VCSE Contract Readiness Programme
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. Three course types are available, each designed for organisations at a different stage of contract readiness.
Government Contracts Revealed
90 minute webinar
Who it’s for: Charities and social enterprises interested in public sector procurement opportunities with little or no experience of tendering.
In a nutshell: Wondering about public sector procurement but not sure it’s right for you? You might be surprised at the opportunities. Start with this introductory webinar – you’ll get a clear overview of the process, meet a commissioner and discover where to find government contracts.
Book now Deadline 14 April
Government Contract Ready
One day online course
Who it’s for: Charities and social enterprises with turnover between £100,000 and £10m, 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.
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.
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 are soon to launch 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.
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.
¹Tussell Trust Research for DCMS, UK Public Procurement through VCSEs 2016-2020, 2021.