: April 19th, 2013

Commissioning managers fulfil a strategic role. It involves managing budgets, improving efficiency and generating savings. It is much more than procurement. This article explains how an online assessment tool used prior to training  can improve their competency, knowledge and performance .

The assessment tool measures a combination of the managers’ competencies, knowledge and confidence levels. It identifies the skills gap and training needs of specific individuals enabling future training to be more tailored to address their specific needs.

Repeating the assessment during and at the end of the training allows individuals and their managers to chart their progress and the results will demonstrate to all parties a clear return on investment on the training.

Ian Clarke, Managing Director of Excalibur commented, “The commissioning of services has been developing within various parts of the public sector over the last few years but it is still, at times, confused with procurement.  Commissioning is more strategic than that and with ever tightening fiscal pressures, the commissioner manager’s role is increasingly important.”

“It is essential they can manage budgets effectively, improve operational efficiencies and generate savings in all areas – it is a highly skilled role. Too often people migrate into the role from front line positions with little experience of what it involves. Our assessment tool will determine what managers know, what they don’t know and, importantly for managing risk, what they think they know, but don’t.”

The partnership brings together Excalibur’s extensive hands-on experience of innovation in commissioning and training expertise and Cognisco’s highly developed situational judgement assessments and techniques and unique methodology in measuring people’s skills, knowledge and confidence.

Martin Tafft, Strategic Alliance Manager at Cognisco said: “We are delighted to partner with Excalibur on this assessment tool.  It is more important than ever that those responsible for commissioning in the public sector have the right knowledge, skills and competency to make the best decisions when commissioning services. The public purse is extremely stretched and poor decisions will have a negative impact on budgets and on the wider community at large.”

Excalibur and Cognisco are confident the launch of this tool comes at just the right time as the pressures on the public sector to do more with less is still increasing.

They believe that for services to be commissioned well and provide the best value for money whilst supporting the strategic direction of the commissioning organisation, there needs to be shift in mind-set of commissioning managers so they become more commercially astute – this assessment will help deliver that change in behaviour.