Engaging the market

A focus on market engagement is a key aspect of procurement and commissioning.

What is market engagement? 

The ability to run different types of procurement, including the development of invite to tender documentation, planning, and project management of the procurement process in line with procurement regulations. 

This could include the use of various methods including frameworks, further competition, Direct Purchasing Systems (DPS), open dialogue etc.  


  • Knowledge of procurement and contract law. 
  • Knowledge of social value policy. 
  • Understanding of best practice public sector commissioning, sourcing, and procurement processes.   


Able to:  

  • Research and evaluate: Potential routes to market, evaluation criteria and pricing model options available.   
  • Develop the procurement project plan: Establishing the activities, resources and time and documentation required to reach contract award.  
  • Identify and engage with stakeholders: Who need to be involved in the procurement process, evaluation, and contract award activities. This includes legal, finance and IT if it is a technology related procurement. 
  • Apply project management techniques: To manage the procurement process, track progress against the plan, gathering inputs from stakeholders and communicate outcomes.  
  • Collaborate and communicate: Ensuring ongoing involvement from key stakeholders and effective communication throughout. 
  • Manage risk: Identity, assess and manage the risks associated with market engagement within the council’s risk appetite. 


Behaviours associated with market engagement require team members to be: 

  • Collaborative  
  • Analytical  
  • Solution focused.  
  • Decisive   
  • Inclusive  
  • Resilient  
  • Adaptable and pragmatic

Procurement and commissioning – maturity index 

A related procurement and commissioning maturity index has been created to enable councils to understand their current maturity and to set, and work towards, a target state. This can be downloaded below.