Improving the way we contract for Training Services across the WLA and other boroughs17/09/2014
Improving the way we contract for Training Services across the WLA and other boroughs
The way that Training services have traditionally been procured by our boroughs has we believe been less than optimum - in terms of ease of access, diversity of choice, appropriate selection of trainers and pricing efficiencies. In general terms, all of the boroughs individually procure the same training services, either centrally or in a devolved way, from a wide range of providers. To date there has been little attempt to improve value for money across the WLA family by recognising the cumulative spending power we have in this category.
Therefore working with the Organisational Development departments of the West London boroughs an exercise was undertaken in 2014 to analyse and assess what procurement routes were available to us (and being used) and which ones offered us all the most economically advantageous procurement outcomes.
The result of this exercise was that the ESPO Managed Training Services Framework was identified as providing us collectively with the simplest and most competitive route to purchase training (see guide attached) and that by combining our spending power we were able to negotiate with the provider 'Premier Partnership' a collective discount rate that classified the WLA boroughs as a region for pricing purposes.
Current position and future opportunities
WLA Boroughs have already begun to use the framework for their Organisational Development sponsored training and they are seeing significant savings (up to 30% in some areas). Discussions are now ongoing with Adult Social Care stakeholders to extend the use of the framework in this significant area of training spend.
In many boroughs training is managed in a decentralised manner - individual budget holders procuring statutory and advisory courses for their staff autonomously using many different suppliers. By switching to a managed service such as the ESPO Managed Training Services Framework, budget holders can continue to use the same small or bespoke local suppliers but will have a simplified purchasing process and benefit from the benefits of scale across the WLA spend area. All transactions will be with the Managed Service Provider - Premier Partnership - who will arrange quotations, manage suppliers and bring cost efficiencies by reducing administration and standardising pricing.
Benefits to the boroughs would be an increased visibility and management information on the training being booked across the boroughs, the efficiencies of better pricing by volume, and additional discounts by combining and maximising West London spend. It also allows for the coupling of training between boroughs and combining training sessions across the boroughs - thus reducing overheads costs for all parties.
Barnet has already fully committed to the framework in all areas of training. Brent, Ealing and Harrow are using the framework in some areas. Hounslow and Hillingdon are either conducting initial price exercises or considering their training requirements
So that all possible stakeholders can gain benefits from this arrangement, could you please ensure that your teams, service leads and budget holders are aware of this framework and the potential for efficiencies from using it.
If you or any of your borough's departments would like to hear more about how this framework works and it can benefit them we are more than happy to arrange for Premier Partnership to attend divisional or corporate meetings to explain this further.
For more information please contact Paul Higgins, Head of the WLA Procurement Hub- HigginsP@ealing.gov.uk
To download a PDF copy of the flyer click here.