Decision details

Contract award - Step Up to Social Work Programme

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children and Education

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The Step Up to Social Work Programme is a fully funded training programme for social workers. The current contract ends on 26th June 2023 with no option to extend. Hammersmith and Fulham is the lead borough on behalf of the West London Regional Partnership for this programme. This report seeks approval of a strategy to recommission a higher education partner to work with the local authority to deliver the programme by way of a competitive procurement exercise.



1.             To note that Appendix 1 is not for publication on the basis that it contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) as set out in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). 


2.             To approve the award of a contract for the Step Up to Social Work Programme to the University of Hertfordshire for the period 26th June 2023 – 25th June 2025. The contract value will be £0.465m for 2 years, with the option to extend twice, with two years for each extension.


3.             To note that this brings the total contract value after both possible extensions to £1.394m. The contract will only continue based on satisfactory performance by the provider and continued funding from the Department for Education (DfE).


Reasons for the decision:

The current contract expires in June 2023 and there is no option to extend. As such, we were required to go back out to the market to undertake a competitive tender process, in line with Contract Standing Order 19.1, in order to award a new contract and ensure the continued delivery of a high quality, value for money Step Up to Social Work programme. 

Alternative options considered:

Officers have undertaken an open tender procurement via the CapitalESourcing portal. There was only one bid and this tender has been evaluated and moderated by a selected panel, with representation from across the West London Regional Partnership including Kensington and Chelsea, Harrow and Hammersmith and Fulham.


Following evaluation and moderation, it is recommended that the University of Hertfordshire be appointed the contract for the stated

Publication date: 30/05/2023

Date of decision: 24/05/2023

Effective from: 03/06/2023

Accompanying Documents: