Improving performance through better procurement approaches commission

This commission has now closed for applications.

There is ample evidence that good collaboration between a client and their contractor(s) when delivering procured projects leads to improved performance, productivity, and a better trained and more competent workforce. However, current business models and procurement processes hinder productivity and prevent high performance.

Research from the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) into the infrastructure sector shows that the current model typically produces expensive assets and networks which perform poorly. It also fails to utilise technological advances that other industries have adopted which have led to substantial benefits within their businesses.

The report identified that supply chains in the infrastructure sector are locked in a cycle of low margins and investment accompanied by dysfunctional relationships and variable quality of training.

Different procurement approaches require different skill sets within a business, and the lack of these skills can hinder delivery of efficient procurement and overall project performance. This picture is supported by CITB’s own analysis of the situation in the construction industry.

Any organisation which can best deliver the results we are looking for.

We especially welcome proposals from organisations who are:

  • levy-registered employers who are seeking to transform their procurement approach
  • federations and/or trade associations
  • construction clients and/or leaders of procurement frameworks who want to support their supply partners and improve their procurement approach
  • training providers and/or training consultancies with strong relationships with construction companies.

Each application must involve a Tier 1 contractor/construction employer(s) as a partner(s) in the funded project.

Prospective applicants who are interested in submitting an expression of interest for this commission are invited to view the recent webinar which introduces this commission.

The commission has a budget of up to £3m to cover several projects. CITB will fund up to 70% of the total value of the project.

We aim to fund at least one project in each of the following areas:

  • infrastructure
  • housing
  • local authority projects.

Your project may address the challenges facing one or more of these sectors, as outlined in ‘The challenge facing industry section’ above.

Projects can last up to three years.

We want to help bring change to the industry in the form of new ways for construction businesses to learn how to apply procurement models and a collaborative approach in the process. Construction businesses operating in the following areas are a specific focus of our plans:

  • infrastructure
  • housing
  • local authority projects.

The expected results are:

  • visibly improved construction project performance
  • a strong procurement function with an efficient and effective supply chain who can deliver materials and services to a construction project on time and to budget
  • an industry workforce equipped to handle changes to a continuously evolving business and operating model
  • methods to embrace evolving procurement models and processes which can be adopted by the whole industry.

There may be additional benefits to the industry, such as demonstrating commitment to environmental sustainability or social value. These are however secondary to the expected results listed above.

This is a two-stage process.

  1. Register your interest in the commission by completing the expression of interest form. Please answer all the questions.
    The deadline for submitting an expression of interest was 5pm Monday 10 June 2019.
  2. The funding team will review your expression of interest and contact you to discuss your idea.

If your idea matches most, preferably all of the criteria for this commission, we will guide you through the full application stage.

We are no longer accepting expressions of interest for this commission.

Expression of interest deadline – 5pm Monday 10 June 2019.

Full application deadline – 5pm 24 June 2019.

You must submit an expression of interest first – if you get through this stage, you will be invited to submit a full application.

Your proposal should:

  • focus on one or a combination of the following key areas:
    • infrastructure
    • housing, and/or
    • local authority projects
  • describe how it will reach and engage with the tier 1 contractor(s) and their respective supply partners participating in the project.
    If you are a tier 1 contractor applying for the commission, please describe how you will reach and engage with your supply partners throughout the funded project
  • identify the factors that will allow project partner(s) in one of those key areas to be ready to adopt innovative and collaborative procurement approaches.
  • outline the benefit(s) that this new approach will bring to the companies involved
  • describe how performance within procurement will be baselined
  • describe the methodology for measuring performance within procurement throughout the lifespan of the project
  • describe the metrics which demonstrate that the funded project has achieved the desired benefits of improving performance within procurement.
  • explain how you propose to train and develop the workforce to enable construction companies to:
    • confidently respond to innovation and changes in the business model
    • get optimal supply chain productivity and compliance with the client’s contractual requirements
    • create and nurture a collaborative environment with their supply partners.

Your expression of interest should have a brief summary of how you propose to fulfil the requirements listed above.

Research reports

Pre-application webinar

We held a webinar for prospective applicants who are interested in submitting an expression of interest for this commission in April. It included an overview of the commission and participants asked questions about the commission and the application process.

You can:

Application workshops

We will also host workshops across the country. These workshops will give you an opportunity to find out more about the application process and how we assess proposals for funding.

Application workshops will be held London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester as follows:


When: Wednesday 22 May 2019 10:00 – 12:30
Where: Clayton Hotel Cardiff, St Mary Street, Cardiff, United Kingdom, CF10 1GD

Register to attend Cardiff workshop


When: Thursday 23 May 2019 10:00 – 12:30
Where: Edinburgh Marriott Hotel, 111 Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, Lothian, EH12 8NF

Register to attend Edinburgh workshop


When: Monday 20 May 2019 10:00 – 12:30
Where: De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, 61 - 65 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA

Register to attend London workshop 


When: Tuesday 21 May 2019 10:00 – 12:30
Where: Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport, Outwood Lane, Manchester, M90 4HL

Register to attend Manchester workshop

Catch up on our webinar with details of the commission