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How Commissioning Academies have made a difference

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Commissioning  Academy schemes have been created to help local service commissioners develop practical skills and thought-processes to create new ways of delivering services to their communities.

With the announcement the scheme is expanding and the publication of independent research by the Local Government Information Unit, who found 71.9% of graduates felt their involvement in the programme was already having a tangible impact, we asked some of them about the differences it has made to their work.

It’s challenged my thinking, made me think much more ambitiously about what we can do, the difference that we can make and how we can genuinely commission social value.

Derek Irvine, West Sussex County Council

Our Victim and Witness 100 day plan was primarily developed during the programme. The Academy provided us with precious thinking time, in a period spent away from the office, to reflect on the PCC’s vision for victims and witnesses and consider the many lessons learnt from guest speakers. Together with peer challenge, this resulted in a plan which has provided focus for this complex piece of commissioning.

Group from Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire

Without a doubt we have had the latest, most current thinking from central government departments, we have had excellent input from service providers, other commissioners and the debate has been fantastic.

Tom Woodcock, Public Health Commissioning, Lancashire County Council

 I have been involved in commissioning for a long time and done lots of other training courses but this has made me think about different concepts things like how does it look from a providers point of view, how can we invest in our communities financially and with resources and what do we need to next given context and the financial difficulties that we all face.

Linda Uren, Gloucestershire County Council

We are building a stronger understanding of commissioning across the council, improving commissioning skills as part of a wider workplace development strategy. Internal commissioning training enabled us to consult with residents on what they are looking for from facilities at Southwater Country Park.  Based on their feedback we have focussed our investment to reflect local wishes resulting in improvements to their Country Park this summer. Without the training the work would have been carried out by a Consultant.

Katharine Eberhart Horsham District Council

If you are interested in taking part, the deadline for the next programme starting in October is 9 September.  If you think that your organisation would benefit from the academy, contact

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