In August 2021, HEE announced a tender exercise for both the three-year Clinical Psychology Doctorate and four-year Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Doctorate training programmes. This is vital for two reasons: to enable sufficient course capacity to continue our programme of expansion, and to ensure a consistent national approach to contracting and funding.
After further discussions and engagement with potential bidders, and NHS England and Improvement colleagues, HEE will be extending the procurement process. This means the procurement will now be for all provision from September 2023 entry, and will not include 2022 entry.
This decision to extend the process was made following feedback received at the market engagement events, to safeguard continuity of provision for September 2022. This is essential to support the unprecedented expansion of the psychological professions workforce by approximately 10,500 posts by 2024 to meet commitments set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
The procurement exercise will continue to proceed at pace with the existing Prior Information Notice (see further information below). The launch of the specifications and the bid submission dates for both programmes will now happen at a slightly later date, which will allow more time for submissions and for mobilisation once contracts are awarded. It will also provide bidders with additional lead time to prepare competitive high-quality bids.
Due to unforeseen circumstances and capacity issues, we have not been able to go live with the procurement documents as planned on 17 January. HEE are currently working to rectify this. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and we will update stakeholders in due course once the specification is live on the find a tender service and contracts finder webpages as well as provide information about the revised timeline. Please be assured that HEE will revise the procurement timeline to ensure no bidders are disadvantaged by this delay.
We would like to thank interested parties and potential bidders for their engagement and efforts in this tendering exercise so far.