Technical approval

Technical approval is the catch-all process for making sure any technology bought by UVic is appropriate for use on campus. University Systems is responsible for reviewing technology purchases to ensure they meet any relevant requirements and security criteria.

Technology broadly describes any device or service that can store data or connect to the UVic network. This includes computers, mobile devices, and infrastructure equipment like servers and networking gear. It also includes software you install and online services you use through a web browser.

How do I get technical approval?

Any computer device that isn't a TSC standard is considered non-standard and requires technical approval. We gather information using a technical approval form that later gets attached to your WebReq as proof. There are different forms for hardware and software purchases, but the process is largely the same.

  1. Fill out a tech approval request form. We recommend asking your department's IT support person for help.
  2. Create a WebReq in FAST. Purchasing has step-by-step tutorials for using WebReq. We also have some tips for technology related WebReqs.
  3. Attach a quote for your order. If you have any extra information about the equipment like product datasheets or service contracts, please include them too.
  4. Attach your tech approval request form.
  5. Send your WebReq to the TSC - Technology Solutions Centre through the "Send to a Department" option in WebReq.
  6. The TSC staff will contact you if more information is required. Approved orders will be sent directly to Purchasing.

Computer hardware purchases

There are two different forms depending on which department you work in:

Software and online service purchases

There's only one form for software technical approval: Request for technical approval of software

If you're trying to buy cloud-hosted software, there are additional things you'll need to consider. Cloud-hosted software is also called Software as a Service or SaaS. Because they usually involve connections to our UVic services we need a more in-depth review. Software that falls into this category might also need an information security review and privacy impact assessment.

We recommend you read through our Software as a Service (SaaS) document to help you prepare. You can also for a consultation.

Technical approval criteria

We use different criteria depending on the type of technology. Some factors we look at are:

  • Security: Does it meet UVic's information security standards? What type of data will be stored or accessed?
  • Compatibility: Will it work with campus infrastructure?
  • Warranty and servicing: Can this equipment be repaired or replaced easily?
  • Support contracts: Does this software vendor provide timely support? Do they have adequate security protocols?
  • Hidden costs: Will you need to buy extra equipment to make this work? Are you paying for things you don't need? Is there already a low-cost or free option on campus?

We don’t have a “one size fits all” list of criteria, which is why we need to know how you're planning to use the technology.

What's already approved?

Every year we create a list of UVic standard computers, tablets, and smart phones that can be purchased through the Microserve portal. The standards:

  • have been thoroughly tested with the UVic network and systems.
  • meet or exceed UVic's security standards for confidential data.
  • are supported by Computer Help Desk and Desktop Support Services staff.
  • can be serviced on campus by authorized technicians.
  • come pre-loaded with UVic software to get you set-up quickly.

We recommend these standards if they're suitable for your purposes, and in some cases, they're mandatory.

When are TSC standards mandatory?

You must buy TSC standards if you're purchasing equipment for administrative work.

Other campus equipment standards

There are a few non-computer equipment standards as well. These have been chosen for their compatibility with UVic's systems and through campus-wide purchasing contracts.

What doesn't need technical approval?

Technical approval is largely concerned with devices themselves, so equipment and accessories you use with computers doesn't need approval. For example:

  • Peripherals like monitors, keyboards, trackpads and mice, cables, adapters, personal printers, cameras, and docking stations.
  • Accessories like laptop bags, tablet cases, stylus pens, power adapters, and charging cables.
  • Personal storage devices*, including external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD flash cards, and replacement internal hard drives.

*Please note: you're responsible for keeping any UVic data safe on external storage devices. Learn more about how to secure your USB & removeable storage.

What about software?

We have a list of software available through our software distribution service. This covers software that's been licensed for the whole campus as well as discounted titles for research.

Software standards are a little trickier because software can significantly change between versions. For example, an earlier version that gets approved might have new features that change how it can be used on campus in future releases. 

We're also reviewing the software vendor as much as the product itself. Maybe the software product hasn't changed much, but the original developer was bought by another company and now UVic needs to renegotiate a new contract.

The technical approval process is very different for a software tool one person is buying to use for research compared to something an entire administrative department wants to use. Some software purchases include technical implementation projects. Others need in-depth information security reviews or privacy impact assessments.

If you have questions about available software or the software tech approval process, please mail the .

Policies and procedures

Technical approval touches a number of UVic policies and procedures. Here's a simplified version of relevant UVic policies as they relate to technical approval.

FM5105 Purchasing Policy

University Policy FM5105 Purchasing Policy

  • All purchases of IT devices must be reviewed by University Systems to make sure they’re compatible with UVic systems and compliant with applicable laws and policies.
  • This applies to all UVic employees and units, regardless of funding sources.

AD2515 Institutional Acquisition and Standardization of Information Technology Devices

University Policy AD2515 Institutional Acquisition and Standardization of Information Technology Devices

  • TSC (a unit within University Systems) maintains a list of standard computers that are thoroughly reviewed, tested, and supported.
    • Computers purchased primarily for work with UVic’s enterprise information systems must be standards.
    • The associate vice-president, dean, or executive director of a unit can grant exceptions within their portfolio. A formal request and justification for the exception must be submitted, approved, and provided to the TSC.
  • Anyone purchasing a non-standard device (regardless of its use) must submit it for technical approval.
    • Computers that weren’t approved are not supported by University Systems and they may be blocked from accessing the UVic network and information systems.
  • These faculties and divisions are exempt from this policy:
    • Division of Continuing Studies
    • Division of Medical Sciences
    • Faculty of Education
    • Faculty of Engineering
    • Faculty of Fine Arts
    • Faculty of Human & Social Development
    • Faculty of Humanities
    • Faculty of Law
    • Faculty of Science
    • Faculty of Social Sciences
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies
    • Peter B. Gustavson School of Business