Workshop statement

Outcome Based Specification Writing  

With the National Occupational Standards for Commissioning and Contracting nearing finalisation, one of the requirements is that commissioners have competences in the development of service specifications and their contents.

This Workshop will take delegates through the process of writing outcome based service contract specifications.

Wednesday 19th May, 2010 — London, Jury’s Hotel, Great Russell Street.


With the National Occupational Standards for Commissioning and Contracting nearing finalisation, one of the requirements is that commissioners have competences in the development of service specifications and their contents.

The recent Glover report on improving public procurement has recommended that Government should encourage wider use of outcome-based specifications across the public sector, as a means of driving innovation. Where Local Area Agreements exist, Strategic Commissioning is leading to the development of Outcome Based Specifications. Therefore there is a need to learn about Outcome Based Specifications and how to write them.

In addition, the movement towards Commissioning and the legal requirement of Part B services to have performance based specifications is increasing workloads. This is as a result of specifications being required for many new types of services. These may include services such as Culture, Personnel Placement and Supply, Health, Education, Adult Social Care and Children’s Services which are now included within the scope of the Public Contracts Regulations. In addition, specifiers will have to take care with the Third Sector and any potential non compliance with the Competition Act. 

From surveys of many current exercises, there is a need to improve the levels and standards of outcome based specification writing. After this workshop, delegates will;

This Workshop is designed to improve the delegates’ Specification Writing skills. You will know how important that skill is in contractual dealings. 

So if you are responsible for any of these areas including assurance, Finance, Procurement, HR and IT, then attendance will help to ensure that you are helping to procure quality services.

Our goal is to update and inform delegates on the best methods of producing specifications. In order to reinforce learning, delegates will be expected to participate and undertake short learning exercises.  

This is run as a small group of up to 20 delegates in order to do exercises, enable questions and undertake skills transfer.

The exercises will cover areas relevant to the delegates – such as Children’s Services, Adult Social Care, Smoking Cessation, Drug and Alcohol Action Teams and Supporting people. Should you require inhouse or training related to other areas, then as the market segments, then we will deliver to your requirements.
Please contact us on

We will show you what to do in order to write excellent specifications. The delegates will receive checklists which will help them to complete specifications.

Barony Consulting is on London Council’s Personalisation and East Midlands Consultancy Framework agreements.

Who should attend?

The course is designed for managers and staff involved in producing service specifications. It is aimed at Officers involved in the commissioning, award or management of contracts so they understand the key issues involved in specification writing, tendering and awarding of contract.

Outcome Based Specification Writing Programme

9.30 Introduction to Course

9.45 Delegate Introductions

Why you are here, responsibilities, types of specifications, average order cost, number of orders;

10.00 Why Specifications?

Purchasing Services;
Conditions of Contract and Specifications- the differences;
How do you recognise an excellent specification?;
Tender evaluation;

10.30 Types of Specifications

Product Standards
Specification Hierarchy

11.00 Coffee

11.15 Methods of Writing Specifications

What are outcomes?
Examples will be used from different services;
Technical Standards and Product use;
Intellectual Property;
Critical analysis;
Pricing for Outcomes;
Links to Pricing Documents;
Links to Method Statements;
Role of the SLA
Evaluation of Example

12.30 Lunch

13.30 What do the EU Law and Public Contracts Regulations say?

15.00 Afternoon Tea

15.15 What happens if you cannot be sure of the legal, technical and financial specifications?

 16.15 Plenary


Doug Forbes BSc hons, DMS
Director, Barony Consulting Group

With Barony being at the forefront of Public Sector modernisation, we have assisted over 80 organisations in complex service procurement. This expertise has been distilled into this series of seminars which are designed to prepare and inform delegates for the changes in commissioning and contracting practice as a result of recent legislation.

Doug has written the highly successful ‘Guide to Procuring Public Services’ which provides commissioners with up to date advice on ‘How to’ procure highly complex and sensitive services using the new Contracts Regulations and OGC Guidance. He will describe the challenges for commissioners and highlight common concerns. Doug advised DCSF on its Five Year Vision on Commissioning and has been working on the Personal Budget and Transformational agenda in Adult Services. Barony has been at the forefront of Services procurement for over 14 years, providing help and assistance to the public sector in dealing with the challenges of procurement.

Doug has spoken at a number of successful conferences on eProcurement, Best Value and innovative approaches for the public sector in UK, for Professional Associations, local and central UK government, in Europe and the UN. He brings a broad approach and specific sector knowledge which will provide a number of insights for delegates. He is also Director of the Institute of Commissioning Professionals.

Barony is a member of London Councils Framework for Personalisation.


Ken is a behavioural expert who applies techniques such as REBT in business situations. He is developing RAS models and will assist in the Specification Writing workshop.

General Booking Form


Attendance Date: OBSW. Location: London, Jury’s Hotel – Wed. 19th May 2010
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NB: Please note that a booking form is required  in advance of the event. Barony Consulting Group reserves the right to refuse admission if a booking form is not received. If you are sending a purchase order kindly attach a copy of this booking form.

Delegate Fee = £349.00 per delegate plus VAT = £410.08 x No. of Delegates = £

IOCP Members – £50 discount.

Please send an invoice to me for the above amount being my remittance for the workshop.
Delegate Special Offer – Delegate Discount of £50 on the ‘Guide to Procuring Public Services’. at £399 each. This 190 page guide and 170 pages of forms and checklists includes full details of the EU Directive, the new Public Contracts Regulations and ‘How to’ contract and commission services.

Please send us …………. Copies at the discounted price of £349 each =

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The fee for this event covers all written course materials (excepting the Guide to Procuring Public Services), lunch and refreshments. A VAT invoice and joining instructions will be sent to you acknowledging your booking. The venue and venue map will be sent to you separately.


21 days before the event — Free
20–14 days before the event — 50% + VAT
13 days or less before the event — 100% + VAT

Important note

This booking form constitutes a legally binding contract. It maybe necessary for reasons beyond the control of Barony Consulting Group Limited to change the content and timing of the programme, the speakers, the date or the venue. In the unlikely event of the programme being cancelled, Barony Consulting Group, will automatically make full refund but disclaim any further liability.

Booking Form: click here

Please send booking forms by email to:

Conference Organiser,
Barony Consulting Group Limited,
71-75 Shelton Street,Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ
Tel: 0208 8191563  

We will confirm receipt immediately and send separate joining instructions to you a week beforehand. If you don’t receive confirmation, please ring us to make sure a spam filter hasn’t consumed your email.