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The Public Service Transformation Academy (PSTA)

Date: 13.02.18 |Categories: Uncategorised

Blog author, Jonathan Bland

I have recently joined the Board of the Public Service Transformation Academy (PSTA), a social enterprise set up to run the Government’s Commissioning Academy and, more generally, to support those responsible for public services’ transformation to meet the challenges we currently face.

The PSTA is led by the consultancy Red Quadrant and the Whitehall and Industry Group, with a number of partner members including E3M, NCVO, BASIS and TSIP, as well as associate partners including OPM, Numbers for Good and the Alliance for Useful Evidence

Successfully delivering a series of national Commissioning Academy programmes and a number of specially tailored local academies in locations across the country, the PSTA has now been running for nearly two years, putting more than 330 people have gone through the 5-day Commissioning Academy programme, gaining very practical professional development support to help them lead transformation in their organisations.

My motive for getting involved is to promote a better understanding across the public sector about the role social enterprises can play as partners in improving services for people and communities. More specifically, to take some of the thought leadership and learning from the E3M Social Enterprise Leaders and E3M Bold Commissioners Clubs into the work of the PSTA.

In addition to being a board member, I am supporting the PSTA to develop its alumni programme, which presents a really exciting opportunity to foster ongoing peer networking and learning. Since it was established by the Cabinet Office in 2012, over 1700 have been through the Academy. The PSTA already runs a number of alumni events, including one last year that focussed on E3M’s work on the Art of the Possible in Public Procurement. We are currently developing an ongoing offer to alumni with a mix of events and online activities.

I am also helping the PSTA with a really exciting project called Public Service: The State of Transformation. Following an online survey and workshop last autumn, we are producing a report that will include a series of essays and case studies by thought leaders and practitioners from across public services. A number of E3M members and partners are contributing to this.

Working with The Guardian as our media partner, the report will be launched at a major conference at the Camden Centre on 24th May. With the strapline “It doesn’t have to be this way”, the event will bring together leaders from national and local government, social enterprises and charities, and the private sector to learn, share and explore practical ways to transform the way we run our public services.

It feels a great time to get more involved. PSTA Chief Executive, Benjamin Taylor, is leading an exciting plan for growth of the PSTA to increase its impact over the next two years. I feel proud to be involved and excited about the prospect of creating more opportunities for social enterprises to create solutions that can improve people’s lives.