Supply Chain Management
A good practice guide for the post-16 skills sector
from the sector for the sector
This guide is designed to help providers minimise the risk within supply chains, ensuring that they offer high-quality provision that is responsive to the needs of local communities, learners and employers. I have always promoted the positive aspect of our sector’s willingness to share good practice and our ability to continue to learn from each other. This guide uses this philosophy and offers a step-by-step approach to good practice in supply chain management, taken from the sector, for the sector. The guide, together with the case studies and the Supply Chain Management Resource Bank (available on the AELP website), offers providers and practitioners examples of good practice (drawn from independent providers, FE colleges, the third sector and provider networks) and gives a greater insight into the strategic importance of effective supply chain management. All providers involved in supply chains, whether primes or sub-contractors, are encouraged to adopt the suggested approach. If the good practice exemplified in the guide is embedded in supply chains throughout the post-16 learning and skills sector, then the Government and its agencies can be confident that they are getting good value from the public purse, and that learners and employers are benefiting from high-quality training. The sector’s proactive drive to self-improve sub-contracting is further endorsed by the opportunity for providers to sign up to a shared set of guiding principles in the form of a Sector Common Accord. The Supply Chain Management Common Accord has been developed by the sector for the sector, and by using the current good practice included in this guide as a sector standard. AELP is grateful to the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) for supporting the production of this guide, which I hope you find useful as you strive to continually improve the quality of provision for both learners and employers through effective supply chains.
Graham Hoyle OBE Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)
I am pleased to commend the collaboration of AoC, AELP and LSIS in the production of this comprehensive guide to supply chain management and sub-contracting. The further education (FE) sector has always responded well to challenge, and this guide, alongside the Common Accord, is another great example of the sector seeking effective ways to develop and share good practice. Many colleges and other providers will continue with ‘business as usual’ in supply chain management as they will already be meeting the exemplars of effective practice within the guide and have processes in place to continually improve. For others, the guide will provide an invaluable template to develop effective processes and systems, particularly around sub-contracting. The AoC/AELP sub-contracting drivers survey and the Ofsted report on quality in Apprenticeships provided some useful insights into what is being done well, and what areas could benefit from further development. The Common Accord and this guide, alongside effective peer review, will provide the sector with robust guidance on the required standards that need to be maintained across the sector. By signing the Common Accord, colleges and other providers can be seen to be responding effectively to the challenge of ensuring that the quality of delivery within their supply chain sub-contractors is subject to the same level of scrutiny as direct delivery, and that systems and processes are fair for all involved and will be continually assessed and improved.
Martin Doel Chief Executive, Association of Colleges (AoC)
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