Following an SLC market engagement day on Friday 15th March in Darlington, the sector awaits the publication of the formal tender for the supply of both equipment and training to all SFE and SFW students.
Two of the key questions, which The AT Voice has found the sector discussing, are detailed below:
- How will the training and equipment supply be tendered?
SLC is understood to be considering the concept of whether equipment and training will be separated into two standalone tenders rather than the original idea of one single tender. The idea mooted was for a separate framework for training providers from which successful bidders for the main equipment tender will draw from to fulfil training. This aims to maintain a single point of contact with each individual student.
- How will specialist equipment be assessed for and recommended?
Another area yet to be determined is the assessment and recommendation of specialist equipment including hearing impairment, visual impairment and ergonomic items. SLC is considering whether needs assessors should be required to recommend all items of specialist equipment themselves, or whether specialist suppliers should still have the opportunity to carry out a separate assessment with the student.
Many questions are still to be answered. SLC is currently evaluating questionnaire responses before formalising the tender process, which is still due to take place in 2019.