The Department of Health has issued two documents to assist PCTs in the planning function of the preparation of a Commissioners Investment and Asset Management Strategy (CIAMS). The planning function is the process by which PCTs:

1. identify the gaps that exist between the present estate and future service provision; and

2. propose practical infrastructure solutions to close the gap.

The Planning Function Requisite Skills Checklist is a checklist to be completed by PCTs before starting on the development of their CIAMS. The checklist should identify the skills needed to align estate planning to commissioning and also identify if external support is needed or if these skills are available in-house, eg, building survey skills or valuations.

The Planning Function Specification will assist PCTs in procuring the external resources identified in the checklist. Whilst in most cases a competitive procurement process will be appropriate the document also considers how the planning function fits with established procurement routes such as LIFTCos, Express LIFT and ProCure 21. The document also includes a draft template Planning Function Specification to be amended at the local PCT level.

The checklist and specification can be accessed here.