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Government’s Commissioning Academy to double in size

The government is to double the size of its Commissioning Academy programme to meet an ambitious target of 1,500 participants by 2016.

Launched in April 2013, the Academy is designed to help commissioners in public sector organisations develop the practical skills and judgment to design different ways to provide services and manage new markets.

Since its inception, there has been a 50% increase in demand for places on the programme, according to the Cabinet Office. So far, more than 250 commissioners from a wide range of central and local government sectors have been through the Academy programme. Another 250 are expected to have participated by the end of 2014.

Francis Maude MP, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “Our pioneering commissioning academy is helping build commercial skills across the public sector – that’s part of this government’s long-term plan for a stronger economy. This academy has become a ‘must attend’ programme with participants telling us how it has helped transformed their thinking.”

The government has also announced that it plans to develop the network of commissioning academies, after a pilot programme in Norfolk.

Tim Eyres, a Commissioning Academy participant from Norfolk County Council, said: “Following attendance on the Academy, we co-located our commissioning and commercial teams to form a ‘commissioning hub’.

“Adults and Children’s Services co-commissioned our family intervention project from the hub. Bringing the two elements together made it a simpler, more streamlined process for procurement elements and from the providers’ perspective, allowing them to integrate their delivery more fully.”

The Commissioning Academy is open for applications for future cohorts – by 9 September for the October programme. To get in touch, email: [email protected]

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