17th June 2020
Welcome to the CCS Handbook series, which covers everything you need to know about the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework for the DfE-approved Supply Teachers and Agency Workers deal.
The framework is designed to help schools get value for money and find agencies who follow best practices in safeguarding and compliance.
The Crown Commercial Service is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office of the UK government, and the largest public procurement organisation in the UK. The CCS brings together policy, advice and direct buying; providing commercial services to the public sector and helping to save public money. You can find out more about the CCS here.
The CCS and DfE developed the supply teachers framework to help schools deliver value for money when using an agency to recruit supply teachers and other temporary positions, and avoid agencies that charge excessive fees. Agencies who have been approved by CCS to work on this framework are referred to as ‘preferred suppliers’. Using a preferred supplier to fill your temporary roles means your school can:
● Clearly see the fees an agency charges on top of staff wages and associated costs with full transparency
● Make a temporary worker permanent for free after 12 weeks
● Trust that the agency has been audited by an approved body, ensuring legal compliance and safeguarding best practices
● Know that the responsibility to meet all UK and EU public procurement legislation has been met
You can find out more about the framework here.
The CCS agreement can be used to fill your daily cover and long-term supply needs for teaching and non-teaching staff. However, the framework isn’t just for teachers and support staff; schools can also use the same terms to hire IT, finance, clerical, administrative, maintenance, and almost any other temporary worker within a school setting.
The framework can be used to hire all day-to-day contingency supply teaching and non-teaching staff.
If your school wants to transfer a worker you have hired on the CCS framework to a permanent contract, doing so after 12 weeks won’t cost anything extra, provided you give 4 weeks’ notice.
If you know a worker you would like to fill a temporary vacancy but want to hire them on CCS terms, you can refer them to a CCS supplier as a ‘nominated worker’. Referring someone to an agency in this way will cost less than using a worker provided by the agency.
Only 17% of agencies in the UK are listed as a preferred supplier on the CCS framework. A detailed tender document from the agency had to be submitted, demonstrating the ability to deliver the required services and meet the CCS’ selection criteria.
To be selected to appear on the list, approved agencies had to set out their costs up-front and conduct rigorous background checks on their workers. All agencies on the list have to be audited by one of three trusted auditing bodies. At Engage, we are audited by the REC, and we’ve received the REC Audit Gold Standard for our commitment to safeguarding and compliance.
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