Careers in commissioning

Providing information about working in a commissioning role or team.  Read about the types of activities you might do on a daily basis and the potential career pathways ahead of you. 

In a series of videos in below list, you'll hear from real commissioners talking about how they got into their role and why it's such a great job.  

What is commissioning?

Commissioning is the process through which public bodies, including local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and other NHS services deliver services.

Commissioners review the sorts of services that are needed by the people who live in the local area, and then make sure that those services are available and appropriate.  They have to balance quality and value for money with what local people want to achieve in their daily lives. 

What do commissioners do?

commissioning wellbeing    We asked commissioners to tell us what they do on a day to day basis and they told us “No two days are the same”.  Effective commissioners combine problem-solving, innovation and resourcefulness with empathy for the rights and wellbeing of the local population they are commissioning services for, often finding creative solutions to complex challenges.

Read the real life career journeys at the back of the 'Commisioning for wellbeing' guide to see how different commissioners spend their working day.


Good commissioning helps people to take control of their own care and support so they have choice and control over their lives and care, live well and reach their potential.

Successful commissioners will shape and build a diverse market of services, including self-directed and preventative services, developing skills in the community and equipping people to deliver safe and effective care and support.

You can read more about this in the 'Commisioning for wellbeing' guide. In the video below, staff at West Gate House tell us how good commissioning helps them to deliver support for people with dementia. 


There are no formal entry requirements to work in commissioning but you'll need a good level of education or appropriate experience. Here are some examples of what you might see in a personal specification for each role:

  • Commissioning Assistants - a qualification equivalent to Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) Level 3.
  • Commissioning Officer - a qualification equivalent to RQF Level 5 or degree equivalent.
  • Commissioning Lead/Managers - a commissioning procurement qualification or similar and educated to RQF level 5 or equivalent.

Read more about this on page 10 of the 'Commisioning for wellbeing' guide . 



Once you’re established, there are opportunities to work in other departments within local and national government, health services and CCG’s, operational/delivery roles, service providers, the voluntary sector and private sector organisations.

In the videos below, Sarah Pickup, Deputy Chief Executive of the Local Government Association and Sara Livadeas, former Strategy Director at The Orders of St John Care Trust talk about their own career journeys from commissioning into their current roles. 





Most local authorities in England commission services and will advertise directly on their website under "Vacancies".  

Some of the commissioners in our videos joined a national graduate development scheme. Each Council runs it's own scheme and gives you a range of placements in different departments, which may include commissioning.  They tend to recruit only open the schemes once a year, so find out when the next recruitment drive is by looking on their website.

You can find out more on the Local Government Association website.