travel.

You can also view a letter that a number of airline bodies are sending to the EU asking for a temporary amendment to the regulations surrounding refunds; and an airline refund proposal from the Business Travel Association to ensure that a fair and workable solution can be found.

If you have any further questions, please contact Joyce Kadri


Update  19-05-2020 - re-shaping your procurement strategy


Re-Shaping Your Procurement Strategy in Light of Coronavirus

VWV’s Stephanie Rickard has written an article looking at the issues, risks and opportunities for teams to consider when re-shaping their procurement strategies to mitigate the implications of coronavirus. Read it here.


Update 12-05-2020 - New PPE framework


*** The new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Clothing and Uniforms framework  is now available on HE Contracts for access by LUPC members.***


Update 11-05-2020 - back to work supplies


Member Guide: Back to work supplies including buying PPE and associated products 


LUPC is working with the other sector consortia (UKUPC) to provide detailed information from our framework suppliers, identifying who can provide the products that will be required in the workplace. This exercise should be complete in the next week or so but, as we have been receiving requests from our members about this, we thought it might be useful to share the information we have at this stage.

You can download our "Back to Work" Supplies Guide here.

Update 29-04-2020 - Linked magazine

Please see the latest edition of Linked magazine for articles on managing in a crisis and working from home, as well as Commodity Updates. We also ask if a legacy of COVID-19 will be a reduction in emissions. Please complete our survey to shape the future of the magazine. We are not sending out a hard copy of the magazine due to lockdown.


Update 21-04-2020 - Electronics Watch


Electronics Watch has created a section of its website to report on the impact of COVID-19 on workers in the electronics supply chain. It features a video about the impact on migrant workers in Malaysia and useful links. 


LUPC members are automatically affiliated to Electronics Watch.



Update 15-04-2020 - COVID-19 Impact Webinars


Over 150 members from the UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) took part in the COVID-19 Impact Webinars, the first ever delivered by LUPC and SUPC. The day’s programme focused on issues arising due to COVID-19, with the aim of providing much needed support and guidance to members during this particular time.


The morning session included three webinars delivered by legal services framework provider, VWV,  and covered guidance on PPN 01-20 and 02-20, force majeure, frustration and contract management and a VWV Q&A panel session. SUMS Consulting led the afternoon sessions with interactive presentations on successful change management and personal resourcefulness during COVID-19.


Feedback on the webinars has so far been positive, and we look forward to seeing the full survey responses so they can inform future events.


You can view the webinars on our new Presentations/Webinars page.



Update 2-4-2020 - paying suppliers


Please see guidance published by the Government on paying suppliers for contingent workers impacted by COVID-19.

Update 30-3-2020 - Clarification of PPN 02 requested

The UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) is seeking, on behalf of our members, further clarifications from the Cabinet Office on the scope and application of the Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 02 recently issued, concerning payments to suppliers. The questions below have already been received, but if you have any further queries please email by the end of 2 April 2020.

1.      Does this affect all suppliers or only UK-based ones?

2.      If we have just awarded business but not had delivery of business/service/product are these classed as ones we need to review? How do we calculate how much to pay to them when no payments have been made thus far?

3.      How can we obtain evidence to see if the company is also claiming relief and therefore should not be paid by ourselves?

4.      Does the PPN apply to Multi Academy Trusts and UTCs?

5.      How do we calculate the amount to pay? Average of last six months activities?

6.      Do we then arrange to adjust future invoices/payments to allow for the monies paid when they were not delivering a service/product? (treat it like a short term loan?)

7.      Is there a threshold, i.e for low value spend? Otherwise this is going to be a lot of administrative work

8.      Does this relate to all companies regardless of turnover?

9.      Does it relate to all suppliers or, for example, only those to whom you have outsourced your FM services i.e. ones with prior commitment of services?


Update 25-3-2020 - Update your suppliers


Please let suppliers know your institution's arrangements for deliveries during this pandemic. Suppliers are reporting that this is affecting the delivery, receipt and return of goods.

As many items are fragile, costly and even perishable, members might have to pay for items that are stuck or lost as many Universities have closed down their Goods In facilities.



LUPC's support for our members

During these challenging times, we know that many of you will currently be involved in contingency planning at your institutions.

If we can support you and your teams during this difficult time, please get in touch.

You can find information below, with more to come.

LUPC Operations

We would like to reassure our members and suppliers that LUPC has a stringent business continuity policy so we can continue operating effectively regardless of any restrictions to normal business operations required during this COVID-19 pandemic.

LUPC staff are working from home and can access work files remotely via the cloud using Office 365. Office phones have been set up to divert to our mobiles.

Supplier Updates

LUPC has worked with the other university purchasing consortia across the UK to collate responses from framework suppliers about the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of goods and services.

This spreadsheet includes information provided by each supplier along with a traffic light, colour coded risk level numbered 1-3. 1 being a low, and 3 being a high risk of supplies being affected.

LUPC will continue to monitor the situation and alert you via Twitter and the news section of our website with any updates.

Legal services

We have put together an update from our legal suppliers. For the very latest updates click on the link next to the supplier’s name.

Insurance and travel

An update on the Coronavirus outbreak has been provided to the LUPC Insurance Group (IG) by current brokers Gallagher with additional information and advice from the Group’s PA Travel insurer, RSA.


As we have postponed a number of face-to-face events, we are providing our members with webinars, which we are recording. Check out our resources section for previous and upcoming webinars.

Useful resources

Members can find a list of digital resources that have been made available for free or with extended access here.

This has been compiled by the University of York. Please add to it if you can.

There are several resources available to members, extending beyond procurement, available on the following websites:

Best practice

We want to hear about any initiatives that you/your team have been involved in to keep things going. As this situation is likely to go on for some time, we are developing ways to maintain our network and continue to share best practice during this period of uncertainty. We will post any examples of good practice, support from our suppliers or calls for support on this page and send out through our networks, as we receive them.