Strategic commissioning is about planning and delivering services and supports for people in a new way. It sits at the core of how Integration Authorities ‘do business’ in an integrated world and is the term used for all the activities involved in:
- Assessing and forecasting needs,
- Linking investment to agreed desired outcomes,
- Considering options,
- Planning the nature, range and quality of future services and
- Working in partnership to put these in place.
Commissioning is commonly described as a cycle of strategic activities as shown in the Strategic Commissioning Cycle graphic at the bottom of this page.
The Strategic Commissioning cycle (the outer circle) drives Purchasing and Contracting activities (the inner circle), and these in turn inform the ongoing development of Strategic Commissioning.
Commissioning involves establishing the strategy, defining outcomes and identifying the resources to achieve the outcomes.
Procurement is a specific function within the commissioning cycle that focuses on the process of buying or otherwise securing services, from initial advertising through to appropriate contract arrangements. i.e. commissioning looks at “what do we want”, procurement at “how do we get it”.
Commissioning for Outcomes requires commissioners to make the change from specifying contracts on the basis of services to be provided, to outcomes to be achieved. The funding awarded not in terms of outputs achieved or processes to be followed but what outcomes might be expected.
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