The Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) is the largest purchasing consortium for the English Academies, Schools and Free Schools sectors, and the only national purchasing group for UK Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges. Established in 2000 as an offshoot of Salford University's purchasing department, CPC has grown rapidly and in 2009 ownership of the consortium transferred to the FE sector. In 2014 / 2015 our Board will welcome at least one academies representative to its ranks to ensure that the academies sector is fully represented as we take the consortium into its next phase of growth.
All of our contracts represent first-class value for money and income generated from CPC collaboration is used to the long-term benefit of our members. Marrying the spend of FE and the Academies / Schools / Free Schools sectors attracts better pricing from suppliers benefitting all members.
The majority of CPC's contracts take the form of EU-compliant purchasing frameworks. That's a bit of mouthful, so we invariably refer to them simply as 'frameworks'. Briefly, a framework is a method of purchasing where a central body (in this case CPC) sets up a purchasing arrangement with a supplier or several suppliers, on behalf of a group of end users (academies). Each end user then orders goods or services through the framework whenever they need them, using a simplified selection and ordering process. You can read more about how frameworks are created and operate on our 'What is a framework' page.