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Commissioning Play Services Toolkit

Tool | April 2010

This document provides a toolkit for commissioners of children`s play services, setting out an eight-step programme for producing a clear and comprehensive commissioning strategy. Prepared by IPC for the Commissioning Support Programme (CSP), the toolkit guides commissioners from the pre-planning stage through a needs assessment and service review, and a review of research and national guidance, to construction of the written strategy document.

Beginning with a simple diagrammatic overview of the whole process, the toolkit next sets out two pre-planning stages: the scoping tool - addressing the fundamental nature and remit of the strategy, its ownership, its aims and its timescale - and the project plan, which sets out the remaining project stages, the activities for each of those stages, and the desired outcomes of the activities.

The fourth tool - analysing research and national guidance - emphasises the importance of highlighting in the strategy key points from legislation, national guidance or local commitments that must be accommodated. The toolkit suggests useful questions to pose and potential data sources, such as reports, policy documents and existing local plans, for answering them.

The fifth and six stages guide users through the needs and service analysis activities identified in the project planning phase. They identify clear aims - such as determining the geographical distribution of need and areas of unmet need, what services are currently available and at what cost, what outcome indicators are available, and what services might be available in future - and provide suggestions for data sources, and useful questions for interrogating available data.

Tool seven provides an illustration of a spectrum analysis - a visual aid for clear presentation of key issues to stakeholders - while the final tool is a template for the commissioning strategy, pulling the preceding sections together and proposing structure and content for the finished document.

For further information please contact Katy Burch at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088