Guidance on public sector procurement

Advice and Guidance

What is on this page?

Buying better outcomes

Who is this page for?

  • Public sector

Which countries is it relevant to?

    • England

A guide for public authorities in England on mainstreaming equality considerations in procurement.

Buying better outcomes

Public authorities spend £236 billion each year on buying goods, works or services from other organisations across every sector. This purchasing power can be used by public authorities as a way to advance equality and, where appropriate, achieve wider social benefits, such as creating training or employment opportunities.

We have produced guidance that explains how public authorities can make sure they comply with the public sector equality duty (PSED) obligations at different stages of the procurement cycle and takes you through equality issues that you may need to consider at each stage.

Buying better outcomes guidance

The training materials and case study below are designed to complement the main guidance document. They are aimed at the public sector, at both a local and national level, and generally work best with a mixed group of equality and procurement specialists. The aim has been to provide a resource to help people work across departments and move towards a shared understanding of responsibilities, processes and the commonly used words and phrases.

Download summary PowerPoint presentation

This presentation is designed to be used flexibly, either with the training modules or as a stand alone resource. The presentation is not too technical, so should be suitable for both specialists and non specialists. It contains 28 slides with detailed speaking notes, which cross reference the relevant sections in the main guidance, and could form the basis of training sessions or facilitate less formal briefings. Please note a few slides are the same as those used in the training modules and should be removed if used together.

Identifying need and creating the specification:

Barriers to and opportunities for wider implementation:

Equalities, procurement and corporate objectives:

Equalities and contract management:

These training modules contain a short PowerPoint presentation with an exercise at the end and a 2 to 3 page brief for the facilitator. The presentation and slides should ideally take about an hour, but can be run in 45 minutes. They can be used flexibly and work well when used with the main presentation slides.

This report was commissioned from the New Economics Foundation in 2011. It uses the principles of Social Return on Investment (SROI) to identify the economic benefits for service users, society and the state of including equality outcomes in commissioning and procurement process, enabling public bodies to deliver better value for money for communities and the state.

It focuses on a mental health day service consortium in Camden which was commissioned using an outcomes commissioning model known as the Sustainable Commissioning Model (SCM).

Download: Equality outcomes: social return on investment analysis

Last updated: 19 Feb 2019

Further information

If you think you might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service.

Phone: 0808 800 0082
Textphone: 0808 800 0084

You can email using the contact form on the EASS website.

Also available through the website are BSL interpretation, web chat services and a contact us form.


Opening hours:

9am to 7pm Monday to Friday
10am to 2pm Saturday
closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays

Alternatively, you can visit our advice and guidance page.