VCSE Contract Readiness Programme

Girls being coached in a classroom

Expert support to enable charities and social enterprises to compete for government contracts

About this programme

The UK Government spends approximately £290 billion a year on goods and services¹. Charities and social enterprises in England – otherwise known as voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) – are natural partners for government as they share a commitment to improving the lives of people and places. 

This fully funded programme aims to support VCSE suppliers in England to work with government clients who can really help increase their impact. It also aims to help public sector commissioners to work with innovative organisations that share their values.

Delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) and Voice4Change England, this programme is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 

“The expertise of VCSEs means they are often ideally placed to help create compassionate, responsive and efficient public services.

The VCSE Contract Readiness Programme will help to address some of the barriers that have prevented VCSEs entering the public sector market. It will improve the skills and knowledge of VCSEs on how to bid for contracts and provide them greater opportunity to enter public sector supply chains. This in turn gives the Government the opportunity of having a diversity of suppliers in its procurement chains.”

Claire Dove CBE, VCSE Crown Representative


What’s on offer?

SSE is delivering a range of fully funded online learning for charities and social enterprises charities and social enterprises in England. There are three course types, each designed for organisations at a different stage of contract readiness.

Please follow this guide to enable you to apply for one of our Contract Readiness Programmes that reflects your organisations needs. 

Programme information 1.5 hour online introduction Half day online to get you ready to tender In depth 4 half day sessions online programme over six months 
Tendering Experience Never tendered before Never tendered before or have limited experience Already bidding for Government Tenders and want to improve your success rate
Type of organisation   Charities/Social Enterprises Charities/Social Enterprises Charities/Social Enterprises/Consortiums
Income of organisation Turnover between £250,000 to £10,000,000
Delivery Area England England England
Most appropriate programme to apply 

Webinar – Contracts Revealed

The webinar courses have now finished.  

Contract Ready Contract Wins

Government Contracts Revealed

We are not running any more of the Government Contracts Revealed webinars. Please refer to the other courses available on this programme.

Government Contract Ready

One day online course

Who it’s for: Charities and social enterprises wanting to get contract ready and bid for public sector contracts.

In a nutshell: Improve your prospects of winning public sector contracts. A one-day workshop plus three days of self-guided follow-on online modules.
Find out more

Government Contract Wins

Four half days of online learning over six months

Who it’s for: Charities and social enterprises with turnover between £250,000 and £10m, and consortiums with a combined turnover between this £250k – £10m threshold, determined to improve their success at bidding for public sector contracts.

In a nutshell: Four half-day workshops over six months in a cohort, covering opportunity mapping, bid writing, pitching and social value reporting.
Find out more

If you’d like to ask about any of these courses get in touch with Sarah on 020 7089 9120 or send us a query.

Public Services Hub

SEUK have developed a new Public Services Hub containing resources for VCSEs on how best to work with the public sector. This includes ways to improve awareness about the opportunities out there, and programmes to help become contract ready.

The Public Services Hub also offers materials for commissioners to help de-mystify the VCSE sector. These include written guides, links to courses and workshops, and information on some of the funding resources available to help VCSEs get to a stage where they can bid for public sector contracts.

Visit the Public Services Hub


If this content or process is not accessible to you, please call Sarah on 020 7089 9120 or send us a query so we can share an accessible version. 

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¹Transforming Public Procurement (