The Scottish Government Procurement Strategy April 2024 – March 2028

The Scottish Government's procurement strategy describes how we plan to carry out our regulated procurements for the next four years.

12. Capability and Professionalisation

The Scottish Government has a vision to be a world-leading diverse employer where equality is achieved. SPPD is committed to this goal and is taking action across a wide range of protected characteristics. We work closely with colleagues to ensure our approaches are aligned to wider Scottish Government policy to drive a diverse workforce. We will actively develop the capability of our procurement and property teams to fully embed equality and human rights in all our work, engaging with organisational- wide inclusion training, along with specific skills development. Our work includes action through our Race Equality Group and our Procurement People of Tomorrow programme.

Additionally, we will support the adoption of ethical procurement in social care by carrying out a skills gap analysis on social care procurement. Resulting in recommendations and considerations of actions that should be taken to support procurement professionals to confidently apply the principles, embedding good practice procurement of social care services.

We continue to invest in the capability and skills of our procurement and property teams and others involved in procurement and commercial activity. Our professionalisation strategy, agreed by our Heads of Profession, includes local and national talent creation, and development and retention programmes to help us achieve professional excellence against national policy and standards, details of which can be found in Appendix 3.

Professionalisation Strategy and Scope

Attract and Create Talent

  • Procurement People of Tomorrow
  • Desirable employer/roles (effectively marketed)
  • Actively enabling diversity
  • Recruitment entry requirements/commitments

Develop and Retain Talent

  • Professional competency frameworks
  • Career tree concept
  • Blended learning
  • Support for professional studies/membership
  • Professional accreditation
  • Supported learning communities

Supporting Culture

  • Organisational People Capability Strategy
  • Agree/promote organisational values
  • Invest in high performing team and learning culture
  • Hub and spoke Delegated Purchasing Authority learning community

Competent Operating Environment

  • Having the right people in the right place at the right time, with skills and experience to deliver for Scotland
  • Building wider commercial awareness
  • Cross-functional collaboration and early engagement
  • Key procurement enablers embedded in corporate governance

Reach Out to Support and Enable Others

  • Trusted advisor and critical friend
  • Procurement and eCommerce National Shared Services
  • Procurement policy/tools/guidance e.g.
  • National training and development frameworks and eLearning offerings
  • Targeted capability development offerings
  • Forums or short-life work streams to address common challenges and develop, test and roll out best practice innovation

Measure Impact and Improvement

  • Procurement Strategy and Annual Reports
  • Targeted research and case studies
  • Procurement and Commercial Improvement Programme
  • Engaging communication and marketing

Monitor/Promote External Recognition as Best in Class

  • Proactive comms and social media strategy
  • Internationally connected and visible
  • On UK/International advisory group
  • Cited as exemplars
  • Published case studies
  • Foreign government interest/partnerships

12.1 Delegated Purchasing Authority

We continue to recognise the importance of those responsible for procurement having an appropriate level of delegated authority. Key to this is ensuring that those involved in awarding and managing contracts have the professional skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to do so. We continue to invest in the skills and capability development of our staff through our National Procurement and Commercial Training Frameworks and other targeted capability development solutions in line with our National Procurement Development Framework.

Our scheme of ‘delegated purchasing authority’, means that no member of staff is authorised to enter into a contract on behalf of Scottish Ministers without written delegated authority to do so from SPPD. That delegated authority is only given to those who can demonstrate they possess the appropriate skills, competencies and knowledge of our procurement policies and legal obligations.

12.2 Commercial Capability

Our programme to embed and grow commercial capability continues, targeting all Scottish Government civil servants at awareness, practitioner and leadership level, to ensure they understand and can contribute to our wider commercial and sustainability ambitions.

We have also developed and maintain a range of enabling tools to support buyers and public bodies across Scotland which are listed in the appendices and referenced throughout this document.



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