Strategic commissioning stream

Applications closed on 5 July 2019.

The strategic commissioning stream provides exceptional and exciting opportunities for graduates seeking to become a successful commissioning and commercial professional within the public sector.

Commissioning involves deciding how we can most effectively use the total resources available, within KCC and across the public, private and voluntary sectors, to meet the needs of and deliver the best possible outcomes for Kent’s 1.5 million residents.

The programme consists of 3 one-year placements, which will provide you with a wide range of experience across our Strategic Commissioning division. Placements will be within our adults, children’s and public health portfolios, responsible for leading commissioning activity in these critical service areas, and the commissioning support function, which provides the commercial expertise, skills and support to enable our portfolios and other internal departments to commission and procure effectively.

On the strategic commissioning stream, you may find yourself playing a leading role in sourcing suppliers for adult residential care services or assessing the options for how we can best deliver ‘care and support in the home’ services. You may also be involved in designing and delivering market engagement events, playing a leading role in our efforts to attract providers of children’s early help and prevention services. Alternatively, you could find yourself involved in developing contracts for our health visiting suppliers or helping us analyse the performance of substance misuse support services.

Year-long placements will provide you with the opportunity to have a major impact in each placement, as whilst you will be entrusted with real responsibility, you will gain a wide range of experience and a deep knowledge and understanding of commissioning and commercial activity. Alongside this, you will build the strong working relationships on which you can build a successful career.

You will be working directly with our heads of service, which will provide you with unrivalled exposure to how commissioning and the wider organisation operates. Being directly involved in strategically important pieces of commissioning and commercial activity from the outset will allow you to demonstrate your capability and initiative and to develop the knowledge, understanding and the valuable skills to really make your mark.


Successful candidates will start on the stream at a competitive salary of £25,238. However, in recognition of our culture which rewards successful delivery and continuous development, you will have the opportunity to progress to a salary of £28,925 in your third year if you demonstrate sufficient progression.

Further recognising effective performance, those who successfully complete the programme are also guaranteed a permanent role within commissioning.


Candidates can expect to work in a variety of offices across Kent. Our main offices are based in Maidstone, but placements may be anywhere in Kent.

Training and development

The strategic commissioning stream will provide a fast track into commissioning and commercial leadership positions at KCC and access to the experience, learning and development opportunities that will enable your career to flourish.

In the first year, you will be supported to complete the internationally recognised APM Project Management Qualification, a knowledge-based qualification which provides candidates with an understanding of the fundamental elements of project management and how projects fit within the strategic and commercial environment at KCC.

In the second and third years, you will be supported to complete the CIPS Level 4 Apprenticeship, which provides candidates with a strong understanding of the commercial and procurement arena, including how to identify business needs, source the best suppliers, negotiate successfully and manage contracts and stakeholders effectively. This globally-recognised qualification and is the first step on your journey towards the much sought-after full MCIPS accreditation.

Throughout the duration of the programme, you will also have access to the organisation’s extensive suite of e-learning and the graduate development framework.

While you are the driver of your career, most people benefit from the support of others. As a commissioning graduate trainee, you will have a wide network of support, including a line manager and a mentor from outside of your host department – each will take a close interest in your development. You will also be a part of a wider cohort of graduates, who will have started at the same time as you, and who will be a continuous source of peer support and shared learning.

  • a 2:1 degree or equivalent qualification in any discipline
  • a GCSE in Mathematics - grade A to C or equivalent (new grades 4-9)
  • a GCSE in English Language - grade A to C or equivalent (new grades 4-9)

All overseas applicants must have the UK equivalent. See our equivalency table to check if you meet our academic requirements.

Additional information

We are an equal opportunities employer and we represent a diverse community, therefore we welcome applications from people of every race, disability, gender, age and sexual orientation. There is no upper age limit for applications.

We are looking for candidates with the potential to become future senior managers. The selection process allows candidates to draw from experiences within their academic or working career so you may be a recent graduate, or you may have workplace experience already.

If you are due to graduate this summer, you are eligible to apply if you are predicted a 2:1 or higher but please state your predicted grade clearly on the application form.

Unfortunately, due to the vast numbers of applications we receive we are unable to accept applications from candidates who achieved a 2:2 or lower.

Closing date for applications

5 July 2019

Assessment centre

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an assessment on either 28 or 29 August 2019.

Final stage interviews

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview on Monday 2 September or Tuesday 3 September 2019 in Maidstone.

Start date

Successful applicants will join KCC on 28 October 2019.