How do I contract for services?

A contract for services is a document in which a provider of services agrees to provide a service to a client in exchange for a payment. This type of arrangement is governed by the University of Toronto’s Procurement Policy.

  • Step 1: Approvals
    Confirm that the appropriate divisional approvals have been obtained.  If you are unsure who within the division has such authority to approve a service contract for the purchase of services, contact your Chief Administrative Officer or Dean’s Office.

  • Step 2: Divisional HR assessment if engaging an Individual to perform services
    Contact your Divisional HR office to determine if the specific arrangement proposed with the service provider supports categorizing them as an independent contractor:

    • An accurate designation of the relationship is important because misclassifying a service provider as an independent contractor instead of an employee can result in significant legal and financial liability for the University;
    • Determining whether the relationship between the University and the individual is that of an employee or an independent contract depends on various factors and your Divisional HR office is your key partner in carrying out a nuanced yet technical assessment;
    • Ensure the above before proceeding any further in the purchasing process, including engaging Office of University Counsel directly for legal support.
    • If engaging a third party corporate entity (ie: the third party has a corporate name that ends in Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.), proceed to Step 3.

  • Step 3: Obtain quotes
    The Procurement Policy must be followed with respect to obtaining quotes:


Total Procurement Value Before Taxes

Means of Procurement
Up to $9,999.99 No quotes required
$10,000 – $49,999.99✔ 2 written quotes required

$100,000 +
✔ RFP: to be compliant with internal and external regulatory frameworks, purchases in this threshold must be publicly tendered in a competitive bid process, and referred to Procurement Services

Consulting Services
All consulting services must be competitively sourced regardless of dollar value
  • Step 4: Legal review
    Contact legal@utoronto.ca to obtain an appropriate template for the purchase of services or to review a template provided by the service provider.