National policy changes have resulted in increasing recognition of, and greater expectations of the Voluntary and Community Sector’s role in the provision of public services. According to NCVO, over a third of income into the voluntary sector comes from the state. Relationships between the voluntary sector and the public sector are defined by the commissioning process.

The voluntary sector were previously awarded grants to deliver services, however due to significant changes they are  increasingly being asked to deliver services through contracts. In order to access additional income VCS organisations are increasingly working in consortia and Shropshire provides a good example of this through Shropshire Providers Consortium.

Measuring the social impact of the voluntary sector needs to be more common place as the Social Value Act becomes integrated into measuring service delivery.   These changes mean that more VCS groups and organisations have an interest in working to understand commissioning and all that it entails. These pages seek to set out the basic parameters of commissioning including:-

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