Speaker Engagement & Services Agreement Templates FAQs

Can you clarify the threshold limits for each template?

  • Speaker engagement letter is required if:
    • An honorarium is $500 or greater OR
    • Travel Expenses total $500 or greater
  • Services agreement is required if:
    • Fees and expenses combined equal $1000 or greater
  • Photography/Videography/Web Design services agreement is required if:
    • Services are being retained, regardless of dollar value, and even when there is no dollar value to the services

What if a speaker is being paid a $450 honorarium and $450 for travel expenses, am I required to complete a speaker agreement?

No, because neither of the totals is $500 or greater, however, the department may choose to complete a speaker engagement letter anyway.

How did this new services agreement template requirement come about?

The requirement is in response to an internal audit recommendation to lower the risk of exposure to the University.

When calculating the expense $ threshold for either agreement, should the total include expenses the department is paying via purchasing card or just the receipts the supplier would be submitting for reimbursement?

Both, all expenses provided by UVM directly (car rentals, hotel rooms, airfare, etc.) and reimbursed to the supplier should be included in the total expense $ amount.

If a supplier provides its own services agreement for review, do we also need to complete UVM’s services agreement?

No, there can only be one controlling document. UVM will review the vendor’s agreement with a 2-4 week lead time, however if you have the opportunity to use UVM’s template instead, it could be a much quicker turn around.

For clarification, if I complete a UVM template services agreement for $4000, I do not need Purchasing Services to review prior to supplier signature on agreement?

Correct, any agreement up to $5000.00 that simply completes the highlighted sections in the template does not require Purchasing Services' review.

Can I use a template I have on file in my department?

Templates and procedures change periodically. Best practice is to always start a draft agreement from the applicable template on the Purchasing website.

If I am paying a foreign individual or company for a service, do I still process a requisition?

No, the proper method for payment is to send a check request form (Excel) and all required signed documentation in one document to UVM’s Tax Services via File Transfer. 

How do I get Purchasing Service’s signature on a speaker engagement letter for a foreign individual or company prior to the event?

Send the speaker-signed letter along with your signed Employee vs. Independent Contractor determination to purchasing@uvm.edu in advance of the event for signature.

If I am completing a speaker or services agreement for an individual, do I still have to complete an Employee vs. Independent Contractor (EIC) form?

Yes, each new requisition or check request needs a new signed EIC determination form matching the event details.

How much lead time does Purchasing Services need to review my contract?

2-4 weeks, depending on various factors, such as:

  • Complexity
  • Need for additional review by General Counsel, Risk Management, or ISO
  • The large volume of pending contracts already in Purchasing queue

Does the $ value of the PO need to match the $ value of the agreement?

The PO dollar amount should be supported by the contract terms. (i.e., PO cannot be more than the not-to-exceed $ amount of the contract.) However, if the contract term crosses fiscal years, and the chartstring being charged is not a grant or project, the PO should only be set up for the $ value being spent in the current fiscal year.
You can set up multiple lines if different chartstrings are being used.

Can an agreement cross fiscal years?

Yes - However, if the contract term crosses fiscal years, the PO should only be set up for the $ value being spent in the current fiscal year unless the chartstring being charged is a grant or project.

Do we need to provide documents that are referenced in the contract?


I have more questions. Whom do I contact?

Email purchasing@uvm.edu with your question.


Contact Purchasing Services

205 Waterman
85 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405