After a very successful launch at Local Government House, the Commissioning Academy is now open for applications from councils across the country.
Speaking at the launch Chairman of the Local Government Association Sir Merrick Cockell said:
"Commissioning isn't just about saving money or being more efficient. The key to commissioning services is developing a deep understanding of the users in order to design an approach that best meets both their needs and desires. It's not about doing more with less, it's about doing better with less.
"The Commissioning Academy provides a great opportunity for leading local authorities to exchange new ideas and share best practice with representatives from government departments, the police and the NHS on how to reinvent services.
"The LGA has worked very closely with the Cabinet Office to develop the curriculum and the pilot programmes for the academy and we hope it will play a key role in helping the public sector develop the skills required to bring about real change in the way services are designed and delivered."
The Commissioning Academy will bring together senior commissioners from across the public sector to learn from the example of the most successful commissioning organisations, developing a cadre of professionals that are progressive in their outlook on how the public sector delivers outcomes to local communities.
It is intened to bring about real change. Participants have to be sponsored by their chief executives, and on completion will implement 100 day change programmes to improve their organisation's commissioning practices – aimed at delivering better outcomes for local communities while increasing value for money.
A key feature of the academy will be the alumni network, where delegates will gain access to a supportive group of peers from across both local and central government who can share experiences and help each other deal with new challenges.
The Commissioning Academy will begin in April 2013 and is now open for applications from senior level commissioners. It is not a traditional training course but will focus on practical peer-led learning covering key commissioning issues, such as outcome-based commissioning, working with the voluntary and community sector, market engagement and development, joint commissioning across organisational boundaries and new models of delivery such as mutual and joint venture companies.
The academy programme has been designed following two successful pilot cohorts, which have shown that the best results come from practical exploration of real life examples mainly from visits to councils to learn from other's experiences. Pilot participants also valued the opportunity to work through the programme in groups of two or three from each organisation, to help them implement real changes back at their own organisations.
To find out more and to apply to the Commissioning Academy please visit:
The Commissioning Academy – on the Gov.uk website
4 February 2013