Navigating through contracting, procurement, tenders and commissioning remains a significant challenge for independent and voluntary sector fostering agencies (IFA). There is ongoing confusion and mis-understanding about what the law allows and what it does not, and which elements of procurement practice can be applied in the best interests of children and spending. NAFP has consulted with IFAs to identify the key issues they are facing in responding effectively to tendering, contracting and procurement at local, sub-regional and regional levels. In the course of this online morning seminar, our guest speaker/facilitator, Ian Brazier, Director, Skyrocket, and former CEO of The Foster Care Co-operative, will present his views and ideas on addressing these key issues, including:

  • Limited or poor consultation often too late in the tender process
  • Spot purchase not being understood by some IFAs and local authorities
  • IFAs having and delivering their own contract for spot purchases, whether signed and returned or not
  • Pricing issues which could perhaps be addressed with variant bid discussions
  • The understanding and calculation of placement costs
  • Complexity resulting in increases in costs, sometimes in breach of government policy
  • The function of an IPA within a contract
  • Lack of training, baseline data and contract preparation


Ian Brazier is an ex-army officer (34 years service all over the world and latterly Commanding Officer at Northwood HQ) and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute with a Strategic Planning and Development Diploma from the Manchester Business School. He has wide-ranging experience in both military and family welfare issues and joined The Foster Care Co-operative in 2009. Ian has extensive knowledge of business administration within the fostering sector, including governance, business planning, and budgets and accounts. He is also very well versed in both company and contract law, which together with his procurement skills, makes him hugely successful when submitting tenders for admission to fostering frameworks.

Skyrocket is an NAFP training partner.

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