Headlines: February 2nd, 2009

Public sector organisations will have easier access to learning and development solutions after a new agreement was reached by OGC Buying Solutions. The Learning and Development and eLearning Solutions framework agreement, will deliver learning for the public sector across 22 key competency areas.

The agreement, which is sponsored by Government Skills, the Sector Skills Council for central government, will cover learning and development in areas from communications, marketing and customer service to working with ministers, management, leadership and policy skills.

OGC Buying Solutions worked closely with a number of government departments, including the DWP, HMRC and DIUS, as well as other public sector organisations to ensure it could produce the range of best practice procurement arrangements which will replace several existing contract agreements. The new arrangement is built around the Professional Skills for Government competency framework, which sets out the skills standards needed by all civil servants. It is used as the basis for all government departments’ competency frameworks. OGC said that all specialist learning and development requirements could be addressed through the framework and customers could use the further competition route where this was appropriate.

For the Department for Work and Pensions, Jane Nicholson, the Category Manager, said that by collaborating with other departments it would be able to increase its buying power and could access a wider range of suppliers than DWP could on its own. Buying Solutions’ Professional Services Category Director, Simon Caddick, said the framework would come to be recognised as an exemplar of collaboration in government. “There is a widely-shared understanding that equipping the public sector with the skills they need to meet the ever-evolving challenges ahead of us is vitally important,” he added.