What’s changing?

The approvals process is an integral part of responsible financial management. It helps ensure that we spend the University’s money appropriately with the correct levels of authorisation. Having purchases checked before ordering protects both you and the University.

With OneUniversity, anyone with Standard requisitioning access will be able to self-approve catalogue/web catalogue items up to the value of £100. A select number of pre-identified individuals will be allocated Expert requisitioner access, enabling them to self-approve their own requisitions up to the value of £1000.

Approval pools within Schools and Directorates will be created to enable more efficient processing of requisitions. The table below lists the approval value ranges for each of the four approval levels in OneUniversity.

RoleRequisitionsExpensesPurchase Card
Approver level 1 less than £1000 £50 - £100 £1000
Approver level 2 £1000 - £5000 £100 - £500 £1000 - £5000
Approver level 3 £5000 - £25,000 £500 - £1000 £5000 - £25000
Approver level 4 £25,000* £1000 £25000*

* In addition to the budgetary approvals, requisitions over £25,000 will require further review and approval by both Procurement and Finance. Such requisitions must be approved by all three pools before being released as a Purchase Order to the supplier.



Approval level 4

Over £25,000

Procurement approval

Over £25,000

Finance approval

Over £25,000

Why's this changing?

Currently, when a requisition is placed, it goes to a very small pool of approvers in a School or Directorate and they've a set time to action it or send it back to the requester. If it isn’t actioned within time, the requisition is escalated upwards and, in a relatively short time, senior staff can end up with a substantial amount of requisitions on their desks.

What does this mean?

We've a much more structured approval process that’s robust yet provides more flexibility. There’s less focus on low-value items and more focus on high-value items. There's a full audit trail to allow spend activity to be monitored and all expenditure will be reviewed against budgets as part of a management accounting process.

How's it going to work?

When you create a requisition and it goes for approval, the relevant approver pool will be notified by an email with a link to the workflow. Your approver picks up the task and approves it, or rejects and sends it back with an explanation.

For example, an administrator orders copier paper and ink from an approved supplier. This comes to under the £100 limit but they want their supervisor to be aware of the purchase so, with one click, it routes into the relevant approval pool. As soon as it shows up in the pool, the supervisor can approve it and the requisition continues through the workflow.

In this way, we believe that OneUniversity provides a capable, flexible solution that will help us buy goods and services much more efficiently. 

Changes to user profiles or approval pools

Any changes to user profiles and approval pools have been suspended for a period of around one month from 9 August 2019. This is to limit changes to the system to allow the Business Transformation team to deal with early life support enquiries from around the business. There is an exception to this. If operations in your area could be adversely affected by the restriction, such as only having one or two people in your approval pool.

If you do want to request a change to a user profile or approval pool, please do this through your School Manager, Dean, Director or Assistant Director. You can also speak to your School or Directorate accountant.