An industry-led approach

The Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) launched a report outlining a new way of working that focuses on empowering communities and their local services to build what they need for better outcomes and sustainable change.

Commissioning for outcomes: an industry-led approach provides a model and roadmap for the industry, in partnership with government and service users.

What is commissioning?

Click on the image to watch or on commissioning explainer video.

The report

The Commissioning for outcomes: an industry-led approach was developed thanks to four industry leaders who funded the project:

  • Key Assets
  • Life Without Barriers
  • Logan Together
  • Uniting Care Queensland

CSIA was able to engage The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) to research and work with us to develop the model for system excellence and roadmap for transformation.


The first phase of the project is complete; we have a way forward developed with the community services industry. But what are the key parts of commissioning you need to understand as we move into the second phase?

Looking through the community services lens

For successful commissioning, we must first look through a community services lens to understand the elements working together that create the best outcomes.  These are:


  • Outcomes focus: Focusing on agreed-upon outcomes that are measurable and link the achievement of these outcomes to investment.
  • Strategic investment and value for money: adopting strategic approaches to resource allocation decisions, application of performance incentives and risk sharing.
  • Evidence and data – what works and what’s needed: The design and investment informed by data about needs and evidence about what works best to address needs.
  • People and place centred: A greater focus on service users and developing person and place-centred models for service delivery.
  • Collaboration and integration: A focus on better coordination and integration of service pathways towards outcomes.
  • Improvement and innovation: structuring investment to better enhance quality improvement and innovation.

Breaking down the model of service excellence

With these elements in mind, the model of system excellence was developed to help stakeholders to prepare for commissioning. The focus is on industry and government cooperation to achieve the best results.

There are six key readiness spaces through which the community services industry can help share and prepare for commissioning:

  • Industry leadership: Designing and developing commissioning for outcomes
  • Quality services: Increasing the quality and effectiveness of services, including outcome tracking
  • Engaging service users: Enhancing person-centred approaches and service user engagement
  • Collaboration: Building stronger relationships towards collaboration and integration between organisations
  • Value: Defining the value of community services better
  • Evidence: Alignment and framing evidence about what works for children and families

There are also four readiness spaces for government: market stewardship and regulation; legislative and policy framework; commissioning framework; and resources oversight and payment system. There are also two spaces requiring a degree of joint readiness: the outcomes model framework and the testing approaches.

In the report we explore the six key readiness spaces and provide action items to propel each of these spaces forward. The next phase of this project will involve CSIA working with industry through each of these action items.

What is the impact on industry and how we deliver services?

Commissioning aims to provide a holistic way for government, industry and service users to work together for better outcomes. This means we can leave the problems of the past behind and work together on a better way of supporting service users.


The report has a model and roadmap for us to follow, that shows us how we can bring about this transformation.

We encourage the community services industry to familiarise themselves with the report, watch the explainer video and sign up for the CSIA newsletter. We will be providing you with regular updates on progress, so we can move forward on this journey together.

The team at CSIA will continue to drive the commissioning for outcomes agenda, focussing on re-setting relationships between government and the industry, as well as testing and refining the model to deliver the actions in the report.

To do this, the second phase of this project will involve CSIA leading:

  • industry working with government to move from concept to action
  • building a strong platform for industry to move forward through this transformation.

CSIA is leading testing the model for system excellence and the roadmap through child and family services. There are plans underway for commissioning to be introduced into other areas of need to support a holistic transformation for service users.

Commissioning for outcomes: an industry-led approach is just one example of how CSIA works with industry to develop long-term sustainable solutions.

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