Seeking External Assistance

Sometimes your group will find it needs to seek external help. External advice and assistance can come from various sources - it might be someone from the local community recruited as a volunteer to carry out a specific project; or a consultant hired to conduct a feasibility study, or it could be contractors building your village hall.

First identify which tasks you can do yourselves. Very often, it will be a good idea for the committee members to do as much as they can themselves at the planning stage of any project. They will have good local knowledge and an understanding of the aims and targets. It is also very important that your group retain their sense of ownership in a project, so make sure that the committee are clear about their individual tasks and their collective role in overseeing and co-ordinating.

Reasons for seeking external assistance

  • a committee member may have the expertise but wants to avoid any potential conflict of interest
  • no-one in your group knows the answer to a specific question and needs some guidance
  • you simply need more hands on deck to complete a task
  • you want someone impartial or someone with particular skills 
  • the committee members may not have the relevant experience or time

If you need to think about appointing a contractor/supplier/consultant you will need to:-

  • prepare a tender brief
  • think about the skills that you are going to need and decide on what sort of person/professional/agency is going to be able to deliver these
  • access a list of ‘approved providers’ and/or do some research on potential consultants or contractors
  • draw up and sign a contract (your group can only sign a legal contract in its own name if your group has a legal identity of its own – that is, it is incorporated)
  • be able to competently oversee/manage the project and the appointed contractor/supplier/consultant

Other Community Toolkit Topics to look at:


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Last Updated 20/03/2015 17:31