Commissioning Bootcamp

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This course currently has no scheduled dates. To express interest in this course or to discuss bespoke options for yourself or your organisation, please submit an expression of interest or contact the Professional Education Team on +61 2 5114 5573 or


2 days

Delivery mode



UNSW Canberra City Campus


Standard price


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This bootcamp gives participants an opportunity, in a safe space, to consider the evidence around commissioning, gain some key lessons and undertake practical techniques designed to make a reality of commissioning approaches. 

Drawing on recent research and practical knowledge, this interactive bootcamp works with participants to consider how key lessons and evidence surrounding a commissioning approach can be applied in their own organisations and practice.

Course content

Commissioning has recently emerged as a key concept in the reform of public services in relation to health and other policy areas. As a result, a number of individuals have found they either occupy a commissioning role or are being asked to operate within a commissioning environment. Yet there's still a great deal of confusion over what commissioning is, what it should achieve and how to work effectively within a commissioning context.

This bootcamp is designed for those who work in commissioning roles or in provider organisations who are being increasingly required to work within a commissioning environment. This is designed to bring together a small group who'll work with leading experts to address real-life challenges and find solutions. Ultimately, the bootcamp aims to produce a better understanding into the key issues faced by commissioners and providers and to develop useable tools and strategies that participants can apply within their work contexts.

Learning outcomes

Skills/competencies/knowledge that would be gained through this course:
  • understand what a commissioning process entails and some of the tools available to improve these processes
  • have an overview of the evidence for commissioning including the impacts it can produce and the factors which enable high-quality commissioning
  • understand the standards of high-quality commissioning and how to apply them in their own organisational context
  • have an insight into the different roles that partner organisations play in the commissioning process
  • have an intermediate understanding of how to operate a commissioning approach

Who should attend

This masterclass is designed for middle managers and senior executives who work in a commissioning environment as either a commissioner or provider. Many of the examples and evidence presented comes from a health context and may be most relevant to those operating in these settings, although key lessons are applicable across a variety of different policy and service delivery domains.


Associate Professor Helen Dickinson

Helen Dickinson is Associate Professor Public Service Research and Director of the Public Service Research Group at the School of Business at UNSW Canberra. Her expertise is in public services, particularly in relation to topics such as governance, leadership, commissioning and priority setting and decision making. A/Prof. Dickinson has published 16 books and more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles on these topics, and is a frequent commentator within the mainstream media. She is Co-Editor of the Journal of Health, Organization and Management and Australian Journal of Public Administration. In 2015, A/Prof. Dickinson was made a Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. She has worked with a range of different levels of government, community organisations and private organisations in Australia, UK, New Zealand and Europe on research and consultancy programs. 

Dr Karen Gardner

Dr Karen Gardner joined the Public Service Research Group in the Business School at UNSW Canberra as a Senior Research Fellow in February 2017. She is a health services researcher with a background in sociology and population health. Her research focuses on quality improvement, primary care performance monitoring and management, and the co-design, implementation and evaluation of complex interventions. She has worked in community sector, government and academic roles. For the past 10 years, she has been working in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and in general practice and community health settings. Dr Gardner has more than 50 working papers, technical reports, book chapters and peer-reviewed publications and is a current member of the Evaluation Working Group, Health Care Homes, Australian Department of Health (2016–2019).

Cancellation policy

Courses will be held subject to sufficient registrations. UNSW Canberra reserves the right to cancel a course up to five working days prior to commencement of the course. If a course is cancelled, you will have the opportunity to transfer your registration or be issued a full refund. If registrant cancels within 10 days of course commencement, a 50% registration fee will apply. UNSW Canberra is a registered ACT provider under ESOS Act 2000-CRICOS provider Code 00098G.