CCPS Insights Podcasts on ethical commissioning and procurement

We’ve launched a series of podcasts focusing on the vital issue of ethical commissioning, with experts from across the sector sharing their views.

Our new series of podcasts features a range of experts sharing their views on the ethical commissioning principles developed by the Scottish Government.

The principles were introduced to promote the move to more collaborative, outcomes-based commissioning and procurement practices that support high quality, person-centred care, fair work, sustainability for providers and real choice and control for individuals under Self Directed Support (SDS).

Introducing the podcasts, Catherine Garrod, CCPS’s Programme Manager (Commissioning and Procurement), said:

“If fully implemented, CCPS believes that the ethical commissioning principles could make a real difference to the way that social care support is commissioned (planned), procured (purchased) and delivered.

“A move away from traditional price-based competition to greater collaboration and outcomes-focussed commissioning and contracting will lead to better outcomes for individuals, support that meets people’s needs, greater sustainability for third sector support providers and a workforce that is fully valued and rewarded for the work that they do.”

“Our new podcasts feature provocative and thoughtful discussion of these issues from a variety of expert voices. We hope they’ll be of interest to CCPS members and everyone in our sector committed to delivering on our shared vision for ethical commissioning in social care.”

The podcasts are produced by Spreng Thomson and hosted by Dylan Macdonald. They were commissioned by the CCPS Commissioning and Procurement Programme, which is funded by Scottish Government. See below list of episodes.

1. Overview of ethical commissioning principles and why they matter

In this first episode, we hear contributions from Dr Catherine Needham, Professor of Public Policy and Public Management at the University of Birmingham, Rachel Cackett CEO of CCPS, and Andrea Wood, Convener of CCPS and CEO of the social care provider Key.

Introducing the topic, Catherine and Rachel share their views, experiences and learning regarding ethical commissioning and the impact it has for the sector, as well as everyone involved in social care. Later in the episode Andrea Wood discusses the importance of procurement principles, touching on many of the aspects explored by Catherine and Rachel.

2. Person Centred Care, SDS, supporting a diverse market of support

The second podcast features contributions from Pauline Lunn, CEO of In Control Scotland, Linda Tuthill, CEO of The Action Group, and Des McCart, Senior Programme Manager Improvement Hub (ihub) at Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

The group look at the importance of having a diverse market of support for individuals to choose from and why it is vital people are involved in the decision-making behind their support provider and support needs.

3. Fair Work in practice and financial transparency

On this episode, we hear from Anna Fowlie, CEO of SCVO and Viv Dickenson, Chief Executive of CrossReach.

The discussion focusses on how changes to the way support is commissioned, procured and contracted can help deliver fair work. The contributors also discuss the positive impact that can come from embedding fair work in contracts and sustainable rates, and the value of effective training and workforce development.

4. Principles on high quality care and outcomes for individuals

This episode explores high quality care, with Dylan Macdonald’s guests discussing how to support the move to outcomes-based commissioning and contracting and a focus on quality, not price.

Joining the debate are Geoff Mark and Innes Turner from the Care Inspectorate, part of Scottish Government, alongside Toby Lowe, Visiting Professor at Centre for Public Impact.

5. Examples of good practice

For the final episode, we hear from Amy Hurst, Head of Practice at Collaborate CIC, SallyAnn Kelly OBE, Chief Executive Officer at Aberlour, and Gary Wallace, Public Health Specialist at Plymouth City Council.

The spotlight is on good practice examples across the care sector and the positive impact of moving to an ethical commissioning approach.

Listen to all episodes on Spotify 

Find out more about CCPS’s Commissioning and Procurement Programme

Family support conference: learning points, links and resources

A summary of our recent event, Whole Family Support: The Power of Prevention – Keeping the Promise for Children and Families Across Scotland   

On 15 May 2023, CCPS, alongside partners The Promise Scotland and Children in Scotland’s Supporting the Third Sector Project, ran a conference exploring how the third sector is innovating, making an impact and driving better outcomes for children and families in Scotland. 

Chaired by Pennie Taylor and supported by CCPS Children’s Committee organisations Children 1st, Action for Children Scotland, Aberlour and Barnardo’s Scotland, the joint event examined: 

  • How the third sector is leading transformational change in partnership
  • What that change looks like and how the Whole Family Wellbeing Fund can support it, and
  • How we can learn from this to achieve our shared goal of accessible whole family support across Scotland for families when they need it. 

On this page you’ll find a series of links to resources covering politics and practice explored at the event, alongside illustrations by Edinburgh College of Art students Rachel Collins, Ola Jackiewicz and Ruby Tait, who attended on the day to provide graphic recording.

Illustration: Rachel Collins 

Workshops: key learning points

Alongside our partner, Children in Scotland’s Supporting the Third Sector Project, our Children’s Committee member organisations Aberlour, Action for Children Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland and Children 1st have captured highlights, questions and key learning from the workshops they ran at the conference.

Read a summary of the Supporting the Third Sector Project’s workshop (PDF)

Read a summary of Aberlour’s workshop (PDF) 

Read a summary of Action for Children Scotland’s workshop (PDF) 

Read a summary of Barnardo’s Scotland’s workshop (PDF) 

Read a summary of Children 1st’s workshop (PDF) 

Illustration: Ola Jackiewicz 

Family support case studies

We’ve published a series of case studies marking the impact and value of family support, provided by Aberlour, Action for Children Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland and Children 1st.

Read the case studies

Commissioning & Procurement policy and resources 

CCPS runs a Commissioning and Procurement programme focused on national and local policy and practice change, an area that’s highly relevant to the family support agenda and which was discussed as part of the conference. We recently produced a Commissioning for Outcomes Guide, which explains what outcomes are, why they matter and what outcome-based commissioning means in principle and practice.

Commissioning and Procurement overview

Commissioning for Outcomes Guide (PDF download)

Event overview 

More information on our family support event held on 15 May 2023 


Illustration: Ruby Tait   

We are hiring

Come work for CCPS and help us shape a reformed social care sector embedded in rights and relationships. We have four exciting vacancies open for recruitment.

Come work for CCPS and help us shape a reformed social care sector embedded in rights and relationships. We have four exciting vacancies open for recruitment.

The Coalition of Care and Support Providers is at the heart of influencing Scotland’s radical social care reform agenda.  It’s a busy landscape right now, with great opportunities to make a tangible difference for more than a quarter of a million people supported every year by our membership of over 90 not-for-profit social care and support providers.

We want to see a social care sector in Scotland where individuals and families can genuinely realise their own aspirations, and thrive, through support which is rooted in human rights and meaningful relationships. And we want social care to be designed collaboratively, delivered locally and accessible equitably to everyone who needs it.

As an organisation, we want to live these values, with integrity, in how we work with each other, with our members and with our partners.

Sound interesting? Click on the link below for more information. Closing date is 9am, 5th June 2023

Policy and Projects Officers (4 vacancies available)

C&P: Commissioning for Outcomes

The Independent Review of Adult Social Care 2021 made recommendations for significant and transformational changes to the way that social care is commissioned and procured including recommending a move to ethical commissioning and a focus on achieving better outcomes for individuals.

The Independent Review of Adult Social Care 2021 made recommendations for significant and transformational changes to the way that social care is commissioned and procured including recommending a move to ethical commissioning and a focus on achieving better outcomes for individuals: ‘We want to see an end to an emphasis on price and competition and to see the establishment of a more collaborative, participative and ethical commissioning framework for social care services and supports, squarely focused on achieving better outcomes for people using these services and improving the experience of the staff delivering them. By shifting emphasis in this way, we believe Scotland can deliver social care supports more fairly and more sustainably.’

In response to the recommendations, CCPS set up a Commissioning for Outcomes Project of local authority commissioners, providers and disabled people to develop a practical guide to Commissioning for Outcomes

Digital: Collaborative Solutions

Heriot-Watt Ambient Assisted Living Project

Follow the links below to our video and podcast exploring the scope and potential of this new research project launched by Heriot-Watt and partners, working with supported peopled and using remote access to their assisted living lab, to find digital solutions to challenges presented during the Covid pandemic

The Ambient Assisted Living Project at Heriot-Watt University demonstrates the effectiveness of seeking collaborative solutions in the care and support sector. By finding innovative ways to collaborate with supported people and stakeholders across the development of new technologies, scientists at Heriot-Watt University will be able to ensure assisted living technology in the future meets the needs of those who use it.


Researchers at Heriot-Watt University are now looking to engage with people who use, or may benefit from using digital assistive technology. Please get in touch if you, your organisation or the people you support are interested in participating in the project – all perspectives are welcome!

What do collaborative solutions look like?

Listen to our brand new podcast below to hear about why Sight Scotland have partnered with Heriot-Watt University and the Ambient Assisted Living Project to collaborate with supported people and how they have adopted digital during Covid

Blackwood are also involved in the Heriot-Watt project. Check out the video below to see how they have adopted collaborative solutions to provide improved outcomes for the people they support.

This video provides a quick run through of the 24 brand new, highly accessible, beautiful, Blackwood Homes based in Helenvale in the East End of Glasgow. These new properties are designed to enable the occupier to live life as independently as possible. The new homes have rise and fall kitchen counter tops and cabinets, remote activated raising/lowering blinds and video door entry system. The bathroom boasts the Eclisse Pocket doors, adjustable Pressalit rail system and Geberit toilet systems ensuring maximum adaptability to fit the user’s needs.

This is all supported by Blackwood’s bespoke digital care system, CleverCogs™. Each customer receives a digital device preloaded with CleverCogs™ and Blackwood provide training to support people to access their calendar to see their upcoming care visits and to use the video calling feature to contact family and friends. CleverCogs™ can be personalised to access a user’s specific interests and control some of the smart elements in their new home such as the remote activated blinds. Not only will the new tenants receive traditional care visits but also, through CleverCogs™, be able to access Blackwood’s 24/7 Support Service. This means that a friendly, supporting staff member can be contacted at any time.

Digital: Service Transformation

How has digital helped to continue support people living with dementia and their carers?

Alzheimer Scotland

How has digital helped to continue support people living with dementia and their carers?

Alzheimer Scotland has developed many new ideas to keep contact with the people they work with, including weekly digital quizzes hosted by volunteers involving people with dementia, family members and carers. We captured a few choice moments from a recent session with volunteer Ellen, Jim, who has been diagnosed with dementia for about 4 years, and Eugene – caring for his wife Roseanna.  Both previously attended face to face events, however due to Covid-19, Alzheimer staff had to find alternative methods of support. Over the last 8 months the online group have become friends. Most of their time is spent laughing and joking with each other and staff say watching this natural friendship grow has been priceless. Furthermore, neither like to lose, so the competition is stiff and keeps the game very lively indeed!

The second story shows a few moments from a Weekly Carer Conversation. These provide an opportunity for carers to come together to speak to other family members offering advice, information and support to each other. Ian cares for his wife Anne; Eugene cares for his wife Roseanna; and new to the group is Pat, who cares for her husband Jim. The group have built a trusting connection and look to each other for that much needed peer and emotional support. As well as the formal support, the weekly digital video call offers a chance to escape the caring role for an hour. The group chat and laugh together and have built up a lovely friendship. These calls have been some of the funniest over the past 8 months, thanks to the great sense of humour and the love of going off on a tangent or two….There is no doom or gloom on these Friday calls and they really set people up for the weekend!

Quarriers Resilience for Wellbeing Project

Watch our latest video below to learn more about how one small mental wellbeing project in the Scottish Borders went digital in a matter of days at the start of the lockdown.

When COVID-19 forced Scotland into lockdown, vital services such as the Quarriers Resilience for Wellbeing Project, based in schools and working to support young people’s mental wellbeing, had to rethink how they could deliver a formerly face-to-face service. Over a short period of time, Quarriers were able to transform their project and run it virtually for the duration of the lockdown. This switch also allowed practitioners to prioritise their own mental wellbeing during such unprecedented times.

Digital: Workforce Wellbeing

CPPS Digital: Care and Support Innovation through COVID-19

Take a look at our brand new podcast series, CCPS Digital: Care and Support Innovation through Covid-19, to hear about the workforce wellbeing innovations CCPS members have made this year, as well as the Scottish Government’s new National Wellbeing Hub (find out more at

Episode 1 features Katherine Wainwright, Director of People and Culture at Scottish Autism, talking about the importance of worker wellbeing and the development of the National Wellbeing Hub (approx 14 mins)

Episode 2 features Dr Claire Fyvie, NHS psychologist, talking about why worker wellbeing is so important during this pandemic and how the National Wellbeing Hub can help (approx 11 mins)

Episode 3 features Tracey McFall, Chief Executive of Partners in Advocacy, talking about how they have used digital to support their staff during the pandemic and integrated this into their strategic thinking (approx 23 mins)

Episode 4 features Pauline Cavanaugh, Advocacy Manager at Partners in Advocacy, talking about involving staff and the practical steps taken to encourage staff creativity, wellbeing and learning using digital tools (approx 17 mins)

Episode 5 features Linda Tuthill, Chief Executive and Jennifer Dow, Development Manager, from the Action Group, talking about their experience and practical measures taken to create a culture that embraces digital and the wellbeing benefits that have accrued (approx 19 mins)

Social Care Pressures

The cost-of-living crisis is having a profoundly negative effect on social care providers in the third sector.

The cost-of-living crisis is having a profoundly negative effect on social care providers in the third sector. Our members are facing increasing bills and shortages in staffing, whilst they prepare for increasing demand. And they are facing all of this without uplifts to the funding they receive to deliver care and support.

CCPS is working with our 91 members to influence national decision-making so that third sector social care and support providers can deliver crucial and sustainable services for people across Scotland. With our members we have produced our winter manifesto: Urgent Action for Urgent Times and have shared this with the Scottish Government, CoSLA and the Scottish Parliament.  It builds on a survey we conducted with members this autumn to share in a briefing with the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee as they assessed national plans for the winter.  We are clear – the changes we are asking for are needed urgently.

As our work to increase sustainability in social care progresses, we will post more updates here.

Rachel Cackett

Chief Executive Officer

URGENT NEWS: CCPS leadership responds to Draft Budget 2023-24

CCPS members met to discuss the draft Scottish Budget on 19 December and expressed both disappointment and anger at the Scottish Government’s lack of recognition or appreciation of the crisis facing third sector social care and support providers. The CCPS Board and CEO have written a letter to the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care requesting an urgent meeting before the Budget Bill is passed. We have highlighted the ongoing lack of parity and respect for our sector and questioned the national commitment to Fair Work. We note to the Scottish Government ministers that, “There simply will not be a sustainable third sector available to deliver your aspirations if you do not act quickly to deal with the issues we face right now”.

UPDATE 29 November 2022

Following announcement of improved offers to public sector colleagues, which have not been matched by any similar increases for third sector providers to support the principle of Fair Work, CCPS wrote to the Cabinet Secretary to ask for an urgent response to our winter manifesto – particularly around Fair Work. We also asked for clarity on which parts of the health and social care budget are funding the increased offer.

Our Work

Our mission is to identify, represent, promote and safeguard the interests of third sector and not-for-profit social care and support providers in Scotland, so that they can maximise the impact they have on meeting social need.

CCPS is the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland.

Our mission is to identify, represent, promote and safeguard the interests of third sector and not-for-profit social care and support providers in Scotland, so that they can maximise the impact they have on meeting social need.

We aim to provide solutions and thought leadership in policy for the social care sector. Our work is built with the expert voices of our active membership. We engage collaboratively with partners across sectors.

We currently run a number of Scottish Government funded workstreams to help us meet our mission:

Our Commissioning and Procurement Programme is actively building leadership, promoting new ideas and supporting change towards the all-important delivery of ethical commissioning and procurement in social care.  We work in active partnership with commissioners, providers and supported people.

Our Workforce Development Network supports third sector social care providers to contribute to national workforce agendas and works to underpin essential sustainability for the sector.  This includes influencing the national Fair Work agenda, the future of regulation and workforce planning.

Our Digital Programme provides support, information, learning and development opportunities to third sector providers in the digital arena, as well as running problem solving networks.  It is now heavily engaged in helping to shape digital opportunities through the National Care Service.

Our Children and Young People’s Programme gathers expertise from the sector to influence key areas of national work, such as the Whole Family Wellbeing Fund.

In addition, we work with our membership to influence the wider reform agenda through the National Care Service, we speak up for the sector around wider issues of sustainability during these difficult economic times, and we were a key player in ensuring the needs of the sector have been reflected in COVID planning.

CCPS also hosts the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum and the Housing Support Enabling Unit (in collaboration with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations).


Rachel Cackett

Chief Executive Officer

All about careers in social care

A downloadable resource for recruitment and raising awareness of the sector

Please download and make use of our information sheet about the careers available in social care in the voluntary sector.

This is a two-page resource looking at:

  • Who can work in social care (information on qualifications, skills and criminal records)
  • The range of jobs that are available
  • Personal care – when and how it fits into a social care role
  • What working in social care means for your pay, job security, working patterns and career development

Click on the photo to view PDF file