Established in July 2017, the Community of Commissioning Professionals aims to embed commissioning and customer centricity in NSW service delivery, and lift the capability and quality of commissioning across the sector. 

The Community is an active forum for commissioning practitioners to share best practice, experience and learnings. The Community will also serve as a hub for providing practical resources and insights that support the delivery of better service outcomes. 

The Community aims to achieve three main goals:

The Community is administered by Commissioning NSW, NSW Treasury. 


Membership is free and open to all NSW Public Sector employees who are working in any area of government as well as non-government employees from Industry and not-for-profit organisations.

Members of the community have access to our Commissioning Toolkit (including learning modules, case studies and templates), events, networking and more. 

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This Community of Practice is currently inactive.

We encourage you to sign up to the mailing list so that you will be informed when activities resume.

If you have any questions, please contact Capability Design at the NSW Public Service Commission.

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Enquiries can be emailed to  

We will endeavour to respond to your query within 5 business days.

To access free resources, events, networking and more, please register to become a member. 

Frequently asked questions

What does Commissioning mean?

There is no single definition for commissioning and definitions may vary depending on jurisdiction.

In NSW, commissioning is defined in the NSW Government Commissioning and Contestability Policy.

Commissioning is an approach to considering the outcomes that need to be achieved, and designing, implementing and managing a system to deliver these outcomes. Commissioning leverages and integrates the strengths of the public sector and can involve partnering with private and non-government organisations and individuals to transform outcomes for customers.

What is the benefit of adopting a commissioning approach to service delivery?

A commissioning approach delivers value for money by ensuring current and future services are designed to meet the needs of the citizens of NSW and deliver the right community outcomes. It also ensures that providers with the best expertise and experience are engaged to deliver these services and outcomes for the community.

Is commissioning the same as strategic procurement?

No, however strategic procurement can form a part of commissioning if the outcomes require it. Procurement can be a part of the commissioning process and refers to a specific method of purchasing services which results in a contract. A mature commissioning process will consider a range of options, and may choose to provide the service in-house, provide direct payments to individual service users to buy the services they require, use grant funding, or procure using a contract with external providers.

Does a commissioning approach lead to privatisation and outsourcing?

Commissioning is not about moving to a private sector delivery model. It is about designing and delivering services that provide the best outcomes for NSW government customers, and about doing this in an efficient way that delivers good value - it puts the customer need at the centre of the decision making.

Adopting a commissioning approach across NSW will mean that we explore a range of service delivery models to achieve the intended outcomes. We will work with the sector to find the optimal delivery model to achieve this through leveraging on the strengths of public, private and not-for-profit providers. 

What is the purpose of the Commissioning and Contestability Policy?

The NSW Government faces the challenge of delivering better outcomes and more services in the face of growing demand, an ageing population and budget constraints. This requires a shift in how services are organised, funded and delivered. The Policy provides a whole-of-government framework (supported by the Practice Guide to facilitate implementation) for all NSW Government agencies to work towards achieving these goals.

There are a number of agencies that are already using a commissioning approach when they approach the design and delivery of services. The Policy builds on this so that the benefits of commissioning can be realised across the whole of Government.

Who owns the Policy?

Commissioning NSW in NSW Treasury is the Policy owner and is responsible for its alignment to Government priorities. The Policy will be updated in 2021.

When should agencies apply the Commissioning and Contestability Policy?

The Policy should be used by all NSW Government agencies in situations relevant to its implementation, in particular for any new service delivery policies and proposals, and budget submissions where commissioning and contesting services may have an impact. It is also to be used when undertaking strategic planning and whole-of-agency and/or cross-agency organisational redesign.

The Policy can also be used by non-government stakeholders involved in the commissioning process.

What support is available for agencies applying the Policy?

The policy is supported by a Practice Guide which provides detailed guidance on each stage of the commissioning compass. The Practice Guide reflects contemporary practice and is updated on an as-needs basis. Commissioning NSW also have a blog and newsletter where recent case studies and ideas about commissioning are shared for practitioner use. 

The CoP is a designated forum for practitioners to share experiences, learnings and questions. Practical resources such as templates, case studies and thought pieces are available to all CoP members. 

Commissioning NSW (CNSW) is a specialist team within NSW Treasury established to support agencies to apply a commissioning approach to achieve the best outcome for priority services. 

The CNSW team is equipped with skills in human-centred design, impact investment, systems thinking and contracting for outcomes, and can engage with agencies in a range of ways depending on the nature of each project. As needed, CNSW staff partner with agency project teams to assist with the delivery of outcomes consistent with the Government’s policy for service commissioning. 

CNSW also offers targeted training sessions for agencies on commissioning. Please contact CNSW to find out more.