Headlines: March 19th, 2007



Public sector organisations, including local councils, are being encouraged to outsource more functions to the third sector with a training scheme for those who commission services. The Office of the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office will fund the scheme and the training will be delivered by the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency.

The IDeA will provide training for 2,000 staff working in local government, Jobcentre Plus, health authorities, and the National Offender Management Service. The training aims to build understanding at a local level of third sector organisations and the unique benefits they can bring to the design and delivery of services.

The training is a key element in the National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning. Strategic direction for the Programme is provided by a steering group which includes representatives from the third sector and government. The group recognizes that to secure substantial third sector delivery of public services there must be a genuine culture change with a greater understanding of the benefits third sector organisations can bring in delivering services.

The Performance Hub has launched a ‘Try It’ competition for third sector infrastructure organizations who are willing to test out one of the winning approaches from its recent ‘Supporting Performance’ competition. The aim of the Performance Competition was to recognize and reward innovative approaches to helping third sector organisations improve their performance in the areas of strategy, quality, benchmarking, and monitoring and evaluation. The closing date for applications for the ‘Try It’ competition is 30th March 2007.