Procurement of care and support services: best practice guidance - updated June 2021

Best practice guidance for public bodies on procurement of care and support services. Originally published in March 2016, it has been updated to reflect changes that have occurred as a result of the UK's exit from the EU and the end of the Transition Period.

Annex 1: Glossary

Advertisement - the method by which potential service providers are alerted to contract opportunities (otherwise known as 'contract notices'). A standard format is used for advertisements which are published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) and the Find a Tender Service (FTS) or, if applicable, Tenders Electronic Daily (TED).

Award criteria - criteria against which a service provider's proposals for delivering the service are assessed.

Best value - an appropriate balance between the quality and cost of services, having regard to efficiency, effectiveness, economy, equal opportunities and sustainable development. Local authorities have a statutory duty to secure best value in the performance of their functions and the continuous improvement of services.

Call-off contracts - specific contracts entered into under a framework agreement which (unlike the framework agreement itself) bind a public body and a contractor/provider.

Care and support services - all social care and support services for children and families, younger people and adults (including older people) and housing support services. Any references to 'social care services' and 'care services' should all be taken to mean social care services which provide care and/or support.

Carers - carers who provide care to people of any age affected by physical or mental illness, disability, frailty or substance misuse. In the case of this document, this term includes paid and unpaid carers.

Commissioning - 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.

Contract (or 'public contract') - a legally binding agreement between a public body (the purchaser) and a contractor/provider for the supply of goods, works or services.

Contract award notice - notification of the award of a contract or framework agreement which is published on the PCS website and, in the case of contracts with a value of at least £663,540, FTS (or TED where applicable).

Contracting authority - For the purposes of the Act, a contracting authority is

(a) a body, office-holder or other person listed in the schedule to the Act, or

(b) any other person who is a contracting authority for the purposes of the Public Contracts Regulations and whose functions-

(i) are exercisable in or as regards Scotland, and

(ii) do not relate to reserved matters within the meaning of the Scotland Act 1998.

Contract management - management of an individual contract to ensure that:

  • obligations under the contract are delivered
  • any risks are managed
  • the correct administrative procedures are followed

Equality legislation - legislation protecting people from discrimination on the grounds of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (Equality Act 2010).

Find a Tender Service (FTS) - the UK e-notification service for regulated procurements that are governed by the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015. Following EU Exit, and the end of the Transition Period at 11pm on 31 December 2020, this replaced the function of TED other than for some transitional procurements and those linked to EU-funded programmes (see SPPN 11/2020).

Fair Work First - is the Scottish Government's flagship policy for driving high quality and fair work across the labour market in Scotland by applying fair work criteria to grants, other funding and contracts being awarded by and across the public sector, where it is relevant to do so. Fair Work First consists of core criteria. Please see the Fair Work First Guidance for more information

Issues related to the involvement of skilled and competent people in delivering services which impact on the quality of services, which may achieve positive outcomes for people who use services and their carers.

Financial regulations - regulations which describe the financial systems in operation within a public body to enable it to achieve good financial control.

Framework agreement - an agreement between one or more public bodies and one or more service providers which sets out the terms and conditions under which specific contracts can be entered into throughout the term of the agreement.

Invitation to Tender (ITT) - the issue of tender documentation to potential service providers setting out the public body's detailed requirements and specifying the information that must be included in service providers' tenders.

Outcomes - used to describe the results that a service is expected to deliver and the contribution that delivery of the service is expected to make to meeting individuals' needs. Determining outcomes allows a public body to understand its performance locally, articulate its priorities at a strategic level and improve outcomes for people who use services or support.

Personalisation - the shaping of the support required by a person to their needs, preferences and outcomes: securing services which give them independence, choice and control.

Principles of procurement – key obligations of public procurement include:

  • equal treatment and non-discrimination
  • transparency and proportionality.

Prior Information Notice (PIN) - a notice published on FTS (or TED where applicable) which advises potential service providers of the public body's future procurement plans.

The Procurement (Scotland) Regulations 2016 - regulations made under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

Public body - used to describe the various organisations which procure care and support services including, for example, local authorities, NHS Boards and Community Health Partnerships, housing and criminal justice organisations.

Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) - the national advertising portal for use by Scottish public bodies to publish contract opportunities and contract award notices:

The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 - Regulations which govern regulated procurements at thresholds specified in regulation 5 of the legislation.

Public sector equality duty - The Equality Act 2010 includes a public sector equality duty (PSED) which requires public bodies listed in schedule 19 of that Act to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people and protected characteristics.

Relationship management - used to describe activity undertaken by a public body to promote effective communication and maximise its relationship with service providers.

Selection criteria - criteria against which a service provider's suitability in principle to deliver the service is assessed taking account of capability and experience.

Self-directed support (SDS) - used to describe the ways in which individuals can exercise choice about the way their support needs are met from available resources, including direct payments, having a direct payment managed by a third party or directing an 'individual budget'.

Service providers - used to describe all providers of care and support services, including in-house, private and voluntary sector service providers.

Service review - the review of an individual service to identify if action is required to improve delivery of the service and/or the outcomes for people who use services.

Service specification - detailed description of the type, nature and scale of a service a public body wishes to purchase in order to meet individuals' needs and the quality standards and outcomes that the service is required to deliver.

Shared services - the provision of services from one public body to one or more other public bodies either directly or via a separate legal entity established for the purpose.

SPD - Means the Single Procurement Document referred to in regulation 60(1) (single procurement documents: Use, content and form of SPD) of The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015.

Standing orders - the rules by which a public body conducts its business, including arrangements for entering into a contract.

Standstill period - a defined period of time between the contract award decision and the award of the contract which allows service providers to examine the contract award decision and to assess whether it is appropriate to challenge that decision.

Sustainable procurement - the process whereby a public body meet its needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole-life basis and generates benefits not only to the organisation but also to society, the economy and the environment.

Tenderers - service providers which have submitted a tender for evaluation during a procurement exercise.

Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) – the e-notification platform of the European Union which includes details of contract opportunities across the EU and contracts awarded by public bodies in EU Member States.

TUPE Regulations - means the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 as amended.

Value for money - defined under the Scottish Model of Procurement as the appropriate balance of cost, quality and sustainability.



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