"Commissioning is the process of specifying, securing and monitoring services to meet people's needs at a strategic level." (Bristol City Council's Enabling Commissioning Framework).

Commissioning is a process that can lead to contracts, grants or agreements with service providers.

Further information and resources around local commissioning:

Report and Action Plan from VCS Commissioner and Provider event (Feb 2013) - this report sets out findings from a joint event organised by Bristol City Council, Voscur and The Bristol Compact on 8 February 2013.  The event brought providers and commissioners together with the aim of improving commissioning processes for voluntary and community sector organisations.

Commissioning Support Analysis (Aug 2012) - this is a report on a survey of commissioning practice in Bristol; undertaken by Voscur in partnership with Bristol City Council.

Commissioning Intentions 2012/13 - includes descriptions of the services that Bristol City Council will be seeking to commission during the financial year 2012/13. During 2013, the council will publish a revised version of the commissioning intentions.

Enabling Commissioning Framework - the Council’s standardisation of commissioning processes in all parts of the commissioning cycle (analyse-plan-do-review), including a glossary or terms used in commissioning and procurement.

Decommissioning Policy - guidance that sets out processes and standards that commissioners and contract managers will adhere to when reaching the end of a contract or grant funding arrangement and decommissioning services. See also the Support Hub's Decommissioning Checklist.

Provide to Bristol (also known as Proactis Plaza) (formerly Bristol e-Procurement System) - the online system used by Bristol City Council to promote commissioning opportunities and to manage the procurement process.

Consultations on commissioning plans - draft strategies and policies are frequently published for consultation and these often lead to the commissioning of specific services and outcomes. Such consultations are good opportunities for VCS organisations to input their perspectives and influence commissioning. The Support Hub can help organisations respond to such consultations - click here.