Technology Solutions Centre: Technical Approval

Computers and software

Computers and software

Standard technology solutions

Technology Solutions Centre: Technical approval

Technical approval is required for all technology acquisitions that are purchased with UVic funds.  If you would like to know more about how to acquire computing devices, the UVic policies involved, and the approvals required, start with our:

Computing device acquisition activity flow diagram

Looking for more information about technical review and how to receive technical approval for a purchase?  Review our:

Technical approval process

 

Looking for request forms?

 

Request for Technical Approval - Last updated February 2018 

 

Standards Review document for AD2515 Deviation and Computer Acquistion Fund - Last updated November 2016

 

On this page you can find the answers to our most frequently asked questions about technical approval. 

About technical approval

What is technical approval?

Technical review is explained in university Policy FM5105 and is formally defined in Policy AD2515 as:

Review of technology acquisitions, performed by University Systems, in order to ensure the acquired technology is compatible with the university environment. This includes, but is not limited to, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) compliance, Internet Protocol (IP) network support, and operating system version suitability for enterprise use.

Technical approval indicates TSC has performed a technical review and determined the technology is suitable for use at UVic.  For more information about technical approval, please review our Technical Approval Process.

Why do we have technical approval?

Purchasing Services Policy (FM5105) sets out the responsibilities and accountability associated with the efficient and economical acquisition of goods and services.  It delegates responsibility for technical approval of computers and peripherals to University Systems.

Our standard PCs and the systems we approve through technical review are enterprise-class systems. They include higher-end components designed for use in the workplace, components a manufacturer is confident backing up with a three year warranty.

We also look for hidden costs to the university.  For example, does the system include a retail copy of Office when that is already covered under our Microsoft software licensing?

How do I get technical approval?

Contact TSC to obtain technical approval before your purchase.  So that both you and TSC have a written record, we prefer correspondence for technical approval via email to tsc@uvic.ca

We require the following information to perform a technical review of your purchase:

  • A description of what you would like to acquire.  For computers, the make, model, and exact specifications are needed.
  • What warranty is offered?  If there is internal storage drive, does it include "keep your drive" service?
  • What is your intended use of the system?  Is it mainly for administrative work (Banner, FAST, Exchange mail and calendar, etc.), research, or teaching?
  • How are you paying for the purchase?  Depending on the source of funds, some items in addition to the TSC standards are pre-approved.
  • If you need to store confidential or highly confidential information, how will you encrypt the data?  As an enterprise solution, we recommend and support BitLocker for Windows systems and FileVault 2 for Macintosh.

With this information, we carry out a technical review and if the review passes, grant you technical approval for the purchase.  If your proposed technology is not approved, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative.

What is an institutional purchase?

An institutional purchase is an acquisition that is purchased with UVic funds and as such is a UVic-owned asset.

This includes but is not limited to the following sources:

What are the criteria for technical approval?

There are several criteria we look at when performing a technical review:

  • Does the solution you want to purchase meet your requirements? 
  • Are all components of the solution compatible with each other and your planned usage?
  • For software, is it cloud-based or hosted outside of Canada?  If so, will there be confidential information in the data?
  • Does it have CSA compliance?
  • Does it support IP networking?
  • Is the operating system suitable for enterprise use?
  • Does it meet our security requirements?
  • Are there any hidden costs to the university?
  • Is the warranty and support suitable for the intended use and expected lifetime of the equipment?
  • Is keep your drive service available? 

When do I need technical approval?

Technical approval is required for all technology acquisitions that are purchased with UVic funds. This includes but is not limited to research accounts, grants, and general operating funds. 

We encourage you to contact TSC before you make a purchase.  We can assist with refining your requirements, obtaining quotes, and placing your order.

For reimbursements from Professional Development funds or the Computer Acquisition fund, see the Technical Approval Requirements for Computer Equipment Reimbursements memo.

What is already approved?

Technical approval has been granted for

 

While Apple computers meet the hardware requirements for technical approval, we are still required to document whether your device will be appropriately encrypted as described in Information Security Policy IM7800. This information is gathered on the Request for Technical Approval form and included with your WebReq when you are ready to order.

If you are from a unit that must abide by University Policy AD2515, please fill out a Standards Review document instead.

What does not require technical approval?

  • Accessories — laptop bags, tablet cases, stylus pens, power adapters, charging cables
  • Peripherals — monitors, keyboards, trackpads and mice, cables, adapters, printers, cameras, docking stations
  • Personal storage devices, including external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD flash cards, and replacement internal hard drives.
    Please note: you are responsible for ensuring the security of any University-related data stored on external devices. More information regarding data security

Related legislation and university policies

What is FIPPA?

The Protection of Privacy Policy (GV0235) states that the university must comply with BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). FIPPA requires that storage and access of personal information, which may include email addresses, contact information, or other personally identifiable details, must be stored only in Canada (FIPPA section 30.1).

What is Information Security Policy IM7800?

Information Security Policy (IM7800) defines authorities, responsibilities, and accountabilities for Information Resources and Information Systems security.  This policy applies to all University Community members. It applies to all Information Resources in the custody or under the control of the university regardless of physical location.

For further information about storing and handling data at UVic, including the classification of information, refer to the associated University Information Security Classification Procedures.

What is University Policy AD2515?

The acquisition of information technology devices which will primarily interact with Enterprise Information Systems is expected to follow university standards.

If you intend to use your computer for administrative work, primarily to access Enterprise Information Systems (FAST, Banner, Exchange email and calendar etc.), you must purchase one of the standard configurations.  All departments under the Vice-President Finance and Operations portfolio are considered 100% administration and must purchase standards.  Faculty members primarily use their computers for teaching or research activities, so AD2515 does not apply if you are faculty.

If you want to deviate from the standard, you must submit a Standards Review Document.

The deviation justification must be signed by the your Dean, Executive Director, or Associate Vice-President (signing by the your Department Chair, Department Manager or Director is not sufficient). For clients in University Systems, the deviation justification must be signed by the Chief Information Officer.

We strongly recommend the TSC Standards in all departments, because the university cannot guarantee performance and functionality of enterprise information systems that are accessed on non-standard information technology devices.
Please contact TSC if you need clarification on University Policy AD2515 and your planned computer purchase.

What is Purchasing Policy FM5105?

Purchasing Services Policy (FM5105) sets out the responsibilities and accountability associated with the efficient and economical acquisition of goods and services.  It delegates responsibility for technical approval of computers and peripherals to University Systems.

Can you outline how AD2515 and FM5105 apply for computer purchases?

Forms for AD2515 and CAF approvals

How do I request an AD2515 deviation?

If you have been directed to the Technology Solutions Centre to submit a form requesting approval for deviation from personal computer standards (University Policy AD2515), please fill out and return the Standards Review Document to TSC. This form is only relevant for staff from an administrative department, or faculty completing an application for the Computer Acquisition Fund. For further clarification, please contact the TSC.

Where can I find out more about the Computer Acquisition Fund (CAF)?

Visit the Vice-President Academic's site to learn more about the Computer Acquisition Fund for faculty.

Where can I find CAF application forms?

Use the computer acquisition fund application if you are applying for approval of a TSC standard computer.

Use the Standards Review Document if you are applying for approval of non-standard computer hardware or software.  If you are considering a non-standard computer other than an Apple computer, we encourage you to contact TSC to ensure the system will be approved for institutional purchase.

Submit your completed form to the Chair of your department.