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7th February 2019

​NEPO commence procurement of NEPRO³, a public sector solution for specialist professional services

Adam SmithNEPO has commenced the procurement of NEPRO³ , a nationally-available solution for specialist professional services.

Adam Smith, Category Specialist at NEPO, explains more about the ambitions of NEPRO³ , and describes the progress to date that has resulted in this significant procurement opportunity.

What is NEPRO³ ?

NEPRO³ is the replacement solution for the current Specialist Professional Services framework contract (NEPRO²), which expires on 30 November 2019.

Since its inception, NEPRO has developed into a market-leading solution and recognised brand for appointing specialist professional services via a neutral vendor route within the UK public sector. The solution has seen continued and sustained growth year on year. There are currently around 225 contracting authorities accessing the solution. The solution has provided significant opportunities to the supply chain, with SME suppliers accounting for 60% of project spend.

NEPRO³ will build on this success, providing the public sector with a neutral vendor managed service for the delivery of specialist professional services and consultancy.

How will NEPRO³ differ from previous solutions?

NEPRO³ will continue to address the existing core requirements and objectives that were identified back in 2012 under the first iteration; namely to offer greater choice, value, control and speed to public sector buyers appointing specialist professional services.

In addition, NEPRO³ will bring a greater focus to the buyer and supply chain community. The new solution will allow participating users to communicate, share best practice, solve common problems and access a central repository of project specifications as a community within the specialist professional services category. The participating supply chain will also be encouraged to collaborate and work together, where appropriate, to access and deliver against strategic and complex requirements.

Almost eight years of experience with this model has enabled NEPO to build a wealth of knowledge within the category. This experience and knowledge will be translated into the design of NEPRO³ to ensure challenges previously faced are avoided and the solution can continue to achieve its objectives as originally outlined back in 2012.

What consultation has taken place?

NEPO has undertaken significant market consultation to ensure that both buyers’ and suppliers’ feedback has been considered.

In October 2018 interested suppliers were identified via a Prior Information Notice (PIN) and invited to attend market consultation sessions. This was followed by a soft market testing questionnaire issued via the NEPO portal. The insight and feedback gained through engaging with the marketplace was extremely valuable and has significantly supported the design of NEPRO³ .

Over the course of the last six months, substantial stakeholder engagement has taken place with various public sector colleagues across the UK. Workshops were held in Durham, Newcastle, Manchester and London to ensure the future solution is fit for purpose and meets public sector requirements. A national working group has been established to support the procurement process, comprising representatives from local government, central government, police and further education.

What are the key dates for the procurement process?

The key dates of the procurement process are listed below*:
  • Selection Questionnaire (SQ) published – 14 January 2019
  • Deadline for receipt of completed SQs – 13 February 2019
  • Invitation to Tender to be issued – March 2019
  • Notification of award decision – July 2019
  • Solution start date – 1 December 2019
*Dates are indicative and are correct at the time of writing, please get in touch to find out the latest position.