A procurement consortium is a collective of businesses or organisations that procure jointly in order to maximise their bargaining power and enjoy economies of scale.
Advantages of membership
Becoming a member of a consortium of similar collaborative group can:
- achieve improved levels of value and service
- save time and resources, as tendering is done on behalf of all members
- make available professional support and expertise
- provide opportunities to share experiences and learn from others
- reduce timescales
- reduce risk of non compliance with EU procurement legislation (as compliant procurement is carried out on behalf of all members.)
Generally speaking an institution should always look to source via a framework if available rather than completing their own tender. The institution should check that the framework covers all of their requirements and that it’s appropriate for the particular exercise.
Below is a list of Consortia that colleges may be able to access.
As a general rule of thumb colleges should look to use consortia in this order
- Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC)- owned by the FE sector working specifically for schools, academies and colleges
- Crown Commercial Services (CCS) - central government purchasing consortia
- Regional Higher Education Consortia (e.g. South Universities Purchasing Consortia etc)
- Local Authority Consortia (e.g. ESPO)
There are also a range of construction related consortia frameworks that colleges could access.
Homes England Delivery Partner Pane Framework - to procure housing-led development on land owned by public sector bodies and Homes England’s. Housing led development is development that is predominantly residential but may include other subsidiary uses, for example, commercial, retail, leisure or educational development.
- North West Construction Hub
- NEPO (North East)
- Southern Construction Framework
- Yorhub - Yorkshire and Humber Region Construction Frameworks
- Constructing West Midlands
- LHC - National Frameworks for Building Components, Services and Contractors
- ReFit - Energy Performance Contracts
- Education Funding Agency School Buildings Construction Framework
- NHS Shared Business Services Construction Consultancy Services Framework
- CCS Project Management and Full Design Team Services
These frameworks are all trying to promote collaborative working and best practice ideals.
If there is not an existing consortia agreement or contract in place, consider whether there are other local organisations that you could work with jointly, such as other colleges or universities in your region or your local authority.