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An introduction to bidding for public sector contracts for counselling psychologists

An introduction to bidding for public sector contracts for counselling psychologists

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Quick Overview

This guide has been prepared to give psychologists who work in small independent services an overview of the steps necessary to prepare to bid for and deliver services under contract to the NHS and its local trusts, and other public mental health commissioning bodies such as local authorities.

Some regional differences in policy and procurement processes have been noted for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.





Part One: Preparation

Adopting an enterprising approach to work

  • What is a social entrepreneur?
  • Entrepreneur-practitioner stance
Mission and values 

Choosing and setting up an appropriate business structure

  • Constitution
  • The Private (or Independent) Sector: Company Limited by Guarantee or Shares
  • The Third Sector: Charity
  • The Fourth (or For-Benefit) Sector: Social Enterprise
  • Mutuals

Naming your company

Business training and coaching

Understand developments in social policy

  • The Public Service (Social Value) Act 2012

Marketing and networking

  • Business networks
  • Social media
  • Website

The business plan: Does bidding fit?

  • Business goals
  • Assessing the current state of the business
  • Investment funding
  • Strategy for meeting the business goals
  • Service level agreements (SLAs)
  • Sub-contractor work
  • Pro bono publico work
  • The costs and benefits of bidding for new work

Preparing to bid

  • Accounting and turnover
  • Insurance
  • Professional registration
  • Policies
  • Workforce

Part Two: Right tender, right team, right approach

Finding the right projects through e-procurement portals

  • Supply2Health and AQP: Any Qualified Provider for NHS clinical work
  • Sid4Health

Tender consolidators

  • Supply
  • EU Supply
  • Tenders Electronic Daily
  • Local portals
  • Membership portals

Bid/No Bid analysis

  • Consortium working
  • Multidisciplinary teams
Types of tenders

Bid writing

  • Service model
  • Assessment Criterion 1: Quality
  • Assessment Criterion 2: Price



Part Three: Managing service growth

  • Change management
  • Budget and contract negotiations
  • Project management
  • People management
  • Partnership management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Systems and resources management
  • Data management
  • Case management
  • Remain ever humble and continually learn from others

Acronym glossary

Recommended reading

Recommended study

Developmental steps for psychologist public sector bidding

Additional Information