Decision details

ESF Skills for Growth Commissioning – Health and Social Care Skills contract award

Decision Maker: Chief Executive Officer GMCA & TfGM

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


GMCA have run a competitive process and Acorn Training’s submission scored highest after evaluation.

2 submissions were received and were sent to a full evaluation panel. The submissions were checked by GMCA’s Information Governance Team and were found to be acceptable. The finances of the bidding companies were also checked, along with the safeguarding policies 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. Acorn Training scored particularly well in a number of areas of the evaluation, including the mobilisation and implementation, financial value for money, and performance management and monitoring sections. Their social value response was also scored as exceeding exceptions.

Following the moderation, Acorn Training 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 such as the provider’s approach to their delivery model. Following this meeting, the panel were satisfied that the moderation scores were accurate, and Acorn Training should be awarded the ESF Skills for Growth Commissioning – Health and Social Care Skills contract.


Following a competitive procurement process using GMCA’s Education Work and Skills Flexible Procurement System, GMCA wishes to award a £3m contract to Acorn Training. This is part of the Skills for Growth programme and focuses on Health and Social Care Skills.

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 options being implemented.

Publication date: 01/10/2021

Date of decision: 01/10/2021