A commissioner’s guide to developing and sustaining local user-led organisations

What do I do next? Scenario 3: There is a well established ULO that has been around for many years


Meets all ULO design criteria? Nearly all or all
Governance arrangements in place? Yes
Management committee? Yes

Funding and business-readiness

Established for how long? Typically 3 years or more
Permanent staff? Yes, including management
Infrastructure in place (e.g. IT, HR, finance, own premises)? Typically yes
Business plan in place? Typically yes
Funding arrangements? Core grant from commissioner; Reasonable grant from funding body; Small contract for some services; Some self-generated income (for example, from training, access audits and so on.)
Provides more than one service? Possibly
Provides services in more than one area? Possibly

Funding and business-readiness

Covers all impairment groups? Sometimes
Members? Yes, as per governing document
Effective mechanisms for engaging service users? Typically yes – though not always across all social care groups
Networking? Could possibly have relationships with other ULOs, BME/LGBT/carers/older people/civil society organisations or wider than social care

Essential actions to move to next stop on the 'ULO journey'

  • encourage ULO to bid for larger local services under contract (for example, direct payments/personal budgets information)
  • share contact details of ULO with as many service users as possible
  • ensure ULO representatives have appropriate opportunities to represent their members / users at commissioner meetings
  • commission other services from ULO (for example, training, access audits) on appropriate basis
  • research whether there are any groups that fit scenario one, and encourage these to network with the established ULO