Commissioning can be defined as the cycle of assessing the needs of people in an area, designing and then securing an appropriate service through a tender process. The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is now a commissioning council for some of it's services.
Richmond CVS is able to provide a range of support and information to organisations that want to think about or intend to bid for contracts.
Commissioning in LBRUT Education and Children’s Services is now fully established, and is lead and managed by a joint commissioner for local authority and health spend on child and families services. Tender adverts are published on the LBRUT website. You can also find further information about the LBRUT procurement function including a glossary of procurement terminology.
In January 2013 Achieving for Children (AfC) was launched, a joint venture with the Royal Borough of Kingston to deliver integrated services for children across both boroughs. AfC aims to provide value for money, for all borough customers, high quality services and truly customer focussed work. In the longer term the vision is that AfC will become a community interest company with all surpluses going back into service delivery.
The role of both councils as commissioners is currently being clarified. For now both boroughs will retain separate Children and Young Peoples Plans which will set the key commissioning priorities. Both borough CYP Plans for 2013-17 are published on their websites and should be read in conjunction with the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and other key documents outlined here (add link to library of resources) to inform your applications and understand better where your service can contribute to meeting local need.
To keep up to date with tenders adverts and other resources and funding opportunities in the borough for CYP services please subscribe to the monthly RCVS CYP voluntary sector Digest. For advice and guidance on LBRUT CYP commissioning please contact Heather Mathew Strategic Lead CYP Voluntary Sector.
There will be further rounds of procurement in the commissioning process for Adult Services during 2013. You can find details of the latest contracts on the LBRuT website.
We’re also able to offer a number of one-to-one advice sessions for organisations that would like further support or advice, in relation to preparing a bid or developing partnerships with other organisations. Collaborative working between organisations is an approach which is becoming more necessary but does require thought and planning.
We've prepared a TUPE Briefing for Guidance to highlight the factors that may need to be considered when taking on a new service that might bring with it existing employees.
There is a lot of different terminology used in the commissioning process which can be confusing. NAVCA have published a glossary of terms which may be helpful.
London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames (LBRUT) Procurement page updates contract announcements.
LBRuT Corporate Procurement have produced a Selling to Richmond Guide(pdf, 88KB) which offers useful guidance to potential contractors/service providers.
NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations)- Part of the Sustainable Funding Project- Public Sector Delivery Network offer a wide range of resources for VCOs engaged in or considering service delivery under contract and for commissioners working with the voluntary sector. You can register online for a monthly bulletin on public service delivery.
NAVCA (National Association for Voluntary and Community Action) is the national voice of local support and development organisations in England. However they have information and resources on commissioning and tendering which groups themselves may find useful.
"AT Your Bidding" is a guide for charity trustees about commissioning and tendering for public services, published in partnership with the Local Government Association.
A useful resource is the joint NAVCA/NCVO publication:
Government Equalities Office- for information on Equalities Legislation
The Charity Commission provides information that may be helpful to charities that are considering public service delivery.
Heather Mathew - Children and Young People Strategic Lead Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Moxon - Sustainability & Skills Project Coordinator