The use of shared services as a means of delivering savings and efficiencies is increasingly common within both Further and Higher Education sectors.   Sharing services can take a variety of forms, but generally involves institutions working or joining together to make savings or efficiencies through pooling knowledge, skills and resources in the development or delivery of services (most commonly administrative or back office functions).

Examples of this include:

  • Two Further Education colleges deciding to jointly outsource their back office finance and payroll function to a private sector company.
  • A university entering into a joint venture with a private sector company to provide HR and payroll services for both the university itself and other universities in the region.
  • A spin-out employee mutual company providing services back to its originating university.

In the latest update to our Procurement Portal we explore the legal and practical issues associated with sharing services, including when shared services fall within or outside the EU procurement law regime, and also what lies ahead based on the proposals in the latest draft of the EU Procurement Directive (due to be adopted by the EU in 2014 and implemented in the UK in 2015).