England & Wales

Advice Services: using commissioning to get a good deal for your citizens and for your local authority


This event is being run by Advice UK.

Advice services, which many local authorities fund, face an uncertain future; meanwhile, demand for services continues to grow. Advice UK has been working with local authorities and voluntary sector organisations and this seminar is based on the learning from this work.

This learning has consistently highlighted that advice services are being driven to do the wrong things – to limit the time spent with clients and to focus on delivering transactions and hitting targets rather than on addressing people’s real problems. Advice UK and the partners that it has been working with have been developing new approaches to delivering advice services. Using new design methods and a creative commissioning approach, advice services are shifting to a whole person focus that equips local people to lead independent, resilient and sustainable lives, produces better outcomes and saves public money.

The seminar will provide:

  • An overview and analysis of AdviceUK’s learning and approach
  • An opportunity to debate the learning and compare to local experience
  • The chance to look at how new thinking about advice services could be applied locally and to other services
  • Full understanding, problem solving: whole person approach
  • Commissioning advice services for value


10.10   Arrival and refreshments

10.30   Introduction to the day

10.40   Funding, commissioning and perspectives on local advice services

11.10   The current and future environment for users and providers of advice services

11.40   Break

11.50   New thinking about advice services, with case studies:

  • Early intervention and prevention of systemic failure
  • Full understanding, problem solving: whole person approach
  • Commissioning advice services for value

13.00   Lunch

13.45   Recap of the sessions before lunch and energizer

13.55   What can we learn from this and how can it be applied locally?

14.55   Break

15.05   Advice services: a BOLD intervention?

15.30   Evaluation and closing remarks

15.40   End


Phil Jew, Head of Policy & Campaigns and Chilli Reid, Head of Development & Services, AdviceUK

Who should attend?

Councillors with an interest in advice and community services and the role they can play in improving lives of local people, improving local services and saving public money

Officers involved in advice service commissioning, grant funding and development