A2 - Recent Policy History
Further details of relevant legislation that promotes a commissioning approach

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2 - Definitions And Values

  • - Did you know? -

Commissioning is

  • an ongoing, cyclical process    to secure
  • the strategic development of services    provided by
  • the mix of public, private and voluntary sector providers.

A key change for the future is the move from single agency commissioning to commissioning across organisations with common or overlapping client groups and interests.

Joint commissioning is the process whereby partners who have responsibility for specifying, securing and monitoring services work together to make joint decisions about the needs of their population, and how they should be met.

The commissioner’s role is to bring resources and strategic direction to the commissioning process, designing and implementing the range of services required, rather than only purchasing from services currently available. 

A commissioning strategy provides the statement of commitment about the way in which agencies intend to work with providers and purchase services to improve outcomes for children and young people. The legislative and policy history of the transition towards commissioning can be traced back to 1998. See Resource A2 for further information.



Commissioning, undertaken effectively, has the potential to help in the improvement of services because it places primary focus on the needs and aspirations of children, young people and their families, unclouded by other considerations.




A key aspect of the commissioning agenda to focus on early intervention and prevention wherever possible, rather than leaving support until children and young people need acute or restorative services.


 Did you know?

Northamptonshire is using this commissioning framework to help develop a Family and Parenting Support Strategy, led by a multi-agency team. This will be used to inform the future development of tools and frameworks for joint commissioning across the county.