Contractual agreements can often be the most complicated and lengthy aspects of formalising collaborations.
The aim of work strand 4 is to provide template agreements to simplify the process and help HEIs formalise the terms and conditions for sharing assets and establish legal structures for sharing assets exempt of VAT costs. To support this activity, the legal firm DLA Piper was appointed, via a tender process, to produce four template agreements on behalf of the N8.
Agreement 1 can be used to establish a Cost Sharing Group (CSG) at each N8 HEI (further information on CSG is available in work strand 3 – VAT).
Agreement 2 facilitates membership to a CSG and allows a member to take advantage of a cost sharing VAT exemption, therefore reducing the cost of sharing by 20%.
Agreement 3 is for use with members of the CSG and will allow the transaction to be VAT exempt.
Agreement 4 is for use with non-members of the CSG who will incur a VAT charge.
Access Agreement for Sharing Equipment
The agreement has been designed as a simple template to facilitate the sharing of university equipment with another HEI or organisation (customer). The agreement is split into two sections; (i) Order Form: and (ii) Terms and Conditions and can be downloaded below.
A small group of representatives from the N8 has developed the agreement with DLA Piper
The Order Form should be completed for each sharing arrangement. It contains key information such as start and end dates, description of the use of the equipment and the agreed price. The Order Form also includes a section for ‘Special Conditions’ which may need to be used if a piece of equipment has special requirements which aren’t covered in the main terms and conditions. This section also enables users to list amendments to the standard terms. Listing amendments makes it easier for users to acknowledge the changes to the terms and removes the need to completely review all of the terms and conditions each time the agreement is used.
Terms and Conditions
It is envisaged that the terms and conditions will not be amended. The only changes should be where absolutely necessary and should be listed in the ‘Special Conditions’ section of the Order Form, not amended in the terms and conditions.
The terms and conditions are available in large print and small print. The large print version should be attached to the Order Form, whereas the small print version can be printed onto the back of the Order Form.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do we need to establish a CSG?
There is no direct benefit to the host university; however, establishing a CSG will allow others to access your assets without incurring a VAT charge.
2. Do we have to be members of each N8 CSG?
There is no requirement to be a member of every CSG, however, until your university is a member it will be unable to use assets from the host university without incurring a VAT cost.
3. My asset has special requirements which aren’t in the access agreement, what can I do?
The access agreements contain a special conditions section to allow it to be to tailored the requirement of each asset.
4 How will the agreements be used at my university?
Each university has their own internal procedures and you should therefore contact your internal contracts team to identify the procedure at your university. An example of how the agreements might be used is shown in figure 5.3, part II of the N8 EST.
5. Another university, not in the N8 would like to access an asset at my university, which agreement should I use?
Any university, whether in the N8 or not, may become a member of a CSG which will enable them to access your assets exempt of VAT costs. In this scenario the university will need to become a member of a CSG and access your asset via agreement 3, N8 CSG Member Access Agreement. If the university does not wish to become a CSG member they can access your asset via agreement 4, Third Party Access Agreement, this will incur VAT.
6. Another institution has accessed an asset at my university, who should we send our invoice to?
If the other institution is a member of your CSG, you should invoice your CSG; your CSG will then invoice the member university.