Current Issues

An important role for the CLOA Executive Committee is to identify, often in association with strategic partners such as Local Government Association (LGA), the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPB’s) a programme of key issues for the sector. Some are in response to consultation exercises, and some are more pro-active in response to agendas identified by members. For further information on how CLOA approaches key issues, click on areas of interest below.

An ongoing area of interest is supporting the sector better engage in strategic commissioning and CLOA were awarded funding by Sport England to lead a project to increase the understanding of the commissioning agenda amongst sport and leisure professionals.

Navigating Local Systems

Navigating Local Systems’ is a resource developed by CLOA in partnership with Sport England that focuses on driving change in the local system to increase physical activity within communities. It shares learning and practical tools from 3 localities – Liverpool, Luton, and Wakefield, as they embarked on a journey to better understand the local system they work within.  

Place-based system change is an increasingly important conversation, and there is a growing interest in wanting to take a systemic approach to tackling inactivity and the inequalities that still exist. In this new resource, you’ll find: 

  • What we did and why?
  • Learning and advice from the three places involved 
  • Video summaries from the three facilitators that provided support and guidance to each place 
  • Practical tools and techniques that you may want to try 

We would encourage you to take some time to read the resource, watch the videos, share with colleagues and partners and start a conversation about what resonates, what questions do you have and what could it mean for your place.

Commissioning support for local authorities – Phase 3

Together CLOA and Sport England have developed a series of video testimonies that explain the process, reflect on the impact achieved over time in a selection of localities and illustrate a growing pool of best practice.

Investing time in engaging with commissioning – Why engaging in commissioning is important for the sport and physical activity sector.

Building relationships with commissioners – It’s all about relationships, changing ways of working and collaboration.

Reshaping your offer – Once you’ve understood the commissioner’s needs, then devise solutions that will deliver their outcomes.

Evidencing the impact – Describes what effective commissioning looks like and how best to evidence the impact of your service interventions. Video length

Making a difference – How the project made a difference in Haringey, helping to embed physical activity at strategic level and within commissioning.

The role of elected members – Explaining the importance of the input and support of elected members to the success of commissioning. Video length – 2:19

Working in two tier areas – The challenges presented and opportunities for engaging in the strategic commissioning processes.

The Durham case study – Hear from all the key people involved and find out more about the process from start to finish including the key successes

Top tips and advice – How to get started, what to consider and who to involve plus the benefits of developing an Outcomes Framework.

Commissioning support for local authorities – Phase 2

Commissioning is a central part of the approach to redesigning and transformation of services, because it offers a means of joining up resources to focus on improving outcomes for individuals and communities.

CLOA and Sport England worked together to build on the momentum of Phase 1, by supporting a further 17 organisations to explore a number of scenarios and themes across a broad geographical spread: Suffolk County Council, Northamptonshire County Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Kirklees Council, Northumberland County Council, Birmingham City Council, Nottingham City Council, Slough Borough Council, Live Wire Warrington, Haringey Council, Ashfield District Council, Essex County Council, Leicestershire Council, New Forest District Council, Enfield Borough Council, Swindon Borough Council, Plymouth City Council.

You can download a summary of Phase 2 of the project here.

Commissioning support for local authorities – Phase 1

During 2014/15 Sport England and CLOA undertook a joint project that supported local authority sport and leisure professionals to engage more effectively with commissioners and commissioning. We appointed a team of specialists with a range of expertise to work with the eight participating local authorities; Central Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Durham, Hertforshire CC, Lambeth, Oldham, Stoke and West Oxfordshire.

The aim of the support was to equip practitioners with a sophisticated understanding of local need, help build relationships with commissioners and respond with a service offer or targeted intervention that delivers priority outcomes.  The project ran between March 2014 – October 2014 and a paper is now available summarising the process, project impact and learning Strategic Commissioning, Sport and Physical Activity

As commissioning becomes more mainstream, the sector needs to move from being simply a provider of sport and physical activity to playing a strategic role within the commissioning process.   We’ve developed an animated film that brings to life our work, showing exactly what steps a professional can take to meet the needs of commissioners.

You may also wish to draw on Sport England’s web resource ‘Being Commissioned’; which looks at the context for commissioning, what tools and resources are available to help develop the case for sport as a strategic player and how to engage with commissioners for mutual benefits.