Third Sector Framework - FAQs

Who is leading on the Framework? 

There are 4 partners working together on the development and implementation of the Framework – Nova Wakefield District, Young Lives Consortium Wakefield, Wakefield Council and Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group.

What is the core purpose of the Framework?

The Framework represents a co-ordinated approach to creating an open and transparent mechanism for allocating funding to locally-rooted third sector organisations. By funding being awarded based on objective, standardised and jointly devised criteria, the Framework is designed to avoid potential geographical and demographic disparities in the distribution of funding. This co-ordinated approach will instil confidence amongst statutory bodies and funders, through funding being channelled for maximum effect. It will provide a mechanism to engage the third sector effectively in the co-design of services, at the same time as enabling capacity building support to be targeted at those parts of the third sector where it will have most impact.

What is the focus of the Framework?

The Framework will focus on Health & Wellbeing services and activities at the outset, linked specifically to the 4 priorities (Ensuring a healthy standard of living for all, Giving every child the best start in life, Strengthening the role and impact of ill health prevention, and Creating and developing sustainable places and communities) that have been devised by the Wakefield Health & Wellbeing Board, which are set out in the Wakefield Health & Wellbeing Strategy 2018 (  However, the Framework may evolve in the future to take on a broader remit/incorporate different service areas.

Is the Framework just for third sector organisations and groups? 

Yes, the partners are expressly establishing the Framework for third sector organisations. We see the sector as being key to the delivery of local services for the benefit of the Wakefield community, hence us wanting to develop a structured approach to funding the sector. There will be the usual range of contracting opportunities available outside of the Framework for organisations to bid for, irrespective of what sector they are in (private, public or voluntary). Framework members will be able to bid for these opportunities alongside non-Framework members, provided that they fulfil the required criteria linked to the specific opportunity in question. This being said, the Framework will be a key mechanism for the channelling of funding to the third sector, to the extent that some opportunities will be targeted exclusively at Framework members. In other words, organisations outside of the Framework wouldn’t be in a position to bid for them. 

Will there be a cost for applying for membership, or for maintaining membership once it has been achieved?

There will be no costs associated with Framework membership.

Will large national charities be able to apply to join the Framework? 

Yes, though they will need to demonstrate how they are ‘locally rooted’. Local rootedness is a key criterion for Framework membership. The Framework partners haven’t sought to prescribe what this looks like in practice, though, indicatively, it could include having your registered office in the area, having a strong, sustained track record of local delivery, having strong connections with local community organisations etc.

What sort of funding will be available through the Framework?

The Framework will channel a range of different types of funding – contracts, grants and spot purchasing. The actual levels of funding available will be determined as use of the Framework unfolds. By working with relevant third parties, the Framework will also be used as a mechanism for attracting funding and pro bono/in kind support (social sponsorship) from the private sector. It will also help with the targeting of capacity building support (training, coaching etc) designed to strengthen the potential for third sector organisations to attract earned income through trading activities

How will the Framework take into account the Public Services (Social Value) Act that came into force in 2013? 

In order to secure funding through the Framework, organisations will typically be expected to deliver social value as part of any service or project they deliver. Social value in this sense equates to wider social, economic and environmental benefits, such as enhanced levels of volunteering, increased spend in the local economy, reduction in practices that are detrimental to the environment and so on.

Will third sector organisations that are already contracted to supply services to WMDC or WCCG need to apply for Framework membership or will they automatically be added to the new Framework? 

Such organisations will need to apply for membership along with organisations that are not currently contracted to deliver services. This is because the Framework has a specific set of membership criteria, and, in any case, the Framework will be the channel for new contracts for services in the future, which would require existing contract holders to re-apply if they wanted to deliver those services. 

My organisation is on the existing Young Lives Consortium (YLC) framework. Will we also need to apply to get on the Third Sector Framework? 

No, you don’t have to apply. Owing to the fact that the Third Sector Framework is very similar in design to the existing YLC framework, your organisation will be ‘passported’ over to the Third Sector Framework, provided that you can show how your work delivers appropriate health and wellbeing benefits. YLC will be in direct contact with its framework members to progress this passporting arrangement.

Will the Framework favour the larger, more established organisations?

The Framework is about harnessing the strengths and capabilities of the Wakefield third sector as a whole. There will be 3 categories or tiers of Framework membership:·         Tier 1 membersThese are locally rooted, typically larger scale third sector organisations that could be described as being ‘contract-ready’, i.e. in a position to take on contracts (and large-scale grant funding) from statutory bodies for the delivery of specified services.  ·         Tier 2 membersThis applies to organisations that are not yet ‘contract ready’, perhaps because they have a gap in their QA policies and practices, for example; but which have the capability and intention to become ‘contract ready’ in the near future. ·         Tier 3 membersThis tier of Framework membership is ring-fenced for small/micro groups with an annual turnover of less than £25k.The Framework partners are clear that this tiered approach doesn’t represent a hierarchy of importance – all categories are deemed equally important to achieving the vision for the Framework, which is about drawing on the unique assets of the full breadth of the third sector to improve quality of life for people across the district. The partners certainly don’t want the Framework to present a barrier to smaller organisations and groups. Quite the opposite, we want it to be an enabling tool for smaller organisations/groups – giving them access to funding that they might not otherwise have access to.  To this end, we are investing in capacity building support to ensure that organisations/groups get the assistance they need to not only join the Framework in the first place but, crucially, to develop and grow once in it.

 Why have you set criteria for membership of the Framework?

We have set criteria because we have to be diligent about who joins the Framework. This is because we expressly want to use the Framework to unlock the potential of the third sector to deliver the best quality, most impactful services. 

My organisation only just exceeds the stipulated annual income threshold of £25k for tier 3 organisations.  Will we still be required to complete the full application form for Framework membership, including answering the questions relating to the ‘contract readiness’ criteria?   

Yes, you will be required to complete all of the membership application form, including the part 2 section on contract readiness criteria.  However, there will be support available for organisations that are not familiar with what this entails, because they might not previously have bid for or delivered a contract.  This support will be delivered by Nova Wakefield District and Young Lives Consortium Wakefield and will consist of briefings on how to negotiate the application form, along with facilitation of peer support, whereby organisations support each other to complete the application.

Might it be possible for my organisation to fall out of the Framework once we have been accepted onto ít, if our circumstances change?

Framework members will be expected to maintain their membership by continuing to demonstrate that they meet the relevant Framework criteria. Central to this will be self-certification, combined with successful negotiation of an annual review process, which the Framework partners will ensure is as simple and straightforward as possible. If an organisation or group is unable to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the relevant criteria and consequently has its membership rescinded, it will be referred to appropriate capacity building support to plug identified gaps. Once it has plugged those gaps, it will be able to re-apply for Framework membership.

When can we apply to be on the Framework – will there be any deadlines?

There will be an initial deadline set for the first tranche of applications once the Framework is officially launched (please check the Nova website for details on this). Thereafter, there will be no deadlines and organisations will be able to apply at any time. 

As a smaller group, can we get help with completing our application?

Yes, support will be available through Nova and Young Lives Consortium.  Please contact to discuss your support needs.


 For any comments, questions or queries relating to the Wakefield District Third Sector Framework, please email