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strategic leisure
Strategic Commissioning
Why, How and When
A Presentation By
Rachel Fowler, Strategic Leisure
What is Strategic Commissioning?
The strategic activity of:
• Identifying Need
• Allocating Resources
• Procuring a Provider to best meet Identified Need, within
available resources
• Essentially about building relationships – NOT simply about
transactions – it therefore has a clear role in any locality
• Not new – the process has been used for some time in eg the
health service, adult social care
What is Strategic Commissioning?
Different commissioning levels:
• Individual
• Local
• Community
• Regional
• National
Context for Strategic Commissioning
• Sharper focus on outcomes
• Sector capacity to influence and add value to strategic
developments – this really means making service delivery
relevant at locality level
• Emphasis on places and better outcomes for people, not
individual service providers/areas
• Effectiveness
• Efficiency (value for £; best value; performance management)
 To deliver the best possible outcomes within the resources
available for local people and communities
Why Strategic Commissioning?
• Adapting to, and addressing, the changes in public service
delivery ie Big Society, Community Asset Transfer,
partnership, volunteering
• Reflects the idea that public authorities and their partners
should be focussed on outcomes
• Reflects focus on ‘well-being’ of communities
• Achieving the best outcomes for local communities,
regardless of whether services are provided in-house,
externally, or through some form of partnership
• To use available resources more effectively
• To delivery efficiently and demonstrate value for £
What does this mean for partners?
• Potential partners understanding what is involved eg
• Identifying capacity building needs ie skills/experience
• Understanding what is meant by social return
• Developing needs assessments
• Managing contracts – different sizes/scope
• Developing a different relationship with the public sector
 3rd Sector in particular – often close to communities; experience
of working with most vulnerable etc
The basis of Commissioning
To be commissioned there must be a clear audit trail of/evidence
• Needs Assessment – Big Picture Context, Quantitative
Analysis, Qualitative Analysis, Analysis of Existing Provision,
Gap Analysis, Priority Setting
• Options Appraisal – Identify and evaluate the potential ways of
delivering services taking into account available resources;
develop business case;
• Procurement – define strategy; soft market test; invite tenders;
evaluate; award contract; manage contract; monitor contract
• Monitoring and Managing Performance – understand the
benefits; select appropriate performance measures; collect
quality data and set targets; interpret and apply data
How to be Commissioned
Understand and know at local level where you/your organisation is/could contribute/have
or has a bigger and more formal role
Drive the opportunity – approach commissioners – they do not have to be in the culture
and leisure sector. For example with the new approach to GP funding, there is likely to be
commissioning at local level in relation to active and healthy lifestyle outcomes.
Make the connections – even if its not been done before
Initiate partnership; think about how current ones could change/develop to deliver better
outcomes – more efficient and effective
Be proactive in identifying need and how it can best be addressed
Be realistic about what you can deliver now and what you need to develop even more
capability – and how this could deliver more in the future
Find out about the risks and responsibilities – don’t be put off by the procurement
Demonstrate your experience and locality knowledge, how and why you can do it better
than currently
Strategic Commissioning – When is it
When there is a need/opportunity/case for:
Increasing community involvement and engagement
Challenging service need
Shifting service focus to put user needs at its heart
Optimising available resources
Increasing involvement of the 3rd sector
Demonstrating increased effectiveness and efficiency
Assessing different mechanisms for delivery
Sharing risk
Establishing/Implementing long term contracts which can contribute to
sustainability of a service/provision
Strategic Commissioning – Other
Factors to Consider
• Timescales
• Capacity building
• Communication
• Openness and transparency
• Partnership and joint working
• Demonstrating the value that culture and sport adds to a
community and a place
Being Commissioned – Specific
Considerations for the 3rd Sector
• Change to a formal relationship
• Expectations and outcomes – community and commissioner
• Requirement for different skills, experience and understanding
• Responsibilities – HR/Finance/H and S/Risk etc
• Financial elements
• Management rather than supporting/volunteering
• Timescales
• Quality and performance monitoring
Local Leader of Leisure and Culture
Stimulate the market
Work with partners to achieve key
Promote improvement and
Engage with citizens and the users of
Secure good procurement
Collaborate with providers
Ensure contract compliance
Manage knowledge and assess needs
Prioritise investment
Make sound financial
investments and ensure value
for money
strategic leisure
Making your vision
. . . . Reality
3rd Floor
Rutherford House
Warrington Road
Birchwood Science Park
01925 855 550
01925 858 769
[email protected]