10GM - A joint venture to support the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Greater Manchester

Commissioning and Investment  

10GM supports the work of the VCSE Commissioning Group, which is a formal sub-group of the GM VCSE Leadership Group.

Commissioning is the process by which services are planned, purchased and monitored. It can comprise of a range of activities, including assessing needs; setting priorities; planning services; procuring services; and monitoring quality.

How are we working together in the VCSE sector?

What is the VCSE sector doing around commissioning? 

2023 – 2026 VCSE Accord Commissioning Priorities

Recent work of the VCSE Commissioning Group

How are we working together in the VCSE sector?

10GM is the lead partner under the VCSE Accord agreement on this work. They employ a part-time Strategic Lead to support the work of the VCSE Commissioning and Investment Group, which is a formal sub-group of the GM VCSE Leadership Group. It aims to work in partnership and collaboration with cross-sector colleagues to support the delivery of the VCSE Commissioning Framework, by driving forward the Commissioning and Investment ambitions of the Accord, and also being responsive to current events. 
The VCSE Commissioning Group meets on a monthly basis, with Task and Finish groups meeting in between to progress key priorities.

What is the VCSE sector doing around commissioning?

Working with NHS and GMCA partners, and in collaboration with the Alternative Provider Collaborative, we aim to improve commissioning and procurement practices through joint working to develop standards and demonstrate good practice. We use lobbying to create new opportunities and investment and position the VCSE Sector as a key design and delivery partner within Greater Manchester systems.

We recognise that the VCSE sector is part of the solution to tackle the systemic and societal challenges faced by people and communities across Greater Manchester, as community-led organisations offering social value and flexibility in approach to reach those under-served by mainstream services. However, current commissioning practices can stifle innovation, and impact on service delivery.

Overall, we are aiming for a model of commissioning that is planned over the longer term, fairly funded, and with inbuilt contractual flexibility. A three-year norm for contracts would provide a healthier system, with grants and funds established to encourage VCSE organisations to develop novel solutions.
We aim to ensure that the VCSE sector is included as key system shaping and delivery partners, with an equal place at decision-making tables; and that the system is making use of greater flexibilities and freedoms around procurement.

The scope of this work is commissioning and investments in all parts of the GM public service system. This includes the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, NHS Greater Manchester, the 10 Local Authorities and the Acute and Mental Health Trusts.

2023 – 2026 VCSE Accord Commissioning Priorities 


Commissioning and procurement standards and pathways are developed and embedded in the GM public service system 


Grants, investment and social value are optimised in the GM public service system 


Commissioning for inclusion is maximised in all parts of the GM public service system


Through influencing activity, the VCSE sector is embedded as a key co-design partner in shaping and delivering Greater Manchester systems 


Market Supply is developed through partnership-building; design and delivery of new solutions; and securing capital investment. 

Recent work

VCSE Commissioning Framework: 4 years on - survey findings.

Over February and March of 2024, we carried out a survey to find out how much progress we had made on the VCSE Commissioning Framework recommendations over the past 4 years. Although the response rate was fairly low, we gathered valuable insight into current experiences of VCSE Commissioning, which are summarised in this report.

These findings have been used to refine the VCSE Commissioning and Investment Group’s plans for 24/5 and beyond.

Commissioning and Investment Update, February 24

This briefing gives a quick update on key activity within the VCSE Commissioning and Investment Workstream, and opportunities for future involvement.

GM VCSE Leadership Group Commissioning and Investment Working Group Briefing, February 2024

The Commissioning and Investment Group recognise that there continue to be significant concerns regarding VCSE-held contracts and grants that are due to end in March 24, or later in the year 24/5. Many of these contracts provide vital support and services to our community and the wider system by addressing inequality and poverty; improving health and wellbeing and preventing ill health; and supporting community resilience and solutions – all of which align closely with GM system and commissioner strategies. If these contracts are not extended, the impact on individuals, communities, the VCSE contract holders, their workforce, and the wider system will be felt for many years.

Whilst we are working with our NHS GM commissioners to review each of their VCSE-held contracts at risk; we recognise that a lot of these decisions are being taken locally. This briefing therefore aims to give VCSE organisations information on key strategies and policies that may you support in your local negotiations.

A VCSE Commissioning and Investment briefing on the Labour Party's NHS Mission & Child Health Action Plan, January 2024

In readiness for the next General Election, the Labour Party has released two key proposals which indicate their priorities and direction of travel around health - their NHS Mission and Labour’s Child Health Action Plan. This short briefing outlines the key elements of each proposal, and describes potential opportunities within these for the VCSE Sector.

A VCSE briefing on the Labour Party's vision for a 'Society of Service', January 2024

In readiness for the next General Election, the Labour Party has announced its intention to work in partnership with the VCSE sector, creating a ‘Society of Service’. This short briefing outlines broad commitments made, and emerging commentary from the VCSE Sector on this announcement.

Effective commissioning and the role of the VCSE sector: Briefing Note

This briefing note outlines how changes in the way public sector organisations approach commissioning will affect Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations. It also explores long- and short-term challenges in the commissioning ecosystem. 

VCSE Sector Commissioning and Investment Spotlight

Changes that transform how partners will work together are taking place in health and locality systems. Meanwhile, the cost of living crisis, Local Authority cuts, and the need to deliver a balanced NHS budget continue to add pressure to a system
already under strain. This document will bring you up to date with what is happening and what you can do to prepare.

VCSE Commissioning and Contracting Risks: A letter to health leaders

The Commissioning Group wrote to Health Leaders to alert them of a number of VCSE Sector contracting and commissioning issues which need to be addressed by the GM Integrated Care System with urgency. In particular, non-recurrent contracts that are due to end in March 2024. 

The Implementation of Greater Manchester VCFSE Accord and a Fair
Funding Protocol

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has approved the implementation of a landmark Fair Funding Protocol that ‘will cover activities and services that the VCFSE sector carries out in communities that are funded by the GMCA’s budget in Greater Manchester’. This agreement builds on the progress the VCSE sector has made in partnership with the GMCA under the Greater Manchester VCSE Accord. The protocol is a significant step that will ‘guide how the combined authority plans its grant funding, commissions, and manages contracts with VCFSE organisations.’ It will allow the sector to better deliver for communities and citizens of Greater Manchester.

The NHS Provider Selection Regime 

In late 2023 we hosted a webinar on the NHS Provider Selection Regime which is active from 1 January 2024, and the potential implications for the VCSE Sector. You can view slides and a recording of the session.

A walking group in a park

How Flexible Funding Benefits Greater Manchester's Communities

In this blog, Keisha, Project Manager at 10GM, highlights the importance of flexible funding for VCSE organisations and the advantages of funding in this way.

Woman in a meeting

Commissioning Challenges in Greater Manchester's VCSE Sector

In this blog, Keisha, Project Manager at 10GM, explores the unique hurdles the VCSE sector encounters, and the steps required to overcome them.

The Commissioning Framework

In 2019 a partnership of VCSE organisations, in collaboration with commissioning partners, reviewed existing commissioning with the VCSE sector and developed a VCSE commissioning Framework to support commissioning practices in Greater Manchester. This Framework was signed off by the Joint Commissioning Board in February 2020; and then refreshed with a new preface in July 2021, outlining its future in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; the development of the Greater Manchester Integrated Care System; deepening inequalities experienced by communities and the publication of the Greater Manchester Independent Inequalities Commission report.

Recommendations of the Commissioning Framework

1     Embed the importance of the VCSE sector
2    Invest strategically in the infrastructure required for building VCSE and community capacity
3     Better knowledge, understanding and access
4    Accessible procurement and a strategic approach to grants
5    A core focus on co-design and co-production
6    Embed Social Value
7    Develop and implement an evaluation framework

Underpinning: Ensure tackling inequalities is at the centre of all decision-making.

View the VCSE Commissioning Framework 

Want to get involved?

To get involved, contact Susie Wright (Strategic Lead at 10GM).

Page last reviewed: 29 November 2023.

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