When to use the Service Agreement—Standard Terms (social services)

When buying social services, there are a few different contract templates you could use.

This guide will help you decide whether the Service Agreement—Standard Terms (PDF, 562KB) are suitable for what you want to do.

Use for contracts:

  • generally, for services classified as strategic, leveraged or focused (as per the VRM)
  • where service users have highly complex, critical or special needs, such as high dependency, high vulnerability or limited capability (e.g. for people with mental disabilities, children, or for emergency responses)
  • where there is a high risk to deliver services to users (e.g. transitioning service delivery, or providing service continuity)
  • for professional services where advice may be relied upon by a user (e.g. victims services, culturally and linguistically diverse people’s support, legal services, family counselling). This is distinct from ‘generalised professional services’, where users may be at risk of increased vulnerability when relying on advice from these service providers
  • where there are privacy issues requiring a service provider (or subcontractor) to sign a confidentiality agreement
  • where there is a need for greater contractual rights to monitor service delivery (e.g. due to past performance issues, an immature or restructuring industry, or political sensitivity)
  • where there is the potential for the government’s reputation or relationship with the service provider to be compromised (requiring ‘relationship not to be compromised’ provisions)
  • where there are multiple service types that may be appropriately managed under one service agreement with multiple schedules
  • where the contracted services are for more than 1 year.

Don’t use for contracts:


Please note: Where the risk related to the funding cannot be managed within the Service Agreement—Standard Terms, additional special conditions should be included in the Funding and Service Details.