Commissioning care & support services

Social Services commission a range of services from small to medium-sized third sector providers to deliver or support the delivery of services to local service users and residents.  

  • Are you a small to medium sized third-sector organisation?
  • Are you considering proposing a service for people in the Stirling area under contract with Stirling Council?

Purchasing services from third sector providers

The Council makes decisions on the purchasing of services from third sector providers on the basis of our selection criteria which takes account of guidance on legal and good practice requirements from the Scottish Procurement Directorate and our Corporate Procurement team.  We make decisions in line with the Council's priorities for service delivery and Best Value principles in terms of public expenditure.  This process is separate from the process of awarding grant funding to local voluntary organisations in the local third sector.

Eligible organisations should have:

  • Charitable aims and objectives
  • Activities focused primarily in the Stirling area
  • A board of directors, or management committee, comprising volunteers
  • Fewer than 25 paid Full Time Equivalent local employees
  • Volunteering opportunities and training for local people

The application process

Preliminary questionnaire

Each potential third sector service provider is asked to complete a preliminary questionnaire about its organisation.

The questionnaire is designed to establish if the organisation is structured, staffed and equipped to deliver a service and includes questions about.

  • Organisational structure and legal status
  • Professional conduct
  • Financial details
  • Insurance
  • Technical capacity
  • Resources, including staffing
  • Health and safety
  • Quality management
  • Policies and procedures

If your organisation is involved, or intends to become involved in providing care, you will be asked additional questions about your capacity, ability and eligibility to provide such services.   This may include questions about Care Inspectorate registration.

The submission or approval of a preliminary questionnaire does not guarantee that the Council will award a contract or issue a service specification to your organisation.  It establishes the organisation's suitability or otherwise for consideration for a service contract and may initiate formal discussion with Council service personnel.

Invitations to propose

Should Social Services decide that it requires a service which your organisation could provide and that you are an eligible and suitable provider, you may be invited to respond to a service specification with a view to negotiating a service contract.

The service specification is the Council's description of the services it wishes to purchase and it will focus on the outcomes that it expects for the service users from the services provided.  The service specification will be the basis for discussion and negotiation between the commissioners of the service (Council officers) and the organisation's board of directors and/or manager.  The specification will include the evaluation criteria that commissioning officers will use to assess the proposal.  Your proposal may be considered as one of a number of proposals submitted by eligible third sector organisations.

Further information and advice

Our Commissioning and Contracts team can offer guidance in relation to the process of submitting your expressions of interest, answers to preliminary questions, draft proposals, etc.  Where possible, the team will facilitate communication between your organisation and the commissioners of the service during negotiations on specifications and contracts.

The team can not offer guidance on the service content of your proposal or in any way make commitments about the award of contracts or budget allocations without the authorisation of the commissioning officers.

There are a number of sources of information and advice for third sector organisations involved in the provision of public services and the management of contracts.  The contracts team can offer some sign-posting in relation to these sources.

Contact us:

Email us

Phone us:

01786 233882

Write to us:

Commissioning and Contracts team
Stirling Council
Municipal Buildings
8-10 Corn Exchange Road

You may also wish to contact:

Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise

4 King's Street



Tel: 01786 430000


Business Gateway - Stirling

John Player building

Stirling Enterprise Park



Tel: 0845 609 6611 or 01786 463416


Community Planning Partnership

Stirling Council

Old Viewforth


Tel: 01786 443184

Voluntary Sector Social Services Workforce Unit

Jubilee House

Forthside Way



Tel: 01786 849752

Skills Development Scotland