Summary of commissioning and procurement in Scotland.


Commissioning involves establishing the strategy, defining outcomes and identifying the resources to achieve the outcomes.

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.


The Scottish Model of Procurement puts procurement at the heart of Scotland’s economic recovery. It sees procurement as an integral part of policy development and service delivery. The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 was established to create  a Scottish Model of procurement that considers these additional benefits, such as social and environmental sustainability, as well as cost when selecting suppliers . It is thought that this may improve access to contracts for small and medium enterprises and third sector organisations while maintaining “value for money.”

Scotland’s approach to procurement in 2016 builds on the hallmarks of the procurement reform programme – business friendly, socially responsible procurement, making the purchase of services much quicker, cheaper and better, and supporting small and medium-sized businesses.  There has been a subtle shift from ‘government-led, public sector owned’ to a ‘truly collaborative approach’, in a period framed by legislative and regulatory changes.

In the medium term, outputs will be developed to support organisations in embedding sustainability through procurement, improve access for suppliers, increase collaborative working across the sectors, advance the capturing and recording of data and information, and support individuals and organisations to help procurement thrive.

The Value for Money triangle at the bottom of the page sums up the Scottish Model of Procurement; it is not just about cost and quality, but about the best balance of cost, quality and sustainability.