Decision details

ESF Skills for Growth Commissioning – Digital Skills for Growth & Productivity contract award

Decision Maker: Chief Executive Officer GMCA & TfGM

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


MCA have run a competitive process and NWSA’s submission scored highly after evaluation.

1 submission was received and was sent to a full evaluation panel. The submission was checked by GMCA’s Information Governance Team and was found to be acceptable. The finances of the bidding company were also checked, along with the safeguarding policy submitted.

The Invitation to Tender comprised of 3 parts, covering (75%) Quality, (15%) Social Value and (10%) Price.

The Successful provider’s scores were deemed acceptable and comprehensive throughout their submission and offered an economically advantageous tender. Despite being the only bid, the evaluation panel felt that NWSA’s scores were sufficient for the procurement process to continue without reopening this tender to the market. The panel were pleased with the bidder’s delivery model, along with their responses looking at engagement and stakeholder management, as well as performance management and monitoring.

In addition, NWSA’s bid included a strong supply chain including Appretify, The Coders Guild, Growth Company, Back 2 Work, Manchester Digital, and UK Skills Academy. The panel felt that this supply chain is well thought through and will be able to deliver the content of this programme under NWSA as Prime.

Following the moderation, NWSA were invited to a clarification meeting to allow the panel to receive some additional details around their bid. This included gaining a further understanding of topics including the provider’s approach to their delivery model; supply chain queries; employer involvement. Following this meeting, the panel were satisfied that the moderation scores were accurate, and NWSA should be awarded the ESF Skills for Growth Commissioning – Digital Skills for Growth & Productivity contract.


Following a competitive procurement process using GMCA’s Education Work and Skills Flexible Procurement System, GMCA wishes to award a £2m contract to North West Skills Academy (NWSA). This is part of the Skills for Growth programme and focuses on Digital Skills for Growth & Productivity.

Delivery is expected to start no later than end of October 2021, enrolments must finish by end of March 2023, and all contract activity and support must conclude by the end of September 2023. Exceptional performance may result in discussions around extension option being implemented.

Publication date: 01/10/2021

Date of decision: 01/10/2021