Working with commissioners

Local public sector commissioners for domestic violence services are facing perhaps the most difficult decisions of recent times, as they themselves face severe cutbacks. Yet wrong decisions in this field can cost lives.

Through the Sustainability Partnership, Women’s Aid and Imkaan have created a free guide, designed to support public sector staff responsible for commissioning services for women and children experiencing and fleeing domestic violence.

Successful commissioning: a guide for commissioning services that support women and children survivors of violence

Successful Commissioning includes clear information on commissioners’ legal duties around domestic violence, the types of services victims and survivors need, and how to measure quality through the tender process.

Starting from the National Audit Office’s position that “successful commissioning means delivering the right outcomes at the right cost”, Women’s Aid and Imkaan are committed to supporting commissioners in what are very challenging decisions during a time of austerity. We are also committed to supporting members at local level to engage effectively with public sector bodies.

As well as the guide, Women’s Aid and Imkaan are offering practical support, advice and guidance to commissioners about service user needs in local areas and commissioning appropriate services to meet it, and are supporting local services to meet commissioners’ needs and work together in partnership and consortia.

In 2014 we ran six National Commissioning Workshops in partnership with the Home Office, Rape Crisis England and Wales, Respect, SafeLives, and survivors. These gave commissioners and services the chance to understand the challenges facing both groups and discuss ways forward.

Successful Commissioning guideThe Guide contains:

  • The National Quality Framework: Background and Context
  • On Track: Women’s Paths to Safety
  • Summary: Women’s Aid Federation of England National Accredited Quality Standards
  • Summary: Imkaan Accredited Quality Standards
  • Summary: The Rape Crisis National Service Standards
  • Guidance for Commissioners
  • 20 Questions for Commissioners of Services for Women Experiencing and Escaping Violence
  • Developing a Local Violence Against Women and Girls Commissioning Strategy
  • Model Tender Document

Download Successful commissioning: a guide for commissioning services that support women and children survivors of violence.

Download Guide

Download individual chapters (PDFs) below:

  1. The National Quality Framework: Background and Context
  2. On Track: Women’s Paths to Safety
  3. Summary: Women’s Aid Federation of England National Accredited Quality Standards
  4. Summary: Imkaan Accredited Quality Standards
  5. Summary: The Rape Crisis National Service Standards
  6. Guidance for Commissioners
  7. 20 Questions for Commissioners of Services for Women Experiencing and Escaping Violence
  8. Developing a Local Violence Against Women and Girls Commissioning Strategy
  9. Model Tender Document

Also available

Women’s Aid Federation of England National Quality Standards

The Women’s Aid National Quality Standards, developed in response to the needs of members, form a set of criteria through which dedicated specialist services addressing domestic violence perpetrated against women and children can evidence their quality.

Learn more

National Quality Standards

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Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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