A strategic approach to commissioning debt advice 2018–2023

On 29th January, the SFGB Board met to agree a budget (subject to DWP and HMT approval) that will enable the continuation of debt advice funding and increase the number of people who can access free debt advice. At the same meeting the Board took the decision to stop the recent competitive tendering process for face-to-face debt advice in London and the North West.

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In December 2017 we announced the launch of a new five-year debt commissioning strategy that outlines a challenging and exciting plan to ensure debt advice services target those most in need.

The strategy reflects extensive consultation with over 175 organisations across a range of sectors and sets out a new approach that aims to improve the quality of services delivered and consistency of client outcomes.

The strategy also sets out a timeline of our commissioning activities to cover the period 2018-2023.

Download: A strategic approach to debt advice commissioning 2018–2023

The commissioning strategy is designed to respond to the challenges identified in the current debt advice landscape and sets out MAS’s intention to deliver more effective outcomes for over-indebted people through a focus on quality, consistency and value for money. While the picture is changing and evolving constantly, this strategy is based on:

  • analysis of collective views of how the debt advice sector currently functions;
  • evidence from research and intelligence; and
  • a thorough consideration of how optimum impact can be achieved.

This focus has led to the development of six commissioning intentions central to the strategy that will guide our work during the five-year period:

  1. Align service design towards the needs of target groups within the over-indebted population
  2. Deliver debt advice and money guidance services in a blended fashion, in line with need
  3. Develop a clear view of the client from access through to outcome
  4. Enhance the quality of debt advice provision across our funded services
  5. Embed crisis debt advice within a network of holistic support
  6. Develop services that make the best possible use of existing and emerging technologies

The commissioning intentions are designed to deliver improved outcomes for over-indebted people as follows:

  • an increasing proportion of clients from target groups access debt advice services.
  • everyone receives a service which is tailored to their needs and increases their financial resilience.
  • clients receive timely and effective advice at all stages of the advice process.
  • clients receive effective advice in line with their needs from well-trained, empathic staff.
  • clients are able to access, or are sign-posted to, services complementary to debt advice to help them address the root causes of their debt problem.
  • existing and emerging technologies are effectively used to meet client need.