Adding up the total value of the awards made during the last six years reveals a market in excess of £1billion which is showing no signs of slowing.
Contracting authorities include major government departments, CCGs, NHS trusts, and local authorities. In the last three years, we have supported SMEs with interpretation and translation submissions for a variety of buyers, including:
- Nottingham City Council
- NHS Shared Business Services
- Central London Community Health Trust
- Walsall CCG
- Nottingham NHS Trust
- Coventry City Council
- Trafford Council
- NHS Sheffield CCG
The contracts we have seen recently have followed a consistent format, and are typically broken down into the same four recognisable lots:
- Face-to-face interpretation
- Telephone and video interpretation
- BSL and other sensory impairment support
- Written translation
Anecdotal evidence from several service providers suggests that purchasing authorities look more favourably on providers who have the capability to deliver services across all lots. Whilst clearly there are benefits to be gained from rationalising the number of suppliers, contract awards are still subject to due diligence and fair process.
Notably, the interpretation and translation sector is one where emphasis is placed on quality, with a 70/30 quality/price weighting being commonplace. As with all public-sector procurement, there is clear price sensitivity, but this weighting presents SME providers who offer high quality specialist services with an opportunity to grow their business at sustainable profit margins.