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Set up central management hub

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This stage is about setting up the central hub that will run the consortium business, scope for contracts, network with commissioners and hopefully bring in contracts.

Outcomes for this stage

Key activities for this stage

  1. Work out all the tasks that you see the hub doing and who is best placed to deliver each function.
  2. Develop and agree service standards and procedures for managing the performance of the hub.
  3. (If outsourcing the hub) Develop and agree a service specification for the hub function.
  4. (If keeping in-house) Develop job descriptions and person specifications for any permanent or consultancy roles.
  5. Recruit hub staff.

Roles of the hub function

The following list of roles could sit with one central staff team, or could be outsourced to member organisations or externally. They do not necessarily all need to be delivered by the same organisation (see options for how the hub is delivered).

Options for how the hub is delivered

This is more straightforward for managing agent or managing provider consortia where the contract management sits with the lead partner.

For newly constituting consortia with no track record of trading or employing staff, a common solution is to subcontract management functions to a member organisation, or an independent organisation like a local infrastructure organisation or council for voluntary service. The subcontracting option is attractive because it avoids investing in paid staff and office space prior to the consortium winning contracts. Subcontracting also avoids the consortium needing to develop its own employment and HR capacity and systems.

Examples of different hub models

Central staff team

The Families Health & Wellbeing Consortium, based in Blackburn with Darwen, is another example of a consortium with a central staff team.

Virtual hub

Harrow Community Action operates with a virtual hub (no staff employed).

Outsource to a member

Peterborough Plus opted to outsource the hub function to Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service. The two organisations remain co-located and sharing staff, and this gives the consortium the opportunity to grow and contract as needed. Peterborough Plus has a formal contract in place with the CVS for delivery of hub function services. Shared staff must account for their time, otherwise it could be seen that the CVS is subsidising the consortium.

Outsource externally

This could be considered as an option if you feel an external provider could offer the relevant expertise and experience. At this point in time, we are not aware of any consortia that have outsourced their hub function externally.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 22 March 2021

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