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Contract and Procurement Master Class for Social Enterprises in the North West - Lancaster

Social Enterprise North West

Monday, January 31, 2011 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT)

Contract and Procurement Master Class for Social...

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SENW Contract and Procurement Master Class - Lancaster Ended Free  

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Event Details

Social Enterprise North West are running a series of Master Classes supported by the Office for Civil Society and North West Development Agency. Places are limited, so please confirm attendance as soon as possible.

Following the success of a range of Master Classes, which ran during Jan-March 2010, Social Enterprise North West has been commissioned by the North West Development Agency and Office of Civil Society to run another series of Classes.

The target group for the Master Classes are Social Entrepreneurs, Social Enterprise and Business Link Social Enterprise Champions.

Lunch & refreshments will be provided throughout the day. Therefore, please specify if you have any special dietary requirements.


Trainer Profile - Lesley Dale-Lace

Lesley has expertise in public procurement as a previous commissioner of publicly funded services as a senior manager within a regional Business Link.  Most notably, she commissioned the supplier base for the Objective One ‘Growing Business Merseyside Programme’ and the Halton Objective Two Programme.  

She has maintained a strong interest in the social enterprise sector and has operated at the levels of senior management team and CEO of third sector enterprises in the fields of substance misuse and adolescent mental health. Whilst working within the social enterprise sector, she was  highly successful in tendering for public contracts with the NHS, Probation Service, Prison Service and Local Authorities.  Lesley currently serves on the board of trustees of a regional branch of a national charity providing residential care and sheltered accommodation for older people.  In addition, she is a social enterprise business mentor.  

Lesley has worked as a Senior Consultant with an international consultancy and was successful in bidding for a number of high profile public and private sector contracts.  She is now a director of a management consultancy which specialises in the social enterprise sector and continues to be  highly successful in tendering for public and private sector contracts and also trains other organisations how to develop their competitive tendering ability.  Lesley has also worked with a large local authority procurement team to develop a programme to improve the competitive tendering abilities of local SMEs.


The aims of the master class are to provide participants with an overview of the components of a successful tender for both the public and private sectors and to increase the confidence of the participants in their ability to write successful tenders. 


The objective is to ensure that participants know how to respond to a tender notice in a manner which demonstrates that they understand the needs of the purchaser and are able to deliver the service as detailed in the tender specification.  To meet this objective, participants will:


  • Learn how to locate potential tenders and how to understand the vocabulary of tender notices
  • Gain an overview of how the processes work and the terminology used
  • Gain an understanding of the differences and similarities between the public and private sectors and how they do business
  • Learn the difference between the various processes and procedures
  • Learn how to respond to the various processes, what the purchasers require and why
  • Receive guidance on how to meet the purchaser’s requirements and how to make their tenders stand out from others
  • Explore the common causes of failure and how these might apply to their own businesses
  • Learn how to structure tender documents
  • Learn how to consider risks in tendering
  • Learn what preparation is required for a tender interview and gain insight into the features of a good interview
  • Learn how to manage the post contract relationship


The main learning outcome is that participants will understand how to develop a high quality tender throughout the various processes to increase the likelihood of gaining new contracts.  The master class is aimed at participants who have little or no experience of competitive tendering.





In order to ensure that participants leave the master class with the confidence to tackle tenders on their own, they will receive a comprehensive overview from the beginning to the end of the process:


  • The public sector and the three main processes: Tendering, Request for Quotes/Expressions of Interest and Framework Agreements
  • Who are the buyers?
  • Procurement thresholds
  • Tendering procedures (Open, Restricted and Competitive Dialogue) and their deadlines
  • Where to find tenders
  • What is a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire?
  • What is in the Invitation to Tender?
  • Responding to an ITT
  • Private sector bidding
  • General Guidance – This section of the master class addresses the building blocks of a good tender and provides step by step advice on how to get it right.  This section is also more interactive in that participants will be asked to take part in some simple exercises which will help to illustrate some of the points.  The number of the exercises will be dependent upon the progress of the group (time available and the number of questions that may need to be answered during the day).
  • Common weaknesses – this will include examination of financial, policy and quality standards issues and will also look at consortia/partnership advantages
  • Signposting to organisations that can provide support on policy, environment and quality issues
  • Tender interviews
  • Post contract award management
  • Basic risk management model

Travel to Lancaster


By Rail

Lancaster Station is on the (Virgin) West Coast Line and is easily accessible from stations along this line.

Northern Rail and Trans Pennine express also operate trains on this line to stations between Manchester and Barrow-in-Furness, as well as to the lake District and Cumbria. Morecambe, Bare, Heysham and Carnforth are all accessible by train.

By Road

M6 motorway to Junction 33 (for Lancaster South and the University), Junction 34 (for Lancaster Centre, Morecambe, Port of Heysham and the Lune Valley), or Junction 35 and 35A (for Lancaster North, Morecambe, Port of Heysham and Carnforth)

By Coach

National Express nationwide coach services stop at Lancaster Bus Station and Lancaster University.

Local services are available for journeys to / from Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Have questions about Contract and Procurement Master Class for Social Enterprises in the North West - Lancaster? Contact Social Enterprise North West

When & Where

City Lab
4-6 Dalton Square
, LA1 1PP

Monday, January 31, 2011 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT)

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Social Enterprise North West

Social Enterprise North West, SENW, has been established as a regional network and its directors include representatives of social enterprise networks from across the region. SENW achieves accountability to the sector through direct links to the accountable Social Enterprise networks like the Development Trust Association and Cooperatives North West.


We’re In Business for Good

  • To raise the profile of social enterprise in the North West of England.
  • To represent the interests of the North West of England’s social enterprise sector.
  • To encourage mutual support, inter-trading, sharing of best practice, training and development opportunities between social enterprises.
  • To work with local, regional, national transnational bodies to strengthen the social enterprise sector.
  Contact the Organizer

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