The Procurement Series
The Procurement Series

Throughout 2012, we ran a fully funded training programme offering opportunities for public sector colleagues in the East of England to improve their skills and capability in key aspects of procurement and commissioning. In this time over 80 people from more than 25 different organisations including County, Unitary and District Councils, fire and rescue services, constabularies and housing associations.

“The Procurement Series" covered a range of topical and essential procurement subjects, including:

  • Contract and Relationship Management
  • Category Management
  • Interpreting expenditure information
  • A guide to “Make or Buy – Out-sourcing”
  • Supplier Relationship Development
  • Demand Management

Eddie Gibson, Senior Manager, explains the rationale behind the Procurement Series:

“We spoke to our colleagues across the region and they wanted Improvement East to deliver something practical and relevant to the current and future skills challenges in public sector procurement. We chose to use a range of venues across the region to give the programme a real regional flavour and also to support some brilliant publicly owned venues like Homerton College in Cambridge and the Keystone Development Centre in Thetford”

The approach has paid dividends. Across a range of 7 criteria covering 6 training events, every single average evaluation score is at least 4.1 (where 4 is “Very Good” and 5 “Excellent”). Scores for “Relevance to day to day work” averaged 4.2 out of 5 and the “Contract and Relationship Management” session achieved an incredible average evaluation score across all criteria of 4.5!

Attendees have praised the courses for using an “excellent interactive approach, whilst one delegate described the “Expenditure Analysis” course as “the most useful I have attended since qualifying 8 years ago – the information has been very practical and will be immediately put into use”.

The lead presenter on the programme, Ken Cole, Projects and Practice Director at SPS Consultancy, has been delighted with the response and contribution of the delegates attending the sessions:

“It has been a pleasure running these programmes and giving people practical skills and knowledge which they can use in their day to day work but which more importantly they can use to generate cashable savings in these financially challenging times ”

We are now delivering these programmes to a number of councils in-house across the East of England to at a local level. These courses are ideal for groups of between 8 and 14 delegates.

Contract Management courses at Cambridgeshire County Council have attracted some very positive responses from attendees:

 “possibly the most useful course I have ever been on”
Donna Glover, Learning Disability (Adult) team
“very informative and very well delivered”
 Kim White, Waste Management

For more information about the Procurement Series, including how to go about setting up an event at your organisation, please contact Eddie Gibson on 01284 758310 or

“Possibly the most useful course I have ever been on”

Donna Glover, Learning Disability (Adult) team - Cambridgeshire County Council