CCS is continuing to boost commercial capability across local government by providing further investment in the contract management pioneer programme.

Published 31 October 2023

Last updated 2 November 2023

Working in collaboration with Local Partnerships, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Government Commercial Function (GCF), we’ve provided a further £2 million to the wider programme, which supports the Government’s agenda of investing in capability by ensuring that contracting authorities are able to effectively manage the key stages of commercial delivery.

Since it was launched in November 2021, approximately 400 learners from 56 councils who are required to manage contracts as part of their duties have commenced training on the programme. CCS support will enable many more commercial procurement colleagues to receive training over the coming year. 

The Contract Management Pioneer Programme (CMPP) is managed in collaboration with Local Partnerships,  Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the LGA. Training is delivered through the Cabinet Office and the GCF.

From October 2023, the CMPP will be co-delivered by DLUHC and Local Partnerships, a public sector consultancy owned by the LGA, Welsh government and HM Treasury.

The councils and learners already on the CMPP will continue to work towards their accreditation, attend networks and support transformation work as normal.

Local Partnerships will be responsible for onboarding new councils and new learners onto the programme and DLUHC will continue to manage the progress of councils and learners onboarded onto the programme before July 2023.

David Bemrose, Crown Commercial Service’s Head of Account Strategy for Local Government says: 

We are delighted to continue our collaborative work with Local Partnerships, the Cabinet Office and the LGA to invest in and build commercial capability across the sector. We look forward to continuing the expansion of this programme in the coming years to further help councils build and retain skills and capability to drive better outcomes.

Emily Chomicz, Corporate Procurement Manager, Procurement & Contracts | Directorate of Resources at Reading Borough Council says:

The CMPP has been an excellent CPD opportunity for Reading Borough Council as part of our evolution of the procurement and contract management activity across all categories of spend. The different levels in the programme have allowed us to support different grades of officers to develop their own knowledge and understanding of the importance and practice of good contract management, helping us to deliver better value from our contracts and improve governance council wide

Developing commercial capability

Boosting the commercial capability of the public sector is at the heart of the Government’s National Procurement Policy Statement.

The statement requires all contracting authorities to consider whether they have the right policies and processes in place to manage the key stages of commercial delivery it sets out, where relevant to their procurement portfolio.

The 56 councils with learners currently on the programme have benefitted from training that helps inform and drive organisational change around contract management. Identifying good practice, sharing evidence-led best practice, and embedding stronger behaviours for local authorities that manage contracts worth billions of pounds every year. 

The programme

The aim of this programme is to enhance skills and capabilities across the sector through:

  • offering funded training opportunities for commercial colleagues on the practitioner-level accreditation course
  • inviting each council to take part in a Learners Network and an SRO Network to build a community of practice for both learners and senior managers
  • a commitment to applying the principles learned and knowledge of good practice gained by the local authorities engaged in the programme back in the workplace, so as to make demonstrable improvements across the sector
  • direct contract management transformation support and organisational development from commercial specialists at Local Partnerships
  • evaluating the critical success factors of, and improvements made through, participation in the programme

You can find more resources about our work to support local government on our website. To speak to a member of our expert team, please call us on 0345 410 2222.