Procurement | Forth Sector Development

Forth Sector Development’s experience ranges from advising on the formation of public policy to informing the delivery and implementation of public services. We have worked extensively on initiatives aimed at increasing third sector involvement in designing and delivering services and goods for the public sector and have been instrumental in supporting third sector suppliers through the procurement process to win new contracts.

Training for Third Sector Organisations and Suppliers to the Public Sector

Forth Sector Development (FSD) offers a comprehensive and interactive training programme designed especially for third sector organisations to develop their skills in securing contracts. Over the last three years FSD has supported £6 million of successful tender bids. Our training programme ensures third sector organisations:


  • have an all-round understanding of the language and tools of tender writing;
  • understand procurement practices to enable them to competently bid for contracts;
  • can identify opportunities;
  • can cost their tender bids;
  • reduce reliance on grant funding and become stronger and more sustainable.


FSD project managed the Scottish Government’s Procurement and Consortia Tendering (PACT) programme, a two year project which brought third sector organisations in the capital together with local commissioners to increase knowledge of the delivery potential of voluntary and charitable service providers and to assist them in winning contracts. 75 organisations in Edinburgh signed up to the programme and £5 million of successful bids were supported.


Deaf Action, a participant in procurement training delivered by FSD and successful tenderer offers the following testimonial:


We offer a wide-ranging series of workshops aimed at third sector organisations of all abilities. The programme is split into three levels and covers the entire process from preparation to delivery:



  • Is tendering right for you?
  • Implications for third sector organisations
  • Preparing your organisation



  • Finding contract opportunities
  • Evaluating opportunities
  • Adding value to your bid
  • Writing the winning tender



  • Consortium building
  • Brokering partnerships
  • Comparing and evaluating responses – which should win?
  • Case studies – how we won the contract


All course materials use real examples from the public sector in Scotland and give participants an in depth understanding of how procurement works.

Bespoke Support for Third Sector Organisations and Suppliers to the Public Sector

Forth sector Development are able to draw directly on our direct experience, and on our experience of supporting tender applications for a range of clients, to assist your organisation or business to become ‘tender ready’. We can support you to assess your operations to enable you to be better able to respond to contract opportunities and we can help you to prepare the necessary policy and financial documentation commonly required. We are able to work with you to develop your tender response and to support you and your staff to manage the necessary operational and cultural changes that may be required of you if you are successful in your bid.

Community Benefits in Procurement

FSD can support you across all aspects of Community Benefits in Procurement, including:


  • Outcomes Focused procurement
  • Public Social Partnerships
  • Community Benefit Clauses
  • Defining Wider Community Benefit
  • Social and economic considerations in procurement
  • Service design
  • Engaging with the third sector


We are currently working with two local authorities looking at ways of improving service design and delivery and to include wider community benefits through co-production and outcomes based purchasing models.


As a key part of the Scottish Government SROI project, which was led by FSD, we ensured that through promotion, marketing and training that all 32 Councils in Scotland were aware of the outcomes methodology and it potential uses in commissioning and reporting. Three pilots on commissioning using SROI principles grew out of this work.

Doing Business with the Public Sector

As a social enterprise which has worked very successfully in partnership with a range of businesses, we can bring insight, knowledge and expertise to commercial suppliers looking to do business with the public sector. With a breadth of knowledge including delivering successful commercial contracts to delivering services to communities which generate real social change, we are uniquely positioned to assist you with a range of issues including:


  • co-planning service delivery with service users and other stakeholders
  • evidencing social impact and responding to tenders stipulating delivery of community benefit
  • Support in responding to Public Sector contracts in relation to CBIP issues
  • Partnering with 3rd Sector orgs
  • Impact measurement in relation to contract delivery stipulating Community Benefit Clauses