The highly acclaimed Cabinet Office Commissioning Academy, a unique leadership and organisational development programme to improve public service commissioning, will from 12 April 2016 be run by the social enterprise PSTA, led by public service consultancy RedQuadrant and charity The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG). The award of this first three year concession was announced by Cabinet Office today.
Launched in 2012 as part of the Cabinet Office’s overarching transformation programme to make government more efficient and effective, the Commissioning Academy helps commissioners to design and deliver policy or services to maximum effect with available resources. Established by the Cabinet Office and its external partners, including members of the PSTA, public sector leaders are able to develop new skills and the confidence to address the challenges of public service transformation by commissioning the right outcomes for communities cost effectively.
John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service said:
“The Commissioning Academy was designed to help commissioners transform public services and deliver better outcomes in a tighter financial environment.”
“With the new concession launched today and taking over the resources built up by the Public Service Transformation Network, the Academy will continue to promote and deliver public service transformation policy and enable lives to be improved across the country.”
Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society said:
“This new phase of the Academy will give commissioners the opportunity to work closely with small and medium sized businesses, charities and social enterprises to harness social action and improve how public services are delivered.
“The Public Service Transformation Academy will operate on a not for profit basis and I am confident that this innovative way of delivering training will continue to keep the Commissioning Academy at the cutting edge of policy and practice.”
Commenting on the announcement Benjamin Taylor, Managing Partner of RedQuadrant and Chief Executive of PSTA said: “We believe in helping public services to help themselves, and the Commissioning Academy has been one of the most effective ways to spread new thinking to help meet citizen needs in challenging financial circumstances. We hope to make the new Public Service Transformation Academy the ‘go-to’ place for real, practical capacity-building for transformation.”
Commenting on the involvement of the network Carl Haggerty, Chair of the LocalGov Digital Network said “As a Network it is fantastic to be involved in such a strong collaboration with a focus on radically transforming Public Services. We firmly believe that the sector needs something which helps develop capacity and challenges thinking through experience and actually delivers better outcomes for our communities.”
Peter Unwin, Chief Executive of The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG) added: “Public services are increasingly being delivered through commissioning agreements involving the public, private and voluntary sectors. The more effectively that commissioning is done, the better the outcomes will be for communities across the country. WIG is delighted to be involved in this initiative to try to make that happen. It fits perfectly with our charitable purpose of increasing understanding and learning between the sectors.”
More than 1,100 senior leaders in central and local government have participated in the successful programme including Strategy and Research Leads, Senior Policy Advisors, Heads of Change Delivery, Organisational Development Managers, Chief Inspectors, Clinical Executive Directors and Directors of Resources. Feedback has been extremely positive, for example a County Council Corporate Director said: “The Commissioning Academy experience proved transformational for our organisation. Giving senior leaders the time and space to reflect on our challenges and what we need to do to improve outcomes and provide savings. The expert facilitation, excellent speaker inputs, opportunity to hear other organisations and share learning from other delegates all combine to create a unique package of support.”
The academy is supported by the Local Government Association, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service, the Department for Education, the Department of Health, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office.
Launch events are being held in May and the next programme starts on 9 June and tailored or local programmes are available from 1 May 2016.