Other sectors

As well as its extensive work in the highways and fire and rescue sector, Proving Services have worked with many other public and private sector organisations to help them improve value for money and operational efficiency. Three examples, chosen to demonstrate the diversity of Proving’s client base, are set out below:


In 2017, Proving Services completed an Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness Review for the national Girlguiding organisation. The review covered seven Girlguiding activities:

  • Back Office Services
  • Property Management
  • Income Generation and Trading
  • Communications
  • Membership Growth & Retention
  • Quality Assurance
  • Volunteer Support and Development.

The objective of the review was to support the organisation’s objective of ‘Being our Best’ and aimed to identify ways to:

  • Improve organisational efficiency, reduce duplication of effort and secure better value for money for the organisation.
  • Reduce the administrative burden on volunteers.
  • Improve the quality and consistency of the guiding experience for young members.

The process involved a series of workshops, one-to-one interviews and a survey questionnaire. In total over 110 volunteers and paid staff participated in the process.

The outcome of the review was strategic improvement plan for the organisation setting out a number of measures to improve operational efficiency across all seven areas of focus with themes that included culture, relationships, accountability, systems and processes, performance and risk management and data and information. Girlguiding adopted the improvement plan as the key pillar for developing its future strategy for growth and efficiency.

Derbyshire County Transport Fleet Services

In 2019, Proving completed a value for money assessment and future service delivery options appraisal for Derbyshire County Transport Fleet Services. Two service areas were reviewed:

  • County Transport Fleet Management – The service is responsible for providing cost-effective solutions and advice regarding the purchase, lease or hire of the Derbyshire County Core Fleet, comprising some 700 vehicles, from gritters to pool cars.
  • County Transport Fleet Maintenance – The service is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the Derbyshire County Core Fleet and also for a number of external customers including the Derbyshire Constabulary Fleet.

The assessment was completed through a series of workshops involving representatives from management, delivery and the customer base of DCTFS. The Proving VfM Framework was used to shape the methodology for the review with the strategic drivers for the service first being determined after which a series of factors were identified and weighted for each VfM dimension, to reflect the priorities and challenges of the two services.

The VfM assessments undertaken provided DCTFS with a clear evaluation of current VfM performance across both management and maintenance functions and a detailed, prioritised action plan for improvement.

The review then went on to evaluate future service delivery options, considering nine potential service delivery models including all in-house, wholly externalised and a local authority trading company. By using the Proving model to assess each model for strategic fit, attractiveness and achievability, the review provided DCTFS with clear rankings in terms of the ability of each model to deliver the service’s strategic priorities.


Bank of England
In partnership with Moorhouse Consulting and Consult Hyperion, Proving was engaged by the Bank of England to carry out a review of its £250m real-time gross settlement (RTGS) Renewal Programme throughout November 2019. This programme was designed to upgrade the UK inter bank payments system and was the biggest such programme in the world.

The three areas identified by the Bank as the focus for this assurance were:

  • The Programme’s application of its decision making processes, and the key controls that are central to financial decision making.
  • How the Programme had developed its benefit management approach and plans to embed this within the Programme.
  • The degree to which a VfM culture had been successfully embedded within programme management and staff.

The review was based around taking both a top-down and bottom-up approach, focussed on providing pragmatic advice into ways of improving the Programme to meet future challenges, and further embed the VfM framework.

The top-down approach was driven by interviews with senior stakeholders. In total, we interviewed 33 stakeholders across all areas of the Programme to ensure we captured a full range of experience, insight, and opinion. We also reviewed over 50 documents to provide further evidence of how the VfM approach had been defined and was being applied.

The bottom-up approach was structured around a VfM questionnaire developed by Proving Services, to give a complete assessment of a programme’s approach and application of the VfM principles. We aligned all our observations to the 4Es used by the NAO (economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and equity), and prioritised the recommendations based on their impact on overall maturity.

The review delivered the Bank a detailed summary of observations on current performance and opportunities for improvement, structured across the key themes of culture, decision making and benefits management. The Bank has deployed Proving and its partners on subsequent occasions since to undertake waypoint assessments of progress against the actions agreed.