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What is the Assisted Service and how can it help you when it comes to buying public sector goods and services?

Procurement Essentials is a series of articles to help you overcome common hurdles, understand key concepts, and make your life as a buyer of everyday goods and services easier.

Public sector procurement can appear to be complex and daunting but there are numerous sources of advice, good practice and resources out there that you can tap into that can help you to get the best possible results

CCS recognises the needs of smaller organisations that may not employ procurement professionals and are proud to offer help and support by providing assistance with the conduct of further competitions against our (CCS) Agreements. Assisted Procurement is just one of the ways in which Crown Commercial Service (CCS) can help you and your organisation get the best solution for your procurement needs.

It’s an end-to-end procurement service offered by CCS and is available to all public and third sector organisations with no charge, hidden fees or subscriptions.

CCS has also produced a handy glossary of terms for everyone who needs to deal with public sector procurement – whether you’re new to the process or a seasoned professional we know that jargon and terminology can be confusing sometimes.

Why should I use an Assisted Service?

At CCS we understand that not every organisation is an expert in procurement. For many, especially smaller public sector organisations, the procurement journey can be both daunting and time consuming, especially if it’s not something you regularly need to do as part of your day job. 

Additionally, our customer’s procurement teams often need to handle other elements of the buying lifecycle, such as contract and supplier management. Therefore a helping hand with the procurement process can free up time for other strategic priorities. 

Our Assisted Service is specially designed for customer organisations who don’t have the resource or capability to run their own procurement process and can help to reduce the time, effort, and cost of finding high quality suppliers to deliver contracts. We have a team of procurement professionals with experience in running tenders across all our agreements.

What can I procure using the Assisted Service?

Any common goods and services available through our CCS agreements are covered by the Assisted Service, therefore providing we can run the call off through one of our agreements then we can help you. See below for our contact details. We do not provide the Assisted Service against other provider frameworks or through an open market/Find a Tender Service route. 

Who will be running my procurement? 

As a customer of ours, you will be assigned procurement lead, who will handle your request

The Procurement Leads handle a small number of tenders at any one time and are therefore available to provide a high level of service and support to customers. When your request is accepted, a Procurement Lead will be allocated to you and will be your single point of contact throughout the procurement process. 

The Procurement Lead will: 

  • prepare robust documentation in collaboration with the lead customer, using our standard templates which are up to date with best practice, policy and Procurement Policy Notice. 
  • issue the approved documentation to the suppliers using our secure eSourcing Platform and handle the supplier clarification period 
  • arrange and lead the evaluation of the bids including providing training to technical evaluators, managing the moderation process and taking notes to ensure a clear audit trail
  • conduct the commercial evaluation in most instances and handle any bid clarifications as requested by the customer 
  • draft a recommendation report to outline the successful supplier, full details of the entire process and any procurement risks and issues for the customer to be aware of 
  • draft and issue contractual documentation including contract schedules, letters and supplier feedback 
  • handle all transparency obligations in line with policy 

What is my responsibility? 

The customer is responsible for providing a complete Statement of Requirements (SOR)/Specification and any supporting materials that suppliers will need to see such as requirements from central or local government who provide your funding. All other documents are owned by the Procurement Lead but will require customer input and approval.

The customer is responsible for providing technical evaluators to review and score the bids received. Additionally, the customer will need to agree on the sourcing approach and timeline at the start of the process. The Procurement Leads are happy to work with the end customer/user directly but will keep in close contact with the commercial team if and when appropriate. 

How do I access the Assisted Service?

The service can be accessed in two ways. 

The most effective way to access the Assisted Service is through your Account Manager within the Customer Experience Directorate. Sharing a pipeline of activity allows your Account Manager to support the Assisted Service Team with planning resources. 

The Account Manager will require high level detail of the procurement 12 weeks before the SOR is sent in. The Procurement Lead is allocated when this information is sent in but work will not start on the procurement until the SOR is received on the agreed date.

Please note, this is not 12 weeks before the award of a contract or issue of the ITT. The Procurement Lead will agree on specific dates with the customer when the SOR is received. 

If you do not have an account manager or are completely new to CCS, please contact us using the details below and we can help you. There is no charge for this, or any of our services.

For procurement needs that arise due to unforeseen circumstances, a SOR and a Request For Procurement Action Form will need to be completed and sent to If a Procurement Lead is available they will be allocated to your case, if a Procurement Lead is not available then the request will be declined. This approach is designed for when a need has become apparent at short notice. CCS does not recommend this approach for BAU procurement where we would recommend our usual offering.

Please remember: The more notice we have of your requirement, the more likely the Assisted Service will be able to support your procurement.

Who has used the Assisted Service?

The Assisted Service team have supported multiple customers across Central Government and Wider Public Sector including the NHS, police and local councils. We have a great track record of providing outstanding customer service and delivering fantastic value for money for a wide range of customers. 

CCS helped deliver procurements for customers worth a total annual contract value of £5 billion through our Assisted Service during 2021/22.

For further information on using the Assisted Service, please contact your Account Manager or

More: You can now find all of our Procurement Essentials articles in one place on our website.

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