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CPL Group Annual Report

Opening Comments

David Pullein

Nominated Chair

I am delighted to open my message with the news that Crescent Purchasing Ltd (CPL Group) has had a very positive year. CPL Group continue to build on a 19-year history of increasing profits. November 2019 will see both the 20-year anniversary of foundation and the 10-year anniversary of purchase by the FE sector. Being instrumental in this purchase, I can honestly say that it has turned out to be one of the best business decisions I have made and is a source of great personal pride.

The purchase of Tenet Education services two years ago is also looking to have been an excellent acquisition. A second year of good profits and growth auger well for the future. My congratulations to Darren and the Tenet team.

CPC has been building significant reserves through the years which allowed us to purchase Tenet in 2017. Since then, with Tenet’s additional input, reserves have been built up again which have allowed the CPL Group trustees to launch a series of initiatives this year to give funding back to our customers in the education sector. This has been a very exciting year watching this new phase of our companies’ development launch, particularly watching member response to these offers of financial support.

The message I would like to pass on to our customers is a thank you for your continued support with an additional comment that the more you use us, the more funding will be available to invest in to the education sector. I would like to thank all our suppliers for their support in what we are trying to accomplish. Finally, my usual thanks to Peter and the whole CPC team for their excellent work during the past year.

2018/19 Highlights

2018/19 CPC Report

Managing Director Report

Peter Brewer

Managing Director

This report is usually started with comments about how well we have done with our income from marketing premiums and this is rightly so given this is the lifeblood of the company. This year however, the new funding to the Education sector by the Crescent Purchasing Group (CPL Group) must take precedence in this year’s report.

CPL Group has always sought to give back some of it’s profits to the sector usually by funding of procurement training or more recently, funding of Procurement Apprentices in the FE sector. This year however, we have moved this to a different level donating over £500k back to our members via various projects. The most notable was the provision of £259k of funding awards for student supportive projects to over 30 institutions. The stories coming back following this provision have been heart-warming and we have obviously made a difference in a number of student’s lives as well as to their institutions.

CPL Group have started something with this redistribution of profits back to our members and we intend to continue it. It is important for our members to realise that spending through either our frameworks or through the services offered by our partners Tenet will increase the amount of reserves available to donate back to our customers after year end.

Moving back to my usual opening remarks, it is important that I do state that we have made good surpluses in the last financial year as borne out by the financial data in this report and it is pleasing to note that this trend which started 19 years ago with the launch of CPC shows no sign of abating.

CPC is however, not just about making surpluses but is also about customer support, using the very best suppliers and providing quality goods and services at the best possible prices.

The fact that we are approaching 7000 members is testament to the fact that we are still achieving all of this.

This year has also seen the further integration of the Tenet team and services into a group offering which is now covering frameworks, training and consultancy. Tenet maintain their independence from CPC, but the two teams really do work well together at all levels.

The next year sees CPC celebrating its 20th birthday and also its 10th year anniversary of the purchase by the FE sector from the University of Salford. Our success has always been due to the three-cornered partnership of the customers, our marvellous suppliers and the CPC and Tenet team of staff. I’d like to close this year’s report by passing on my thanks to everybody who has contributed to our continued success and hope that we can continue to support the Education sector for many years to come.

Core Business Report

Pat Condon

Head of Procurement

The Contracting Team experienced a demanding year with the introduction of several new frameworks as well as the retendering of existing frameworks whilst not operating at full staffing capacity for the majority of the year. It is testament to the professionalism and commitment of the team that use of our frameworks continues to grow with an annual uplift in income exceeding 9% across the top 50 frameworks.

The new frameworks included the following:

  • Utilities Supplies and Services This framework has already generated in excess of £1m of cashable efficiencies in its first year
  • Minor Works under £500k This framework is the first of its kind operating in the schools and academies marketplace
  • Stationery & Office Consumables This framework offers a one stop shop for schools and academies
  • Outsourced HR & Payroll Let through consultation with DfE to ensure the specialist needs of schools and academies are fully met

Retendered frameworks included the following:

  • Outsourced Catering Services Building upon the success of the previous framework, this new framework has additional regional lots, a larger number of suppliers and a bespoke call off contract
  • Building Cleaning This framework is highly successful and now incorporates a brand new specifically designed member call off contract
  • Entrance and Access Control Systems This framework is now split into regional lots following member and supplier feedback and offers excellent solutions for all members

The Contracting Team also worked extensively with the Department for Education (DfE) as they look to recommend best value frameworks to the 24,000 schools and Academies under their remit. CPC as at July 2019 have 13 frameworks recommended with an additional 20 under consideration for potential signposting during 2019-2020. This has taken a considerable level of engagement with the DfE and is testament to the efficacy of the CPC contracting programme that so many of our frameworks are under consideration for recommendation by them. We look forward to the opportunities that this partnership will undoubtedly bring for the organisation.


2018/19 saw our team of Regional Procurement Advisors visit almost 200 of our members as well as attending several conferences and exhibitions, providing hands on support in how to use our framework agreements.

The team continue to provide guidance on what to include in specifications and how to conduct tender processes as well as advising members on the application of procurement regulations and raising the profile of procurement within their institutions.

The annual CPC member survey had many glowing comments pertaining to the services of this team and this underpins the ethos that all the CPC team are dedicated to improving our services for our members.

Crescent Learning

Supporting the fulfilment of our charitable objectives, Crescent Learning (CL) was created by CPC to deliver a range of training services and resources for our members. The key activities delivered through CL during the year were as follows:

  • Procurement Apprenticeships All 15 placements were filled with the Apprentices based in procurement functions in FE colleges. The feedback received from both the Apprentices themselves and their employing Colleges has been extremely positive. CPC hosted a special event for these Apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week in March 2019 where all the apprentices came together for the day to meet their peers and benefit from a day of professional procurement with the team.
  • CPD accredited courses A number of courses were made available to members at zero cost representing a £35k investment from the business.
  • Maintenance of and access to FELP This is our online resource hosting a wide range of procurement related help and support aimed at guiding buyers through the procurement cycle and offering additional related best practice information.

2018/19 Highlights

Tenet Education Services

2018/19 Report

Darren Lowe

Managing Director

The support for the business continued to be strong during the 2018/19 financial year. Tenet’s two core procurement services have both increased income with the Managed Procurement Service increasing by 5% and Tenet’s On Demand Procurement Service increasing income by 36%.

The support from the education sector and wider public sectors enabled Tenet to ‘gift aid’ £348,732 to Crescent Purchasing Limited. Tenet’s result enables the education sector to benefit twice, from savings and the gift aiding of 100% of our profits

Managed Procurement Contracts

The quantity of placement contracts was maintained with 44 contracts nationwide. Provision of days on-site at each contract ranged from 0.5 to 5 days per week. Each contract providing the customer with on-site bespoke procurement support encompassing, but not limited to high-value tender support, advice and guidance on compliance matters, undertaking of framework further competitions, spend analysis and service reviews.

The enhanced support received from Tenet’s service provided a regionally based management team of procurement professionals and a network of 35 procurement colleagues based around the country, allowing for the sharing of knowledge and best practice.

On Demand Procurement Support

The demand for this service has increased during 2018/19 as a result of more support being needed from the school/academy marketplace. During the year, Tenet has seen growth of 33% in the school/trust marketplace. Procurement support to Multi-Academy Trusts grew by 170% from 2017/18. Procurement support to the Further Education sector fell by 19% from 37 to 31 commissions. Procurement support to the Higher Education sector increased by 200% from 1 to 3 commissions.

The work undertaken by the On Demand Procurement Support team is cyclical and any decrease in business is deemed to be due to contract terms being extended or not due for retender.

2018/19 Highlights

Tenet Procurement Services

Tenet Procurement Services focuses of delivering procurement support to organisation outside of the education sector. Income increased by 248.06% from 2017/18.

Customers using Tenet Procurement Services are not education sector focused but fully support the ethos of the business and the benefits it brings to their organisation in the development of their future workforce.

Concluding Comments

The financial year produced a good return and enabled the charity to benefit from additional funds to support their charitable objectives.

The education sector continues to support the business and for this we are truly grateful. The forthcoming year offers more opportunities for Tenet and the CPC to combine resources and deliver further improvements to the services we already deliver.

Financial Report

CPL Group 2018/19

Dave Owen

Financial Controler

CPL Group continue to benefit from the acquisition of Tenet Education Services Limited which has donated £835,186 back to the charity since May 2017. The 2018 figures include a 15-month trading period for Tenet Education Services.

CPL Group, in November 2018 hosted its own conference for members and suppliers under the trademark of Procur.Ed. This was hosted at Hopwood Hall College Middleton campus where one of CPL Group trustees is employed. Although footfall was not as high as expected due to numerous factors not least the weather, the quality of contacts made by suppliers was high. CPC intend to hold further conferences in the Midlands and Southern England to attract new members and stimulate increased spend through our frameworks.

Swipe left on table to scroll through information

Income 2018£ 2019£ Assets 2018£ 2019£
Charitable activities 3,591,455 3,216,570 Goodwill 625,000 750,000
Investments 11,339 2,770 Other fixed assets 89,162 85,257
Total income 3,602,794 3,219,340 Net current assets 3,499,487 2,788,668
Provision for liabilities (616,000) 0
Expenditure Defined benefit pension surplus 0 54,000
Charitable activities 3,125,070 2,688,414 Total Net Assets 3,597,649 3,677,925
Net income 477,724 530,926
Financed by
Actuarial (loss)/gain on defined benefit pension schemes (558,000) 274,000 Revenue reserves 3,115,434 3,677,925
Designated reserves 482,215 0
Net movement in funds (80,276) 804,926 Total reserves 3,597,649 3,677,925

Reinvesting surpluses

The Board of Trustees, in November 2018 approved the transfer of £500k of unrestricted funds to a designated fund for further reinvestment into the Education sector. Eleven project ideas were discussed and in March 2019 five were approved funding.

The projects below generated significant interest within the sector, particularly the sponsorship fund. It is envisaged that whilst there have been no monies distributed as at July 31 2019, a large proportion of the funds will be expended by November 2019. The long-term aim is to continually reinvest surpluses earned each year back into the sector through sponsorship and other projects.

  • Project 1 – E-Learning courses for membersTo deliver free to access e-learning programmes including the fundamental principles of procurement within an educational institution. Funding allocated was £20k.
  • Project 2 – Subsidised costs for Tenet On-Demand servicesRecognising the financial pressures facing education, we offered a discounted “On-demand” services for tendering when CPC frameworks are used as the route to market. Funding allocated was £25k.
  • Project 3 – Collaboration tender for Employee Screening servicesWorking with our partner NPG across the Employee Screening Services framework to utilise our expertise to produce a large-scale tender which would combine education and public sector organisations in the purchase of Employee Screening Services via the CPC framework. Funding allocated was £5k.
  • Project 4 – Regional Procur.Ed ConferencesTo deliver a first-class model that can be rolled out at other conferences nationwide by procuring the services of a specialist conference planning company. The aim would be to maximise member-supplier relationships to generate greater cost savings in the future. Funding allocated was £50k
  • Project 5 – Sponsorship of student related events and activitiesA funding pot of £375k was allocated for members to make bids for projects that enhanced learning and curriculum for students., The fund covered bids up to a maximum of £20k in supporting projects such as gymnasium equipment, IT equipment, nature projects, library stock and much more.
  • Project 6 - Support with staffing costsIt was acknowledged early on that the administrative requirement of the above projects would require dedicated resource and so funding of £25k was allocated to fund a fixed term position.

Directors and Trustees

The directors of the charitable company (“the charity”) are its trustees for the purpose of charity law and throughout this report are collectively referred to as the trustees.

    Nominated Chair

  • D N Pullein, Vice Principal - Finance and Resources, Leeds College of Building, Chair of the College Finance Directors’ Group until 1.1.19

  • J C Bentley, Head of Finance, Hopwood Hall College
  • P Brewer, Managing Director, CPC
  • N Cassidy, Procurement Officer, Cambridge Regional College (Chair of Purchasing Advisory Group)
  • A Comyn, Chief Officer Finance and Resources, Dudley College of Technology
  • J Howard, Director of Estates, Wakefield College from 05/06/19
  • L Jenkins, Deputy Principal Finance and Resources, North Kent College
  • P Kane, Deputy Head of Estate, Belfast Metropolitan College (co-opted with voting rights) from 05/06/19
  • R Kilcoyne, Head of Procurement, Leeds City College (Purchasing Advisory Group)
  • K O’Connor, Head of Marketing, Capital City College Group from 05/06/19
  • Appointments

  • J Howard, Director of Estates, Wakefield College from 05/06/19
  • P Kane, Deputy Head of Estate, Belfast Metropolitan College (co-opted with voting rights) from 05/06/19
  • K O’Connor, Head of Marketing, Capital City College Group from 05/06/19
  • Resignations

  • G Francis, Director of Continuous Improvement, Havering Sixth Form College (Purchasing Advisory Group) (resigned 13/03/19)

Registered Office

Legal Office, Procurement House, Unit 23-25 Leslie Hough Way, Salford, M6 6AJ


Haines Watts, Bridge House, Ashley Road, Hale, Altrincham WA14 2UT

CPL Group

Group Values

Jane Davies

HR Manager

Our strategy provides us with ‘what’ we do. But ‘how’ we deliver our purpose and strategy is what differentiates us and sets us apart and that is driven by our culture, values and behaviours.

The Group values underpin everything we do as a business, they clearly say who we are, what we want to do and express how we work with colleagues, customers and members.

Living our Group Values

From the Managing Director to a part-time employee, every single person lives and breathes our Group values and they are incorporated into our working practices.

Staff Testimonialsliving our values

CPL Group

Learn more about our Mission and Values and read stories about the positive impact CPL Groups Charity funds have had on successful applications.