The Public Procurement Reform Programme 2006-2016: achievements and impacts

This report reflects on the overall progress of the Public Procurement Reform Programme from 2006 to 2016.

Developing people and capability

Through collaborative working and sharing experiences and expertise from across the Scottish public sector, significant progress has been made in the area of people and capability. In addition to significant progress at sector levels, key achievements nationally include identifying and starting to address current and future national skills development gaps; providing tools - free of charge to all - to measure and support career and capability development; and creating and developing of procurement people of today and tomorrow.

Measuring and supporting continuous improvement

To support continuous improvement and identify key areas for improvement, in 2009 Procurement Capability Assessments (PCAs) were introduced. The PCA represented a significant step towards advanced procurement, further allowing procurement to be recognised as a key public sector skill, and a vital conduit between the public and private sectors.

The structure and approach of the PCA won recognition beyond Scotland. The Welsh Government adopted it as the basis for their approach in assessing procurement capability; it was also adopted as an assessment tool in the Higher Education sector in England. There was excellent progress across the Scottish public sector in meeting the national target of all organisations to achieve 50% or above. The average PCA score increased from 35% in 2009 to 66% in 2016.

The Procurement and Commercial Improvement Programme (PCIP) was introduced in 2015 as an upgrade of the PCAs. It reflects broader procurement influence, provides a fresh challenge to high scoring organisations, assists with the implementation of legislation and regulations, makes the process more robust, and improves the reporting of results to give greater clarity surrounding the gaps and opportunities that need to be reflected in business plans.

It has now been introduced across the public sector and emerging results show that the improved practices stimulated by the PCA are now embedded and being developed further through the more in depth requirements of the PCIP.

The national online Procurement Journey is recognised across Scotland, the UK and internationally as the benchmark tool for driving procurement excellence. It grows and improves procurement capability across the Scottish public sector by encouraging and facilitating best practice procurement, standardisation and compliance.

Addressing Skills Gaps

Procurement People of Today and Leaders of Tomorrow aims to develop existing procurement and commercial talent. It focuses on identifying and addressing skills gaps and learning priorities through a cross-sector National Learning and Skills strategy, helping to create our leaders of tomorrow and championing career paths and continuous professional development.

Promoting procurement as a profession of choice, Procurement People of Tomorrow (PPoT) is embedded in talent and succession management across the public sector and championed through supply chains and wider private sector. Over 55 invites to the national procurement conference were issued to the latest PPoT graduates and Modern Apprentices in 2016.

Creating a sustainable legacy

Procurement People of Tomorrow is a Scotland-wide partnership programme that aims to create our "future" procurement and commercial talent. Our vision is to leave a sustainable legacy for the procurement profession in Scotland by growing our own talent to address industry-wide skills shortages. This includes engaging with schools, colleges and universities to raise awareness of procurement as a career of choice; creating and supporting vocational and academic pathways in to the profession including new Modern Apprenticeship programmes and joining up with industry to support youth employment.

Underpinning standards of practice

Originally launched in 2006, the free national procurement competency framework was refreshed in 2015. Well-regarded, widely used within Scotland and used as a benchmark across the globe, it is now aligned with the latest Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) global standards and allows any public body to tailor it to support local recruitment, career and capability development activity.

Identifying and addressing national learning and skills priorities

A National Learning and Skills Strategy was developed that mapped the top 5 training priorities for EU Legislation and Reform Act development needs from across the public sector.

Procurement and Sustainable training frameworks have been established to embed cross-sector learning and skills. These allow the development of new, bespoke and higher level courses than previously available, which can be shared across sectors.

Opening up cross-sector learning and skills opportunities nationally

In 2016, 20 seminars were held in a range of locations from the central belt to the Orkney and Shetland isles. These supported over 1,100 procurement professionals from across the Scottish public sector in adopting the changes to EU Legislation and the effect of the Procurement Reform Act.

Procurement's Knowledge Hub is used as a central platform for over 1,200 public sector procurement staff to have access to key EU and Reform Act training material and the national competency framework. This platform also functions as a national network for sharing expertise and learning.


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