Adult Education Budget Subcontractor Procurement
(non-devolved only)

We are pleased to confirm the start of our open procurement for the period January 2024 through to July 2024. Our approach is aligned with recent changes made to subcontracting requirements by the ESFA. The procurement is following the light-touch regime outlined in regulations 74 to 77 of the Public Contract Regulations 2015.

Contracts will cover one academic year (2023/24), with a focus predominantly on niche, localised delivery within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and be wholly aligned to the following specialisms:

  • Construction and building services
  • Engineering
  • Business, customer services, administration, human resources, finance and law
  • Health, science, care and public services
  • Education, training and careers
  • Digital skills, IT, creative media and gaming
  • English, English as a second language or maths only where this provision is offered as a secondary qualification alongside any of the provision listed above or as part of a traineeship

The College has a particular interest in subcontracting provision that compliments rather than duplicates provision delivered at its own campuses, or through its online provision.

Where delivery would take place outside of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the College will consider provision that duplicates that delivered by its own campuses or online provision.

The College is seeking to procure up to four suitable training providers to deliver non-devolved Adult Education Budget funded training in line with our subcontracting policy and the ESFA’s published guidance.

The aggregate value of funds available will be up to £980,000 for the 2023/24 academic year in line with the timings stipulated in our ESFA allocation breakdown (August-March and April-July).

The timeline for the procurement is as follows:

  • 7th November 2023: Launch
  • 27th November 2023: Closing date for PQQ returns and due diligence – all submissions to be received by 10.00am.
  • 27th November 2023 to 1st December 2023: Shortlisting and scoring (including financial health)
  • 11th December 2023 to 15th December 2023: Interview panel for shortlisted
  • 18th December 2023: Procurement conclusion and awards
  • 19th December 2023 to 4th January 2024: Standstill period
  • 5th January 2024: Contracts issued for signing

Key procurement requirements

  • We are only seeking to subcontract provision that is wholly aligned to our curriculum specialisms as stated above. Procurement submissions for subject areas outside of our stated specialism will be excluded and not scored.
    • Providers with a current full inspection (within the past 3 years) outcome of ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ will score highly.
    • Monitoring visit judgements of ‘reasonable’ and ‘significant’ progress will also score positively.
    • Providers whose most recent full inspection outcome is ‘inadequate’ or whose most recent monitoring visit report includes one or more ‘insufficient progress’ judgments will be excluded from this procurement process.
    • We will consider training providers with no standing Ofsted grade.
  • Though Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are our key target areas for delivery and will score more favourably than provision outside of these geographic areas, procurement submissions for provision to be delivered in our neighbouring counties (Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and Sussex) will also be considered. Provision delivered beyond those counties will only be considered if delivery is undertaken online or in line with our policy.
  • The College will retain 20% of the funding drawn down against the provision to be delivered. This figure represents the total cost that the College incurs in effectively identifying, selecting and managing all subcontracted provision. This figure also includes the minimum amount of quality management that the college would attach to the lowest possible risk subcontractor. Our intent is to only collaborate with the best training providers who share our commitment to excellence, and whose curriculum is aligned to our specialisms and regional demands.
  • However, contracts will have a clause that will allow us to increase the level of funding retained should our costs increase due to subcontractor underperformance. This fee increase will be a result of subcontractor underperformance which will result in a formal notice to improve (NTI) being issued. An NTI will trigger College intervention which will increase our expected costs of managing the contract.
  • The College expects that all learners funded via a subcontract will have started their learning no later than June 30th 2024.
  • The College will not be procuring for National Skills Fund provision.

You can see a list of our frequently asked questions here.


All communications and submissions should be sent to


View our subcontracting policy here.


Please download and complete the required forms by clicking the button below (zip file containing 5 documents).

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