Consultancy spending approval criteria for providers

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Sets out the processes for NHS providers to follow when commissioning consultancy services.

This guidance is for NHS providers looking to commission consultancy services. It replaces any guidance we have previously issued. 

This guidance is for NHS providers looking to commission consultancy services. It replaces any guidance we have previously issued. 

Consultancy contracts over £50,000 proposed by all NHS foundation trusts in receipt of interim support from the Department of Health or in breach of their licence for financial reasons and all NHS trusts require our prior approval (the £50,000 threshold includes irrecoverable VAT and other costs eg expenses); this also applies where the threshold is reached due to a contract extension or variation. All other NHS foundation trusts are strongly encouraged to comply.

The approval process applies to contracts that are accounted for as revenue expenditure. It does not currently apply to contracts accounted for as capital expenditure.

If you have any questions regarding the new process, please either contact your regional team or send a message to nhsi.businesscases@nhs.net.

Consultancy spend approvals data

Procurement resources

These resources provide more detail on buying consultancy services and will help you to identify the right procurement route and the regulatory context within which to work. 

You may wish to seek legal advice where appropriate. 

From quarter 3 2016/17, we will publish the list of consultancy contracts awarded at regular intervals.

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