The benefits of a managed service for your school’s temporary staff needs

Did you know there is a way to have a relationship with a single supplier for all of your agency supply needs? This month, Miranda Broadley from the CCS supply teachers team discusses what a managed service is and how your school or multi-academy trust can benefit.

Let’s start with what is a managed service and then I’ll help you explore if it could it be right for you. 

Put simply, a managed service means a single supplier manages several temporary staffing agencies on your behalf, so you only have to go to one place to go to find a worker. 

What a managed service provider does

All managed service providers will do the following things for you:

  • Be a single point of contact. This means your school or multi-academy trust (MAT) only has to go to one place to find a worker instead of ringing multiple agencies.
  • Provide structured information and reporting. You will get regular reporting on the agency workforce provided to your school or MAT. This will help you budget for costs and manage workforce planning.  
  • Market intelligence. You can get benchmarking information and market intelligence.
  • Negotiate with agencies. Your managed service provider will negotiate with agencies regarding the mark-up element they charge you.  
  • Compliance. The managed service provider will be accountable for all of the compliance of the workers they provide to you, giving you peace of mind.
  • Accuracy of all charges. Managed service providers often use a technology system called a vendor management system (VMS). This ensures that charges are accurate and timesheets aren’t duplicated.
  • Audits of agencies. Managed service providers audit the agencies for you to ensure adherence to the contract terms.
  • Handling all invoices. Managed service providers can consolidate billing for you. This means you can move from having one timesheet and invoice per worker per week, to one consolidated weekly or monthly bill, depending on your needs. This will greatly reduce the time you need to spend processing paperwork.
  • Tiering of agencies based on performance. You can add agencies to your roster and track how well they are performing and ensure that agencies that perform best get more chances of filling a role, keeping them incentivised to work hard for you.
  • Management of the temporary workforce. Need to discuss a worker matter? You only have one place to go: your managed service provider. 

How does it work?

You would contact the managed service provider with details of the role you have available and they would fill it.

The CCS supply teachers deal offers a choice of two different kinds of managed service providers – master vendors (lot 2), and neutral vendors (lot 3).  

A master vendor first looks for candidates themselves. If they can’t fill the role for you, they then send the role on to other agencies to fill. A neutral vendor sends the role straight on to their roster of agencies to fill.   

How do you know if a managed service is right for you?

If your school, group of schools or MAT spends a lot on supply staff – typically upwards of £500,000 a year – then a managed service might suit you.  

That being said, there isn’t a minimum spend threshold before you can access a managed service provider, so if your spend is less and you feel it could be the right option for you, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

If you are unsure about choosing a managed service straightaway, there is also the opportunity to use the framework’s preferred supplier list through lot 1 and transition to a managed service solution at a later date. 

If you choose the managed service option, you will still benefit from all the other features of the supply teachers deal. These include robust background checks on workers, free temp-to-perm transfers after 12 weeks subject to 4 weeks’ notice and bespoke management information on your spend. And as you’d expect, you’ll be able to access the same trusted support from the CCS team whenever you need it.

Getting started

If you want to go down the master vendor route, we advise running a further competition (also sometimes referred to as a mini competition) through lot 2. We’re on hand to support you throughout the process. 

The further competition process will help you establish what is important to you and tailor the requirement to meet your needs before you invite suppliers to bid. This may result in suppliers offering you more competitive rates. 

Alternatively, if you want a neutral vendor managed service, you can directly award without a further competition as there is only one supplier on lot 3.  

Once you have appointed a supplier, it will take on average 12-16 weeks to get set up. We can support you with the roll out across your schools/academies.

Next steps

If you would like to discuss the managed service option in more detail please call us on 0345 410 2222. 

You can also fill in our online form or email info@crowncommercial.gov.uk mentioning ‘managed service solutions for supply teachers’ in the comments box or subject line. 

View full details of the supply teachers deal