Commissioning is most effective in achieving the best outcomes when partners work to a set of common values and principles. The following principles, adopted by all 31 PHNs across Australia, will underpin the PHNs’ commissioning approach.

Understand the needs of the community by analysing data, engaging and consulting with consumers, clinicians, carers and providers, peak bodies, community organisations and funders.
Engage with potential service providers well in advance of commissioning new services.
Place outcomes for users at the heart of the strategic planning process.
Adopt a whole of system approach to meeting health needs and delivering improved health outcome
Understand the fullest practical range of providers including the contribution they could make to delivering outcomes and addressing market failure and gaps, and encourage diversity in the market.
Co-design solutions; engage with stakeholders, including consumer representatives, peak bodies, community organisations, potential providers and other funders, to develop evidence-based and outcome-focused solutions.
Consider investing in the capacity of providers and consumers, particularly in relation to hard-to-reach groups.
Ensure procurement and contracting processes are transparent and fair, facilitating the involvement of the broadest range of suppliers, including alternative arrangements such as consortia building where appropriate.
Manage through relationships work in partnership, building connections at multiple levels of partner organisations and facilitate links between stakeholders.
Develop environments high in trust through collaborative governance, shared decision-making and collective performance management.

Ensure efficiency, value for money, and service enhancement.
Monitor and evaluate through regular performance reports; consumer, clinician, community and provider feedback, and independent evaluation.