Good commissioning principles and practice

Commissioning Support Programme paper introducing the essential characteristics of good commissioning in children’s services.



Commissioning is all about the most effective and efficient way of using all the available resources to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. At a time when many commissioners are looking for efficiency savings, the principles of effective commissioning described in this report become even more important.

This document describes the sector’s view of good commissioning. It’s a core part of the Commissioning Support Programme’s remit to ensure that we continue to discover and share emerging practice. This document is designed to help leaders, commissioners, providers and the communities involved in children’s services to develop a shared understanding of commissioning and the essential components that make it work.


  • commissioning governance framework
  • commissioning activity
  • commissioning capacity and competencies
  • resources
  • case studies

Updates to this page

Published 1 September 2010

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