The Improvement Service (IS) is the national improvement organisation for local government in Scotland.
Our purpose is to help councils and their partners to improve the health, quality of life and opportunities of all people in Scotland through community leadership, strong local governance and the delivery of high quality, efficient local services.
Through a series of principles, the IS works to promote improvement in local government and among its partners to support them improve outcomes and reduce the outcome gaps within populations and within areas.
The IS delivers a range of products and services that support CPPs to build their capacity to deliver the public service reform agenda.
The IS has a non-partisan role to support all elected members in Scotland.
The Improvement Service has pulled together information on Scottish local authorities' decision making and governance arrangements. The information should help local authorities to see the different governance arrangements in place across all 32 councils. It should also help public service partner organisations as well as local people understand how their local authority makes decisions and what arrangements are in place for effective governance and scrutiny.
The Improvement Services produces a series of newsletters on a range of subjects, including myaccount, elected members, tellmescotland as well as the main IS newsletter. Subscribe on this page.
Further Support for CPPs
Community Planning is the process by which public services in a local area are planned and provided. Local authorities have a duty to initiate, maintain and facilitate the process. Scottish Ministers have a duty to promote and encourage the use of Community Planning.
A number of public sector organisations are statutory partners in Community Planning (local authority, health board, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland, enterprise agency and regional transport partnership). Many Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) also involve other public, voluntary, community and private sector organisations.
A Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) is am agreement between a CPP and Scottish Government which sets the priority outcomes for each area, and how the CPP will work towards achieving them. It also shows how the local priorities contribute to the national priorities.
In 2012, the Scottish Government and COSLA carried out a review of Community Planning and Single Outcome Agreements. This resulted in a Statement of Ambition which set a new direction for outcome-based partnership working in Scotland.
Since then, the Scottish Government has introduced the Community Empowerment Bill to strengthen Community Planning in line with the Statement of Ambition.
The 2012 Guidance to Community Planning Partnerships on Single Outcome Agreements sets out how CPPs will mobilise public sector assets, activities and resources, together with those of the voluntary and private sectors and local communities, to deliver a shared and binding ‘plan for place’.
New SOAs were agreed between CPPs and Scottish Government in 2013, on the basis that they:
The 2013 SOAs demonstrate a clearer focus on reducing inequalities within and between communities, in relation to six agreed national priorities:
We have developed several tools which an assist CPPs in developing and monitoring their Single Outcome Agreements. These include:
The new SOA is the expression of strengthened Community Planning arrangements, overseen and supported by the National Group on Community Planning. One of the National Group's key roles is to ensure that CPPs have the capacity to deliver the expectations in the SOA Guidance.
The Improvement Service is leading on work which will help build this local capacity, including:
Head of Improving Outcomes
Tel. 07824 599725