This module examines the socio-economic and policy context of commissioning. It considers the dominant models for strategic planning and the planning cycle for assessing needs and priorities; and the key options of 'make or buy'; partner or contract; regulate or control and the choices in relation to evaluation. The module also examines issues of quality and equality and the associated measurement of performance. The involvement of stakeholders in planning, monitoring and evaluating service provision is explored, as is the means for assessing and influencing markets. Finally the module considers the value of partnerships in commissioning, and of their management and legal implications and deals with handling problems of inadequate contract performance.