An important part of what a council must do to help to make sure that there are lots of different types of service and support available (market shaping) is to develop a Market Position Statement (See Manchester and Market Position Statement Examples). A Market Position Statement is a document produced by a commissioning authority that outlines:
- What support and care services people need and how they need them to be provided.
- The support and services available at the moment, and what is not available but needs to be.
- What support and care services the council thinks people will need in the future.
- What the future of care and support will be like locally, how it will be funded and purchased.
- How commissioners want to shape the opportunities that will be available.
The main aim of a Market Position Statement is to encourage commissioners, people who use services, carers and provider organisations to work together to explain what care services and support is needed in the area and why.
As the Institute for Public Care says, it is important to understand that a Market Position Statement (MPS) is the 'start, not the end point, of a process of market facilitation', 'An MPS has little value in its own right. The test is how does the council use such a document once developed'. 
The Care Act states that commissioning and market shaping should be a shared endeavour, including the production of Market Position Statements:
"Local authorities should take the lead to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and citizens in order to develop effective approaches to care and support, including through developing the JSNA and a Market Position Statement". Because a Market Position Statement is often the starting point of a council's market shaping process, it is important to develop this in an equal partnership with people using services and other important stakeholders.
 Institute for Public Care. (2014). DCMQC Briefing Paper 2: Developing a Market Position Statement. (opens new window) p.8.
 Department of Health. (2014). Care and Support Statutory Guidance: Issued under the Care Act 2014. (opens new window) p.55.