ERSA Event in London 14/11/17 - Questions and Answers

ERSA Event in London 14/11/17 - Questions and Answers

ERSA event in London 14/11/17 - Questions and answers

Heading – Procurement

Q1. Are timescales realistic for multiple LOTS / applications? (17 tenders)

The timescales are realistic to establish the Prison Education Framework and appoint education providers to the relevant Lots. Competitions for call-off contracts under the lots will not be commenced until late 2018.

Q2. When will you confirm if the current IAG provision will be extended?

HMPPS are still working with SFA to consider options about potential extension.

Q3. Many providers are either functional or vocational trainers. How should they understand the DPS and the main framework?

Prison governors will have control of their establishment’s education budget. This will include library services. Governors will be able to secure services through the Prison Education Framework and separately from the DPS.

Providers bidding to be on the Prison Education Framework will need to be able to deliver an offerthat will include functional and vocational provision, as well as a range of other provision. Every prison will need to offer maths, English, ESOL and ICT and governors will only be permitted to procure these services from the Prison Education Framework

Once governors have decided the volume and value of their individual establishment requirements from the Prison Education Framework, those are aggregated at the prison grouping level to form a specification for the relevant prison grouping/lot. The services will be called-off from the Prison Education Framework via a mini-competition at Lot level.

Providers on the DPS will focus on localised, short term, specialised and/or niche education provision.

Q4. For Consortia, will the tender put a cap on management fees for the lead organisation?

The consortium model referred to in this question is one of a number of potential consortium models that could be adopted by organisations that desire to gain a place on the Framework. If this model is adopted any management fees must be included in the overall price for the consortium tender.

Q5. What’s the timescales for engaging prison governors on this agenda? (learning from DWP Work Programme & JCP Work Coaches)

We are already involving governors.

Q6. What’s the current thinking on prison apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships remain a critically important employment option for prisoners on release. Our focus will remain on getting prisoners on to a pathway of learning and development that will prepare them for opportunities on release. Employer engagement in designing the pathways remains vital.

Q7. How will the design of the prison education model (e.g. Assessment, delivery, IAG, and employment outcomes) sit with the Transforming Rehabilitation? Particularly Through the Gate Intervention?

We are empowering governors to design education services in such a way that they articulate seamlessly through the gate, dealing with the needs of newly received prisoners on arrival and preparing them for employment and other opportunities post-release whilst under supervision by Community Rehabilitation Companies and the National Probation Service. Part of the network of services delivered in custody pre-release will involve these organisations, but also DWP’s Prison Work Coaches and others who help smooth services through the gate.

Q8. What is happening with ROTL (Release of temporary licence)?

ROTL remains a key process in preparing prisoners for release. The wider department is conducting a review but this does not form part of the Prison Education.

Q9. Who is ultimately responsible for employment outcomes. TR providers, prison education providers, governors or another body?

All the entities referred to in the question will have a role to play in securing employment outcomes. For example, Governors will have a responsibility to prepare prisoners for employment on release. Probation services will have a vital role to play in helping offenders to find work, or getting them ready for employment, right throughout their sentence. Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) will provide ‘Through the Gate’ resettlement services to offenders during the last 12 weeks of custody, and then continued support on release and CRCs must work with offenders and prisons to develop a resettlement plan which identifies and addresses needs in relation to accommodation, education, training and employment.

Q10. What does success look like for the governors?

Each governor will have their own criteria for determining whether education provision is a success in their prison. However, as an overall objective, we would expect that education in prisons should give individuals the skills they need to unlock their potential, gain employment, and become assets to their communities. As governors take greater control of their education provision, success should take the form of an increasing number of engaged learners thanks to education tailored more directly to their needs, alongside the right support necessary for them to succeed.

Q11. What criteria will be placed on non-accredited training?

Governors will determine the outcomes they expect from non-accredited training they ask their providers to deliver. We expect KPI arrangements to cover all provision, and more detail will follow on this.

Q12. How would a passport of learning work?

This isn’t a term with which we are familiar – can you expand on your question?

Q13. Can we have clarity on the funding envelope? Is it £130m?

The funding envelope for prison education including IAG and libraries is £150M

Q14. Integration (core framework, DPS, CRC’s, etc.), how will MoJ ensure an integrated offer?

See Q3, Q7 and Q9 above. It will be for empowered and accountable governors to ensure their establishment offers an integrated and coherent learning offer, with the Executive Directors of the prison groupings that will form the Lots having an important role in ensuring consistency across prisons.

Q15. Timespan for governors to understand their Lot requirements?

We would expect this work to commence as soon as prison groupings – which will form the Lots – are announced.

Q16. Concerns around timescales to develop consortia to reflect the local needs of each Lot.

We understand bidder concerns in this area and are considering how we can adjust and adapt to cater for this process.

Q17. How will the governors understand the needs of the prisoners’ education journey, from entering from court through to a ‘release’ prison?

The Executive Directors of the prison groupings that will form the Lots will have an important role in ensuring consistency across prisons, but it will be for empowered and accountable governors to ensure their establishment offers an integrated and coherent learning offer, reflecting its ‘place’ in the prisoner’s journey. See also Q3 above.

Q18. Being clear about the delivery offers at a local level – Core vs. DPS.

See Q3 above.

Q19. DPS – Length of contracts to ensure viability for smaller & 3rd sector providers (risk to providers).

We are aware of the importance of establishing a DPS arrangement that not only attracts SMEs and third sector organisations to engage with it, but which also makes contracts called-off from it viable for these providers.

Q20. Governance structure at daily ‘Business as Usual’ level – Governors and MoJ?

Governors/Executive Directors will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day contract management of the call-off contracts. The MoJ will be responsible for ensuring that the Prison Education Framework operates correctly and will have a role in monitoring providers’ performance of the call-off contracts. Providers will be required to provide MI to both Governors/Executive Directors and to the MoJ.

Q21. Payment mechanisms. a- Care with PBR where many factors are beyond control of the provider, and b- Cashflow implications for SME’s and 3rd sector organisations.


Q22.Management fee to enable cash flow.

Payment milestone for work undertaken.

Milestone for PBR – smaller.


Q23. DPS needs to have a flexible payment structure – open basis, dependent upon the need of governor and contractor

We are aware of the importance of establishing a DPS arrangement that not only attracts SMEs and third sector organisations to engage with it, but which has payment mechanisms that also make contracts called-off from it viable for these providers.