TfC services are based on the experience of working in and with the public sector since 1973.
The Director of TfC, Janet Roberts FRSA, originally a teacher, spent 17 years working as a Local Government Officer managing multimillion pound budgets for the delivery of services, largely in community education and care. Following a spell are Principal of a College and Charity CEO Janet set up Project Development and Support Ltd with her husband in 1991. For the first seven years the company helped colleges of FE, universities and schools bid for UK, European and International grant funding. Programmes included JOPP, PETRA, EUROTECNET, The World Bank, etc.
This very successful business changed direction in 1998 when the European Structural Funds (ESF, ERDF, LEADER, etc.) were opened up to charities. Over the seven years to 2005 the company secured £18.3 million in grant aid for customers, plus the biggest national ESF project grant awarded to a charity at that time - £6.3 million. Customers were charities in the health and social care sectors and included providers in the following sectors:
- Learning Disability; Physical Disability; Mental Health Services; Complex care needs;
- Education, SEN;
- Nursing Homes; Residential Care Services; Care in the Community;
- Housing for homeless, drug and alcohol services;
- Sheltered employment; social firms.
In 2000 Lloyd Davis joined the company. Holding a Masters Degree in Education, Lloyd had been the Head teacher of a comprehensive School in London which had successfully bid for a range of grants. Now the Company's Director of Operations Lloyd has a wide experience of working with smaller organisations and a very successful track record in the writing and preparation of successful tenders. He is based in London and has an in-depth knowledge of public sector purchasing in the capital.
In May 2005, TfC was formed to help our existing customers to tender successfully in the new Competitive tendering environment. Growing to support a Membership of around 300 organisations we now help our customers to prepare tenders for the full range of services set out above. This has expanded to include:
- Care for the elderly; domiciliary care; care at home;
- Children's services; AHDC; adoption; fostering; short breaks;
- Drug and alochol services; offender management;
- Telecare; telehealth and monitoring services;
- Health in the community, healthy living; obesity; Wellbeing;
- Nursing; primary care;
- GP practices; Ancillary health services; GP out of hours services;
- Services provided by health professionals such as physiotherapists; dentists;
- Housing Associations; property purchase schemes;
In 2007 Janet was awarded Fellowship and Life membership of the RSA in recognition of her work in helping organisations to tender for public sector contracts.
Her knowledge and skills in tendering and procurement were rcognised through Affiliate Membership of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS)
TfC received a National Training Award in recognition of the quality of the training it provides.
Whilst the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) offers excellent specialist training at a number of levels for purchasers, there was no certificed training which mirros that for providers. With the gelp of OCN London Region, TfC launched a Level 3 OCN with 6 credits entitled "Tendering and Procurement Practice". To date there are 72 graduates of the course. Please see www.tappocn.org.uk
In response to demand all of the training courses offered by TfC are now CPD certified
During the financial year 2011 to 2012 the TfC membership between them are known, with our help, to have been awarded contracts with a total value of £103million. Please note that not all members tell us when they are successful!! This overall total included individual contracts worth £6m; £4.6m; and £3.4m. The balance of services contracted is changing during 2012 with more health, medical and children's servicestendered. Tender requirements are changing whilst the entire market is becoming more competitive.
Once again in response to demand a range of TfC's services are delivered online using remote working and webinar technology. This limits the downtime for busy business development and other staff tasked with tender preparation. The approach means that tenders can be reviewed several times during their preparation. It has also been the platform from which blended training can be provided
The year has seen a dramatic increase in the willingness of providers to challenge the decisions made by purchasers. TfC assisted with six such challenges during all of the calendar year 2011. This increased to 34 potential challenges by the end of September 2012.
The Brexit process has dragged on since June 2016. In August 2019 it seems that the UK leaving the EU will happen through one route or another. With this reality it is a good idea for providers to start preparing for the changes which will inevitably arise over the coming years. Starting from 23rd August our weekly Staying Ahead tracks changes and provides information for action by providers. August also saw the publication by the Government of the Contracts Management Standard. We have produced a detailed summary and checklist which is availbale to all of our customers and subscribers.
We continue to be very successful in helpiing our customers to win contracts either through authoring or through our powerful online reviews, support and mentoring process.
Our services are enhanced by the work which we undertake for purchasers which includes:
- Training for Commissioners which can be face to face, online, or blended;
- Procurement management – management of a complete tendering procedure;
- Tender scoring and appraisal.
This experience provides us with clear insight into the purchasers' current requirements and what makes an excellent tender.