Procurement Classification


An effective, easy to use procurement classification is essential for any organisation seeking to understand its third party expenditure.  Few organisations can access information in their IT systems that can give a procurement as well as a financial / accounting perspective.  Even where a coding system is used, such as UNSPSC, the challenges are dealing with multiple versions and the sheer volume of codes being used - nearly 60,000 for UNSPSC.
To overcome these problems, English local government devised a classification which is easy to use, meaningful and free at the point of delivery.  It also maps to the different procurement coding systems used such as UNSPSC, CPV and NHS-eClass.
ProClass is owned by local government and from October 2007 its management and maintenance has been carried out by Coding International Ltd. ProClass is recognised by the Local e-Government Standards Body (LeGSB).  More information about ProClass can be found on its dedicated website.
This section includes case studies, guidance papers, background information and details of services offered to support organisations wishing to find out more about how ProClass can help them improve commissioning and procurement.


Document Overview Date Added
Implementing ProClass Guidance Implementing ProClass Guidance (2883 KB) This Guidance paper describes the differences between retrospectively classifying spend to ProClass for analysis vs. implementing ProClass in finance and other systems to give analysis and to inform the procurement process in real-time. Jul 16, 2018
Coding and Classification Coding and Classification (1029 KB) A paper written by Ken Cole for CIPS which gives good practice guidance in helping organisations wishing to adopt or review their purchasing coding and classification structures. Apr 24, 2017
ProClass Services ProClass Services (270 KB)

A summary of the services provided by Coding International to support ProClass users.  Including spend analysis services (from SPS), mapping to other coding and classification structures and mapping of subjectives and suppliers.

May 13, 2015
ProClass and Surrey CC ProClass and Surrey CC (329 KB)

A case study showing how Surrey embedded ProClass into SAP.

Mar 24, 2015
ProClass FAQs ProClass FAQs (328 KB)

All your questions on ProClass are answered - what it is, how to use it, how it is maintained and updated and where you can get further help on implementation.

Mar 02, 2015
ProClass Survey - Outcomes ProClass Survey - Outcomes (151 KB)

The results of a survey into the use of ProClass from 2012.

Feb 16, 2015
Food & Catering Case Study Food & Catering Case Study (336 KB)

How ProClass enabled the analysis of spend data from 28 London Boroughs to give an insight into Food & Catering spend. 

Dec 03, 2014
Powering a Contracts Register for London Powering a Contracts Register for London (194 KB)

London’s local government third party influenceable spend is almost £9.3 billion per annum with nearly 60% of this being delivered by 1,000 suppliers. The former London Centre of Excellence (LCE) adopted a Contracts Register Service (CRS) utilising ProClass  to provide the high level classification necessary for major contracts and allow for the integration into the LCE’s Online Expenditure Analysis (OEA) tool.

Dec 03, 2014
Embedding ProClass into Oracle Embedding ProClass into Oracle (159 KB)

A case study on the benefits of embedding ProClass into Financial/ERP systems at Thurrock Council.

Dec 03, 2014
Collaborative Spend Analysis at the PAE Collaborative Spend Analysis at the PAE (138 KB)

Case study showing how the Procurement Agency for Essex utilised ProClass to gain improved spend information for collaboration and comparison opportunities leading to greater savings.

Dec 03, 2014
ProClass and Spend Analysis Service ProClass and Spend Analysis Service (221 KB)

Classifying expenditure data to support category planning and supplier management management. 

SPS and Coding International Ltd work together to extract invoice data from your finance system, classify influenceable spend to ProClass and provide classified and organised spend data to help you better plan your procurement.  With prices starting at less than £1K for district councils.

Mar 18, 2014
Procurement Classification Procurement Classification (275 KB)

Procurement Classification from the London Centre of Excellence - written by SPS

Aug 27, 2013
The Carbon Footprint of London The Carbon Footprint of London's LA Procurement (1655 KB)

An example of ProClass in action:

Capital Ambition commissioned Trucost to measure the carbon footprints of the supply chains of London local authorities. The study provides insight into the main sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their procurement.  Trucost engaged with suppliers of goods and services and shared information with local authorities about opportunities to cut carbon, which could also result in cost savings.

Expenditure data, provided by the London authorities and already classified to ProClass by Coding International was able to be mapped against Trucost’s database.

Oct 25, 2010
ProClass Trademark Registration ProClass Trademark Registration (246 KB)

ProClass trademark registration certificate.

Mar 12, 2009
Towards a Standard Procurement Classification for Local Government Towards a Standard Procurement Classification for Local Government (379 KB)

An extended summary of research commissioned by Hertfordshire CC, LB Camden, LB Hammersmith and Fulham and Somerset CC.

Dec 19, 2003