The Third Sector


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Charities and Voluntary Organisations throughout the UK cover a wide range of needs and causes including relief & development, social & community, environmental & health, ethnic and heritage. In order to meet these needs they are required to deliver a wide range of programmes and projects.

New programmes and projects benefit enormously from a workforce with  specific skills in planning, team management, delivery, budget management and, most importantly,  sharing the core values and commitment to make changes happen.


Delivering Great Projects

Good project management means delivering on time and within budget: great project management means making a difference to people’s lives. Experience has shown that delivering great projects means actively involving the whole team. This includes Customers (the organization paying for the project and the people who will benefit from it) and Suppliers (builders, IT consultants and other service and equipment suppliers). Everyone needs to be involved at an appropriate time and level.


Individual Projects

Any project in the voluntary sector would benefit from a structured approach like PRINCE2® which focuses on delivery through clear objectives and plans, as well as effective control of risk, change, quality, cost and time. PRINCE2®, with its emphasis on early and continuous cooperation between customers and suppliers, is particularly suitable for managing individual projects.


Coordinating the Programme

An additional challenge for voluntary organisations is to keep oversight of a host of projects simultaneously even though the ultimate responsibility to deliver lies with commercial suppliers. So a programme management framework like MSP® is also needed to coordinate the projects and maintain a clear link between these projects and the strategic vision. Projects tend to focus on time, cost and quality - someone also needs to make sure that the wider benefits are delivered to the whole community. MSP® is particularly relevant to voluntary organizations who need to deliver a number of projects simultaneously with limited resources.


PRINCE2® and MSP® for Charities

Many voluntary organisations have made some investment in training staff in MSP® and PRINCE2®. But we believe that the importance of many charitable projects requires a more focused approach than our standard PRINCE2® and MSP® courses can provide. We have therefore worked closely with our clients in the Third Sector to develop a range of PRINCE2® and MSP® training courses aimed specifically at voluntary organisations.  These could be run on a closed, single-organization basis or opened up to delegates from across the voluntary sector.


Project Management Techniques

PRINCE2® and MSP® provide a framework which can be applied to any project or programme and quite deliberately do not cover detailed tools and techniques. We have therefore developed a range of courses in the techniques which are particularly relevant to organizations in the Third Sector. These include: Risk Management; Change Management™; Benefits Management; Planning and Control Using MS Project; Supplier Management.


Real-World Case Studies

There is no emphasis on the PRINCE2® or MSP® examinations during these courses although the exams may be taken separately. Instead, delegates will have the opportunity to examine in depth a range of real-world issues including planning, risk management and change control based on lessons already learned by a range of voluntary organizations in real projects.


Training for the Whole Team

The focus of this training programme is on enabling all kinds of voluntary organisations to deliver great projects through best practice project and programme management. We recognize that many of the stakeholders in charitable projects do not need to be involved in the day to day management of a project – but do want their voice heard – so we offer a range of short courses ranging from a half-day seminar for members of a Project Board through to an in depth 3-day course in PRINCE2® or MSP® for those involved in delivering  projects on a full-time basis. The courses offer a great opportunity to bring customers and suppliers together to discuss real-life issues.


Course Outlines

You can download details of our PRINCE2® or MSP® courses from our schedule. Please note that we are very happy to tailor any of the courses to meet particular local circumstances at no additional cost.


Benchmark - Experience in The Third Sector

On 3rd December 2010, Benchmark Training in cooperation with Jenny Crawford, Head of Project Management at The Guide Dogs for the Blind chaired a Seminar on 'Project Management in the Third Sector' held at Bath University's Innovation Centre.

The programme included presentations by a range of speakers from the Third Sector community and experts from industry on:

  • Programme Management/Benefit Realisation
  • Embedding Project Management in a 3rd Sector Organisation
  • Agile Project Management - Making PRINCE2® Work for the Third Sector
  • Happiness at Work and How it Improves Productivity
  • Influencing Senior Management

The event aimed to share useful information and provide a forum for discussing best practice in programme and project management in the Third Sector.

The seminar was sponsored in its entirety by Benchmark Training and was supported by over 40 charities from all over the country.

If your Charity or Third Sector organisation is interested in the topics covered in this event or would like to discuss how effective project and programme management can help your organisation, then please call us on 01225 444501 or you could e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your contact details.

Free Resources

PRINCE2® Made Simple

Our free, concise PRINCE2® booklet. Click here to download it.

Mind Maps

Our exclusive PRINCE2®, PRINCE2 Agile® and MSP® mind maps bring together the key elements of the methods at a glance. Download them here.

PRINCE2® Software - PROJECT in a Box

To find out more about the Benchmark edition of PROJECT in a Box click here.

Project Document Templates

Click here to download our free templates for PRINCE2® project documents.

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