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Standardization Policy

West Virginia University Policy
Division of Administration and Finance




The purpose of this policy is to establish a procurement policy that facilitates the purchase of commodities that meet approved standardized specifications and to define the process for establishing, recognizing, and using those “Standard Specifications.” The process of standardization ensures that purchases fulfill specific needs, increase labor and productivity efficiencies, and provide cost savings.


This policy applies to all University employees, departments, and units.


Extraordinary purchasing procedures may be used to accommodate defined university standard specifications. This procurement strategy should only be used when there is an established standard, multiple standards based on common technical capabilities, or a ratified standard based on previous installations.


An Established Standard specification will first be established through full and open competition. This will be used when the intent is to establish a single standard through a single vendor for campus use, on a near-exclusive basis, available to all campus customers. The ‘standard’ will be established in a contract which will be renewed annually upon mutual consent.

Design Standards are only used for construction or infrastructure. They are used where a single standard cannot be established by full and open competition and items requested are components within a larger bid package. To allow design flexibility, multiple technically equivalent standard brands will be used in design specifications. Alternatives may be recommended at any time.

A Ratified (Preexisting) Standard is found within existing infrastructure. This is the Standard found within a building. Once a building or infrastructure is on-line, the actual standard used in construction of that building becomes the single standard within that building.

Purchasing Guidelines

Established Standards may be used at any time throughout campus. Commodities that are Established Standards will be available through WVU contract. An example would be an office furniture contract which is awarded though full and open competition.

Design Standards will be used in specification documents for construction. The pertinent Technical Specification must be available to supplement a brand name specification.

Ratified Standards will be used for additions or augmentations to an existing building or infrastructure. The justification for using this procurement method will include proof of due diligence and a statement of price reasonableness. Examples, any extension of infrastructure (net work wiring, HVAC, fire alarms, or phones), or additional components to any installed research equipment.


Competition is always preferable, even if limited.

Procedure development rests with Purchasing, Contracts, and Payment Services. Procedure guidelines are maintained on website.


All employees are responsible for providing full support for this policy. It is the responsibility of the Dean, Director, or Department Head to implement and maintain this policy within their college, department, or unit. Purchasing, Contracts, and Payment Services at P.O. Box 6024 OWP or 293-5711, is available to answer questions or provide additional information regarding this policy.


The responsibility for interpretation of this policy rests with the Chief Procurement Officer, West Virginia University.

Effective Date: June 30, 2010
Approved By: Narvel G. Weese, Jr., Vice President for Administration and Finance