Creating a common standard for Contract Management learning development

6th March 2019

Contract & Relationship Management (C&RM) was identified from the Local Government National Procurement Strategy 2018 “diagnostic” survey as the issue where most English local authorities in both tiers require active support and assistance over the coming years.

The average assessment of capability given across all councils was just over 2 (the maximum being 5) - the lowest for any of the 11 sections contained in the Strategy.  Over two thirds of responding councils put C&RM in their top three priorities for improvement over the next two years.

Whilst classroom training does provide a way of addressing skills and knowledge issues, many councils are not following this route for financial and effectiveness reasons. Rapid technological advances and changing working patterns have generated a new approach called “micro-learning”. Micro-learning is focused and offers just the right amount of information necessary to help a learner achieve a specific, actionable objective.  C&RM is a topic that can easily be broken down into dozens of ‘bite sized’ modules lasting for no more than 20 minutes allowing people to access specific information at a time and place to suit them. They can even revisit topics to refresh their memory.

Using this micro-learning approach, one of the associates in EELGA’s Talent Bank, Ken Cole, is setting up a project to build a common standard for local government, ideally leading to the creation of a sector-wide C&RM Learning Management System which would amongst other things:

  • have a common ‘look and feel’, content and resources with no module exceeding 20 minutes
  • use non-proprietary technology and involve no consultancy, software licences or other hidden charges for core deployment
  • be accessible on a 24/7 basis from any modern device
  • be publicly available as an affordable subscription-based service
  • have regularly updated content with add-on capabilities catering for local policies and resources

This project can be accessed through an ‘entry fee’ for each participating organisation - £2k for a tier 1 (County / Unitary / London Borough) local authority, £800 for a tier 2 (District / Borough). 

At the end of the project, each participant organisation would have access to:

  • The working papers, including the core specification and associated issues report
  • The new LMS content with any of its own C&RM skills and knowledge purposes for two years or indefinitely if it decides to participate in the ongoing development once the LMS is made available to other councils

Any organisation interested in taking part in this project is invited to contact Ken Cole directly on ken.cole@sps-consultancy.co.uk or 07721 556537.

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