Commissioning Academy Mutuals Module


The Commissioning Academy has been set up by the Cabinet Office in order to equip commissioners with the expertise, confidence and skills to enable them to transform public services in a climate of fewer resources through improved commissioning.

The academy is being supported by the Cabinet Office, the Local Government Association, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service, the Department for Education, the Department of Health, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office.

OPM has been involved in the delivery of the pilot which involved over 60 commissioners in a modular programme of development to test out how the project could best be delivered.

In addition, OPM was commissioned to run the Commissioning Academy Mutuals Module which was designed specifically for commissioners and decision-makers who are interested in supporting the mutual model.

What we did

OPM ran three modules for commissioners from across different public service organisations. The model aimed to ensure that participants:

  • Increased their understanding and confidence in commissioning of mutuals and how to handle relationships at different stages in the process
  • Identified the next steps they will take to support commissioning of mutuals
  • Helped develop the Mutual Commissioners Toolkit further
  • Helped refine the design of the module before further roll out

The module provided participants with advice about key stages in the commissioning process and how it applies to setting up a Mutual. Participants from across sectors took part in discussions about recent case studies, shared experience of mutual spin-outs at various stages of development, tested out relevant tools and resources, and developed an action plan for how they can take forward their work with mutuals


The module was well received by participants and additional modules have been offered on the back of the first module OPM ran. One participant said:

“The audience dynamic was really helpful – with colleagues involved in various stages of mutualising services. And there was a richness in learning because participants had huge experience from across the public sector” 

Richard Selwyn, Harrow Council.