DWP announces new Employment and Health-related Services agreement

DWP has published details of their new method for contracting employment support. The Commercial Agreement for the provision of Employment and Health Related Services (CAEHRS) will run for a maximum of 5 years with a value of £7.5bn. The new framework will replace the existing Umbrella Agreement which is due to expire in January 2021. CAEHRS is designed to support the provision of employment and health-related programmes and will be the default medium for contracting with the marketplace for national employment focussed programmes unless more effective routes to market are identified. It will also be available for use across government as well as by other public sector contracting authorities.

DWP says that the new agreement builds on key lessons learned from the current agreement, emerging best practice (including the Cabinet Outsourcing Playbook) and aims to improve the Department’s ability to respond more quickly to economic and policy conditions whilst creating a more efficient procurement approach for contracting authorities and suppliers. The primary function of the agreement is to establish a pre-determined list of suppliers that meet their minimum expectations. They say that the new approach will allow them to DWP to work closely with suppliers to allow a greater understanding of what they need from their provision in the future. 

Suppliers will be allocated into different tiers, based on the size of the future contract values and capability to deliver. This is to ensure that suppliers have the capacity to deliver ‘big’ contracts and increase diversity in the market by creating opportunities for smaller and specialist organisations to bid for. A specialist third tier is planned for later in 2020 as a separate agreement targeting SMEs and VSCEs involvement, as appropriate. 

When spaces become available on CAEHRS, as necessary, there may be opportunity for Suppliers in Tier 2 to move into Tier 1 (should they meet the requirements). As required this will allow new Suppliers to enter the CAEHRS and this will follow normal competition procurement rules to allocate new suppliers at that point.

The framework will cover England, Scotland and Wales. It will be split into eight contracting lots (matching the seven JCP groups and a national lot). This can be broken down further as necessary to contract in smaller areas.

Two online events are planned to support this activity:

  • Wednesday 24th June (10-12)
  • Thursday 25th June (10-12)

To express an interest in attending and their preferred date, any supplier needs to access Jaggaer and select ItT_21473 - Commercial Agreement for the provision of Employment and Health Related Services (CAEHRS) - Market Engagement and Invitation to Tender Event - Expression of Interest

You can also find the details at dwp.bravosolution.co.uk by searching for project_22220 or ItT_21473.

The Invitation to Tender will go live on Thursday 2nd July. All Bidders will need to complete an overarching Invitation to Tender (ItT) via Jaggaer which contains a Qualification and Commercial Envelope. Bidders will then need to complete a LOT specific ItT(s) for every LOT they wish to bid for which will include a Technical envelope only. The deadline for submission of tender(s) will be 10am on Monday 3rd August.