Housing sector

PCIP can be a game-changer for housing sector procurement

Kingdom and Glasgow West Housing Association talk about their positive experiences with the PCIP

Public procurement is a valuable function that is carried out across the public sector – and it is assessed, measured and improved by the Procurement and Trade Improvement Program (PCIP).

Excel Scotland offers a PCIP assessment to each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities and its over 100 public service members, which include a significant number of housing associations. The PCIP is an evidence-based assessment tool that develops procurement capability, identifies opportunities for financial savings and other social, economic and environmental benefits as part of a continual improvement program within of an organization.

How it works

The PCIP focuses on the policies and procedures that drive procurement performance and the results they produce. Scotland Excel can conduct an exam designed to assess the performance of the Scottish public sector using a uniform set of questions as benchmarks and produce a bespoke improvement report on the result achieved.

The report can be used by the organization to see how it can improve its continuous supply journey in a way that will allow it to establish best practices. Each local authority, housing association and others who have a responsibility for procurement can then use the results as the basis for improving procurement capability across the organisation, determining priorities for the coming year and allocate resources to implement them.

The PCIP allows an organization to see exactly where their expenditures have taken place, decide how to ensure further improvement and aim to have it implemented by the next assessment.

What happens next

The program is led by Colin Taylor, Housing Services Manager within Scotland Excel’s Housing team. He explains: “The service has become a well-established program that has continued to evolve since its inception in 2015.

“Once an organization understands how its money has been spent and where, it enables a clear view for decision-making. When the entire organization accepts the benefits of improved procurement, it can make a significant contribution to the way the organization operates. »

From there, using Scotland Excel’s range of construction Frameworks can be economically beneficial no matter where the housing need is new construction, housing renovations, tenant repairs and other construction work.

Two housing associations that have used the PCIP are the Glasgow West Housing Association and the Kingdom Housing Association.

Kingdom Housing Association

Calum Kippen, Head of Governance and Organizational Support at Kingdom Housing Association, said: “We have found the PCIP process extremely helpful. This allowed us to focus on our procurement process and our performance against a set of standards and metrics.

“Scotland Excel visited our offices and reviewed our sourcing practices. They highlighted good practices and offered advice and assistance in areas for improvement. This allowed us to put in place a clear procurement improvement action plan across all departments of the organization to continue striving and improving our PCIP score in the future.

“We have benefited from our membership of Scotland Excel; we have access to all of their sourcing frameworks covering all of our businesses. Being able to override these frames removes the supply risk of setting up and contracting your own frames and the economies of scale ensure better value for money. Through Scotland Excel we can also access consultancy and support services. An added benefit is the enhanced assurance provided regarding procurement compliance.

“We encourage all Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) to undertake a PCIP with Scotland Excel. We look forward to welcoming Colin and the team to improve our PCIP score!

West Glasgow Housing Association

Daniel Wedge, technical director of the Glasgow West Housing Association (GWHA), described how the association found the PCIP so useful that they have now used it twice.

“The GWHA first participated in the PCIP process in early 2019. There was an initial briefing with Colin, who took the time to outline the background and benefits of his participation; and went on to provide an overview of the assessment step and benchmarking criteria. I encourage others unsure of the process to take these first steps.

“The early conversations effectively launched us into our own self-assessment against the four key factors and gave us the opportunity to gather our supporting evidence ready for the PCIP review. , Colin and his team talked to us about the criteria as we brought our supporting evidence to the spotlight.

“Scotland Excel’s summary report served as a check and validation of our processes and procedures; highlighting areas of good practice and gave us a framework to measure system improvement. The process established a strong baseline ‘brand’, which independently reassured our executive committee and encouraged conversations about further opportunities to enhance the initial ‘brand’ by involving teams across our departments.

“Moving forward to December 2020, we have invited Colin and his colleagues back to GWHA. This second evaluation; mid-pandemic, other than being conducted on Microsoft Teams, followed a very similar format. This conversation focused on areas of the initial PCIP report that GWHA had decided to advance and develop in the interim period as part of our improvement plan.

“The improved ‘rating’ awarded in December 2020 served to recognize GWHA’s strong governance across the organization in regards to our day-to-day procedures, procurement and supplier management. The process was considered a valuable tool by our management committee in the context of demonstrating compliance with our regulatory responsibilities.

“The PCIP process will be different for each participating organization, with real opportunities for those taking the first step in the initial self-assessment and gathering evidence prior to the assessment.”

Get in touch for more information on PCIP and how to organize a session for your organization.