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Supporting Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Public procurement and the voluntary sector

15:00-16:00, 24 November 2021
This event took place 9 months ago
Allan Young
(x6023) 0141 465 7533

Public procurement is an area of increasing importance for the Scottish voluntary sector, and is a key feature of the Scottish Government’s economic recovery plan and transformation strategy. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted more than ever the invaluable role played by the Scottish voluntary sector in the delivery of vital public services, often arranged through a procurement process. Yet, members tell us of continued difficulties around sustainable funding and competitive tendering and challenges for smaller organisations to get involved.

Overall aim

With our panel of experts, we will explore what’s working well and what the challenges are for the voluntary sector in public procurement. As well as being a great chance to engage with the Scottish Government, this webinar will be a springboard to enhance our collective understanding of procurement and lead to more focused action from SCVO going forward.

This will include future opportunities for attendees to meet one-to-one with SCVO’s procurement lead to discuss their procurement experiences and needs in more detail, to help build SCVO’s evidence based and inform our policy and influencing work.  


We have assembled an experienced panel from the public and voluntary sector to give their informed perspectives on procurement. Our panel includes:

  • Nick Ford, Director for Procurement and Property, Scottish Government
  • Sean Duffy, Chief Executive, The Wise Group
  • Jennifer McKerrall, Social Care Senior Manager, Scotland Excel

From Nick, we will hear how the Scottish Government is working collaboratively to achieve the common goal of delivering for Scotland. In particular, Nick will focus on how the Government is working with others to leverage the full power of around £13.3 billion public procurement spend to support a lasting green and economic recovery. 

Sean will draw on his vast experience of procurement across the UK, highlighting some of the innovation the voluntary sector has brought during the pandemic, as well setting out key conditions he believes the sector needs to thrive.

Jennifer will present learning from the work of Scotland Excel as it supports public sector staff to create a sustainable procurement approach, including partnership working with the voluntary sector.

We will then have a Q&A to get into the detail of the big procurement issues, looking at what makes successful procurement and commissioning practices for the voluntary sector.

Who was the event aimed at?

This event is aimed at voluntary sector organisations interested in procurement, from the old hands to those wanting to dip a toe in the water.


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