Commissioning, Public Social Partnerships and Social Impact Measurement

Public Social Partnership (PSP) is a strategic partnering arrangement which involves the third sector earlier and more deeply in the design and commissioning of public services. The third sector is often best placed to interact closely with communities and its involvement can mean that people have more choice and control over what services are delivered locally. A PSP differs from other commissioning approaches in that it starts with the need to be addressed, not the services available, which can often be the driver for other partnerships.

A PSP is a commissioning arrangement, not simply a procurement mechanism. It is a partnership of at least one lead public sector and one lead
third sector organisation, although other partners and the private sector may
become involved. The aim of PSPs is to co-design and deliver innovative, high
quality public services, which meet the needs of individuals and local

The Scottish Government established the PSP Project as part of the
commitments it made in the Enterprising Third Sector Action Plan 2008-11.
The Project was delivered by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, in conjunction
with Forth Sector Development with the purpose of helping selected partnerships to co-plan and pilot the design of services which contribute to the delivery of national and local outcomes.


A publication which offers detailed information on the understanding and setting up a PSP, as well as further information on the project, is available to download.

PDF iconDownload A Practical Guide to Forming and Operating Public Social Partnerships (PDF, 1,2MB)