Latest Newsletter

Posted in: General News

In this month’s e-newsletter from the team at Ready for Business you can find some interesting news stories, the latest events and new case studies from the Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers programme.


Homeboy Industries visited Scotland

Leaders and ex-gang members from a project that works to divert offenders in Los Angeles away from returning to prison and into employment visited Scotland in May. Homeboy Industries employs hundreds of ex-inmates and former gang members, and offers courses and counselling to thousands more.

Ready for Business met with them when they visited HMP Low Moss as they were interested in the work of the Low Moss Throughcare Pathway PSP.

Will the Homeboy model be replicated in Scotland by Braveheart Industries?

For more about Homeboy’s visit to Scotland see  the news item and for more about the development of Braveheart Industries visit the project homepage.

Social Enterprise opportunities arising from ancestral tourism

According to Scottish Enterprise ancestral tourism has the potential to create £2.4 billion for Scotland’s tourism businesses. Scottish tourism businesses are being encouraged to adapt their products and services to tap into ancestral tourism opportunities in the run up to the Homecoming, the Ryder Cup and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. A number of social enterprises already operate in this sector and are being urged to take advantage of this market through “A new Ancestral Tourism in Scotland” guide. Published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland as part of its Opportunities for Growth series, it is aimed at helping businesses to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities in the sector.  The guide, is available to businesses by registering with Tourism Intelligence Scotland.


National Event: Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers on 8th August

Over 55 senior officers from the public and third sector attended.  Speakers included John Swinney, MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth), Pauline Graham on behalf of Ready for Business, senior procurement and service managers from the Scottish Prison Service (Mick Stoney, Governor of Low Moss Prison, and Jim Hunter, North Strathclyde Community Justice Authority Chief Officer), North Lanarkshire Council (Graham Proudfoot, Procurement Manager), North Ayrshire Council (Audrey Sutton, Head of Service Education and Skills), and Jo Mitchell (Scottish Procurement).

Pauline Graham

Overview of Developing Markets Programme

Pauline presented an overview of the programme’s objectives and distance travelled. She highlighted the strategic and operational support which Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers Programme is delivering to strengthen social outcomes and boost public sector commissioning capability and capacity in both the Public and Third Sector organisations engaged across Scotland. Stakeholders from 31 out of 32 local authorities, four health boards and community planning partners, have engaged with the programme through events, Partners for Change, and as support for 5 strategic and 6 Reoffending Change Fund PSP’s plus input to Early Years PSPs. 21 out of 32 local authorities have accessed support with CBCs and the programme has also worked with private sector contractors to open opportunities to the third sector. PSPs are for Pauline the most tangible example of how the programme is contributing to service transformation and prevention strategies through “doing better for less”. Key learning points have been the difference in timescales between the strategic PSPs and the change fund PSPs, and also building the case for future sustainability of all PSPs.

Low Moss Prison PSP

Low Moss Prison Governor Mike Stoney and North Strathclyde CJA Chief Officer Jim Hunter from Low Moss Throughcare Pathway PSP were interviewed by Peter Pawson about their PSP journey,from the partnership inception in 2012 through to the pilot phase they are currently in.  Among the topics discussed were  what was the driver for their involvement and the key challenges faced, along with their learning and early outcomes. The main driver had been reoffending rates (75% of short term prisoners are reconvicted within two years) plus lack of coordination of their third sector partners (60 Third and Public Sector providers have been involved in the PSP). The challenge has been “doing something differently internally as well as externally”. From their perspective the added value has been cultural change – that Low Moss staff “see individuals as whole persons and not just as prisoners” because of their involvement with the PSP team.

John Swinney

Key note speech by Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth

John Swinney reinforced this theme of cultural change within public services –“delivering solutions for individuals that are person-centred rather than individuals accidentally colliding with services or services with individuals”. This he said was exemplified by Low Moss PSP. The driver for the Government has been firstly to change the business case in Scotland – the fiscal model extended to include mutual, cooperatives and community based third sector organisations – and to achieve a sustainable free standing third sector. He is keen to extract more value and illicit more impact from procured services, plus greater value to the public purse through prevention.  This has major implications for the structure of service provision. He also welcomed the input of the Charitable and Philanthropic Trusts in investing in innovative models such as PSPs.

The local authority speakers from North Lanarkshire (Graham Proudfoot) and North Ayrshire (Audrey Sutton) continued the theme of cultural change within their own Councils and in how they do their business with the third sector. Graham described some indicators of the impact on its supply chain including an overall increase in percentage spend within the local area, some of which could be attributed to the programme.  However he feels a key outcome has been that CBCs are now a routine consideration in how the Council undertakes its procurement. Similarly Audrey described the cultural changes achieved through the Partners for Change programme in North Ayrshire such as incorporating the asset based approach of the third sector in mainstream services.

Finally Jo Mitchell summarised progress being made around the drafting of the Procurement Reform Bill which would build on what was working well, such as Public Contracts Scotland website, and would strengthen partnership working through for example Innovation Partnerships.

Contributions from the floor continued the theme of cultural change with public services – the shift from assets protection to focusing on people; the shift in purchaser power from services to the individual being the commissioner; the shift from competition within the third sector to collaboration; the shift from investing in crisis intervention to prevention. This was summarised by one contributor as involving cultural change in public services – that were automatically person centred, involved working in partnership, and working for outcomes.

Upcoming: The first WayfinderPSP event

The Wayfinder Partnership is a project to redesign rehabilitation services for people with complex mental health needs in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and on Thursday 22nd August it will hold its first event to explore different ways to provide support and accommodation in the community.

If you have experience of mental health, are currently receiving rehabilitation or mental health services, are a carer of a person with experience of mental health problems, or a staff member working in the mental health field  and interested in contributing to the development of this new service, please contact before 15 August.

Upcoming: Social Value in Commissioning: East Ayrshire

Ready for Business are running another Social Value in Commissioning event in East Ayrshire on Wednesday 28th August. The event will bring together public sector commissioning and procurement staff with enterprising third sector organisations to focus on improving co-operation. The day will be interactive and will feature facilitated discussion, Q&A sessions and workshops on a variety of topics including Social Value in Commissioning, the Public Social Partnership model and Community Benefit Clauses. If you want more information or are interested in coming along please contact Roddy Stewart to register your interest.

Case Studies

North Lanarkshire Council: Purchasing from the Third Sector

This case study assesses North Lanarkshire Council’s purchasing from the third sector. The information contained in this paper is drawn from an analysis of all Council spending on external suppliers, including the examination of over 5,000 supplier records and accompanying financial transactions. For more detail see case study.

Co-production: Working with the Third Sector to Reshape Dementia Services

East Dunbartonshire Council and partners have developed an innovative response to the challenge of delivering dementia care to the ageing local population through a model of co-production and choice for people with dementia. For the full case study click here.


What is a PSP?

A Public Social Partnership (PSP) enables the public and third sectors to work together to enhance services for the public and our communities. PSPs match the public sector with the knowledge, experience and resources of the third sector to achieve better outcomes and results through innovation in service design and delivery; better understanding of service user requirements; and maximising resources and efficiency and effectiveness in delivery.

What form can a PSP take?

There is no mandated form for PSPs. Some of the different structures that have been used for PSP’s include: grant-funded models, contract-funded models, own-partner funded models and external provision model (third sector funded). For more detail please see Frequently Asked Questions on PSP’s.

Are Community Benefit Clauses in a procurement covered by the EU procurement rules legal?

The short answer is ‘Yes’. There are off course some considerations. For a more detailed answer to this question please see Frequently Asked Questions on CBC’s. Ready for Business also provides free legal advice on CBC’s through specialised law firm MacRoberts. If you have a specific legal question please contact Robin Fallas.