Standardize the method for choosing suppliers and evaluating contracts for purchasing and delivery of goods and services


The laboratory has many suppliers. Suppliers can be service companies that perform maintenance on equipment and facilities, or suppliers of goods. Also purchase orders can be seen as contracts, and request forms when the laboratory refers samples for testing to referral laboratories.

It is crucial to select a supplier of which you are certain that they can deliver what you need and which most closely suits your demands. It is important that all your demands are recorded in a proper contract with the supplier and that these demands have been met after reception of services. If this is routinely monitored in a standardized way, you have confidence that you spend money for the highest return. If you see that your demands are not met this procedure gives you ground to terminate the contract and postpone/cancel payment as you have documented everything and are able to prove that contractual agreements have not been met.


Write an SOP for Selection and Evaluation of Suppliers. In general the procedure consist roughly of the following steps:

  • How to formulate requirements to the supplier
  • How to make an inventory of available suppliers
  • Requirements for quotes (often depending on amount of money involved) i.e. 3 quotations, limited tender, full tender
  • How to select the supplier most closely meeting your requirements (include a checklist that guides you through this process and which can be archived for later reference if needed)
  • How to develop a contract for service delivery by the supplier
  • How to monitor supplier performance and adherence to the contract
  • Evaluating the contract for service delivery (include a checklist that guides you through this process and which can be archived for later reference if needed)
  • Amendments/changes/renewal of contracts
  • If convenient, a checklist which can be used for keeping track of execution of the above mentioned activities.

It is also important that the laboratory does not indiscriminately accept gifts. For example, it may not be possible to maintain a piece of equipment that is given to the laboratory free of charge, or reagents are difficult to obtain. This way the laboratory is stuck with a piece of equipment that cannot be used for routine testing. If this is the case it is better to politely refuse the gift, and maybe indicate an alternative piece of equipment which is useful for the laboratory. Include a procedure to be followed in case the laboratory is provided with equipment free of charge.

How & who

Laboratory Manager:

  1. Write the SOP for Selection and Evaluation of Suppliers in accordance with the protocol for writing a Procedure SOP in the Master SOP and use the template for a Procedure SOP attached to the Master SOP.
  2. Review and authorize the SOP in accordance with the procedures of the SOP for Document Control.
  3. Include the SOP in the Read and Understand List and indicate those who have to read the SOP (all the key personnel such as heads of sections, Equipment-, Biosafety- and Stock Officer, Financial Officer).
  4. Present the SOP to the staff members for whom this SOP is relevant; explain why it was developed and which procedures are included in the SOP. Explain that it has to be implemented from now on.
  5. Make a folder entitled "Contracts for Reception of Services". Store the selection checklist, minutes of meetings with contracted suppliers, and evaluation checklists in this folder together with the contract.

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This activity belongs to the QSE Purchasing & Inventory


ISO15189:2007: 4.6.1 4.6.4
ISO15189:2012: 4.6