Step-by-step

Thinking of using the Community Right to Challenge? Take a look at our step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Step 1: Assessing your organisation

Delivering public service contracts is a significant undertaking and not one to be embarked upon lightly.

If you are thinking of using the Right to Challenge, you need to be aware that if successful you will trigger a procurement process which might see your group competing with experienced service providers to try to win a contract.

This step is about understanding how ready your organisation is to go through this process, and identifying areas where you need to develop. We recommend the use of our short Contract Readiness Checker (free to use, and only takes 15-20 minutes) as a starting point, but there are lots of other resources and sources of advice.

Step 1: Assessing your organisation

Step 2: Approaching the authority and acquiring service information

This step is about investigating the details of the service you aspire to take on.

Understanding closely the way the service is currently delivered is key to the Right to Challenge as you will need to show very clearly why you think you can run things better.

You may find that there is plenty of research to do at this stage.

Step 2: Approaching the authority and acquiring service information

Step 3: Building your business case

This step is about building a strong business case.

You need to know that you can actually run this service in a way which delivers the right outcomes, to a required standard, and can still make a profit.

You need to have a decent business case in place before you proceed to a Challenge, as your Expression of Interest can be rejected simply because you haven’t shown your organisational capacity, or shown how you can deliver the service in a way which will meet users’ needs and deliver the required outcomes.

Step 3: Building your business case

Step 4: Submitting an expression of interest

This is the point of actually submitting your Challenge – your ‘Expression of Interest’. Your own authority will publicise exactly the way in which you need to do this, but it follows some clear guidelines from the government about what it should involve.

Step 4: Submitting an expression of interest

Step 5: The relevant authority’s decision

At this point you will wait for the authority to respond.

Your Challenge could be accepted (go to step 6), rejected, or pushed back for more information (you might need to review anything you have done from step 1 to step 4).

Step 5: The relevant authority’s decision

Step 6: The procurement exercise

This step is where things get competitive.

If your Challenge was accepted at step 5, you will now have the chance to bid for the right to run the service. You will now have to submit much more information in line with your business case, but other organisations will have the chance to do the same, and the authority will have to choose the best provider, using set ‘procurement’ processes that the authority has to follow.

Step 6: The procurement exercise

Step 7: Getting ready to run the service

This step is where the hard work really starts!  You will still have much to do once you have won the right to deliver the service: negotiating the exact terms of the contract, getting your organisation ready to start and getting any extra investment in that you need.

Step 7: Getting ready to run the service