Published date: 11 April 2016

Closed opportunity - This means that the contract is currently closed. The buying department may be considering suppliers that have already applied, or no suitable offers were made.

Closing: 23 May 2016

Contract summary


  • Social work and related services - 85300000

Location of contract

Any region

Value of contract


Procurement reference


Published date

11 April 2016

Closing date

23 May 2016

Contract start date

30 May 2016

Contract end date

30 March 2018

Contract type

Service contract

Procedure type

Open procedure

Any interested supplier may submit a tender in response to an opportunity notice.

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Government wants to continue to support an approach where teaching partnerships match universities with councils to deliver gold-standard training for social workers - raising standards and supporting councils in recruiting and retaining the best social workers and giving them greater control over the hiring of frontline professionals.This will improve the recruitment, retention and development of social workers and the overall quality of practice.

We define a social work teaching partnership as:
an accredited collaboration between HEIs and employers which delivers high quality training for social work students and qualified practitioners and equips them to practise to specified standards in statutory settings.
Social work teaching partnerships are an opportunity to give social work students the right knowledge and skills for the incredibly challenging but hugely rewarding work they are expected to do, and to develop outstanding qualified practitioners. Existing partnerships are already creating the right environments for excellent practice and innovation to flourish. We expect all teaching partnerships to exercise high standards in training and support for professional practice and to exemplify what can be done as we move towards the establishment of a new regulator for the social work profession.

Teaching partnerships offer a great opportunity for working together to invest in the highest standards of social work education and practice. They provide the chance to ensure that we have more good placements available for students, more support for practice educators and more input from practising social workers and people with lived experience in educating social work students. In turn, this will help to create and sustain a learning culture for social workers and organisations, supporting a profession that can practise well in supporting individuals, families and communities to have better lives.

The expansion of the teaching partnership programme marks a long term commitment to academic rigour and valued research. Making sure practice is at the heart of all that we do is the key focus of this Government's social care reform strategy. Teaching partnerships form a very important part of this. We all have a responsibility to make sure that children, families and vulnerable adults receive the help and protection they need.

Our expansion plans look to cement important collaborations between universities and councils to ensure a steady stream of high-calibre social workers to the frontline, working with children, families and vulnerable adults.

Ongoing evaluation is proving the value of these partnerships in delivering reforms and we now aim to fund further partnerships from 2016, subject to successful assessment of applications.

More information


Additional text

Length of funding award:

From April 2016 - March 2018 subject to satisfactory progress reviews. Successful teaching partnerships will receive funding on the basis of how far their applications meet the supplier eligibility and stretch criteria described. An annual review gateway process to inform year 2 funding will apply at the end of 2016-2017. Applications should cover the whole 2016 - 2018 period.

Estimated Value:

Funding is for successful partnerships to achieve the ambitions of the programme in ways proposed in their applications. We expect applications to be creative, innovative and proportionate in their use of funding to improve individual training and practice and organisational effectiveness. Payment will be against agreed milestones showing achievement of programme ambitions.

We will also publish FAQs and anonymised questions and answers on Contracts Finder to help partnerships with their applications. Questions deemed to be commercially sensitive will be answered separately by email.

Return of applications:

Applications must be sent electronically via email to the Social Work Reform Unit at: quoting "TP expansion 2016" in the subject heading.

Deadline for receipt of tender:

13:00 Monday 23rd May 2016.

Applications received after this time and date will not be considered.

Any questions and answers not covered by guidance are included in a Q&A document as an attachment.

About the buyer

Contact name

John Hall


Social Work Reform Unit, 2 St Paul’s Place
125 Norfolk Street
S1 2FJ