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Improving Outcomes in Money Advice - improving the impact of Scotland's money advice services

MAPMF - Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs

  1. How do I complete the Indicator Sheet?
  2. We do not collect the data as proposed in this Indicator Sheet - what should we do?
  3. We do not provide money advice in-house but fund a third sector organisation. Do we still have to submit the data?
  4. We have an in-house money advice team as well as funding a third sector provider. Do we have to submit two separate data returns?
  5. What do you mean by new client?
  6. What will you do with the data?
  7. Will you publish my data?
  8. Is this going to be a league table?
  9. What do you mean by money advice?
  10. What do you mean by SNSIAP Type I, II and III cases?
  11. What do I get in return for submitting the data to the IS?
  12. What if my definition for an indicator differs from the one in the MAPMF?
  13. SNSIAP type I does not involve casework and we do not record this as ‘number of cases’. What should we record in the return? (A1 Volume)
  14. Is Citizens Advice Scotland aware of this work? What contact has been made with local bureaux?
  15. We externally fund a money advice service, do we need to speak directly to them?
  16. What is meant by ‘The number of cases closed at the end of the financial year’ (A1 Volume)?
  17. What is meant by ‘Total number of clients awaiting outcome this financial year’ (OP1 Debt Strategy Agreed with Client)?
  18. We may struggle to meet the deadline, what should I do?
  19. Should we include Insolvency cases in the Volume (A1) indicator as an ongoing case?

 

1. How do I complete the Indicator Sheet?

The data return template allows councils to only input data in the relevant boxes. In most instances the sheet requires a number to be input. This number will be a total amount (unless otherwise stated); for example, under demographics the gender option requires the total number of clients who were male or female. Several of the indicators have a ‘Don’t know’ option, please input the number of cases that you do not have this information for. Using the same example, you may have gender details for the majority of cases but 131 cases where the information hasn’t been recorded. We ask that you therefore input ‘131’ into the box for Don’t Know. If submitting under ‘Don’t Know’ for any of the data, we ask that you provide further information in the ‘Additional Information’ box. The 'additional information' box is available underneath each indicator for Councils to provide further details or context as required.

 

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2. We do not collect the data as proposed in this Indicator Sheet - what should we do?

We would ask that you provide us with the data you have related to the indicator and/or use the ‘additional information’ comment box to provide details about the data. As we are asking for data retrospectively, we recognise that not everyone will have the data that we have asked for. We would ask that you work with us to collect this data in the future and to provide us with what you can at this point. Please contact the Money Advice Outcomes team to discuss.

 

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3. We do not provide money advice in-house but fund a third sector organisation. Do we still have to submit the data?

Yes. We are asking all councils to submit the data directly to us. If you need support with this please contact the Money Advice Outcomes team.

 

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4. We have an in-house money advice team as well as funding a third sector provider. Do we have to submit two separate data returns?

No. Please fill in all the information into one data return template. We are interested in the total amount of activity in your area that is funded by the council. For example, when we ask for the number of clients, please combine the number of clients from your in-house service with the number of clients from the third sector provider.

 

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5. What do you mean by a ‘contact’ and ‘new client’?

A debt advice contact can be defined as an enquiry from a person seeking information on a money advice matter. The debt advice contact turns into a new case, and new client, if the money advice service has to take some form of action to support the person and/or resolve the issue. This does not include clients who have had their case reopened to deal with an additional issue.

 

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6. What will you do with the data?

The data that you provide will be collated by the Money Advice Outcomes team at the Improvement Service. All data will be stored safely and securely on our servers, and access will only be provided to members of the Money Advice Outcomes team. The data provided will be collated into one master data set in Microsoft Excel, where analysis will then be carried out.

 

Our intention is to share the draft report with councils before it is published. This will ensure that the information is accurate and that we have adequately reflected the information that has been provided to us.

 

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7. Will you publish my data?

We will give all councils the opportunity to look over and comment on drafts of both their individual data report and the overall report. This is to ensure that we have reflected the situation adequately, and that the data we have received is correct.

 

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8. Is this going to be a league table?

No. The purpose of the MAPMF is not to create a league table. We recognise the differences in service delivery models, differences across councils in terms of client base etc. We are not looking to say whether one service is better than the other. The principle aim of the MAPMF is to highlight the contribution that all local authorities and the providers they fund make to the money advice sector in Scotland. Publicly available reports will highlight what councils are delivering in money advice. A year-on-year publication can chart trends and developments. We also aim to use the data provided to highlight any areas of unmet need or improvement to each local authority.

 

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9. What do you mean by money advice?

Money advice in the context of this framework refers to free-to-client advice. Most free-to-client money advice providers describe the service they offer as money or debt advice with some elements of budgeting support, income maximisation, financial inclusion and financial education. It is recognised that service delivery models vary across local authorities in Scotland and therefore the interpretation of what constitutes money advice varies. In general, money advice aims at directing individuals from over-indebtedness and financial exclusion towards financial inclusion, financial education and financial capability. This framework aims to capture the performance of all of the main services provided and funded by local authorities under the umbrella of money advice/debt advice.

 

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10. What do you mean by SNSIAP Type I, II and III cases?

The Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers gives definitions for categories or types of assistance:

 

  • Type I - Active Information, Sign-posting and Explanation
  • Type II - Casework
  • Type III - Advocacy, Representation and Mediation at Tribunal or Court Action Level

 

Please visit the Scottish Government website for more information.

 

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11. What do I get in return for submitting the data to the IS?

There will be very clear benefits for councils both individually and collectively. The Money Advice Outcomes research highlighted the fact that councils were the major funder of money advice services across Scotland and using the performance management framework will help give a clear picture of what exactly councils are getting for their money. This will also be useful in evidencing the contribution made by councils and support any future discussions with other national funders of advice, other key stakeholders and policy makers. Councils will also be able to draw down support from the MAO team via workshops etc. to explore how the data can be used to achieve service improvements. For a full list of benefits, please refer to the ‘Benefits’ section of the MAPMF Indicator Guide.

 

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12. What if my definition for an indicator differs from the one in the MAPMF?

 Please provide us with the data that you have for this indicator. The return template has an ‘Additional Information’ box for each indicator; we ask that you put your definition of the indicator here. You can also use this to provide us with any important caveats to the data (e.g. if your funding data includes funding that covers other services including money advice, please state this. In such circumstances we ask that you provide as much information as possible – in the case of funding, if you can give an indication as to the percentage of funding that the money advice services receive).

 

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13. SNSIAP type I does not involve casework and we do not record this as ‘number of cases’. What should we record in the return? (A1 Volume)

It is understood that SNSIAP Type I advice does not involve casework and, thus, services are likely not recording this as part of ‘new cases’. We would ask that you provide us with what information you have for the new cases indicator and that you provide additional information where possible as to what the final figure consists of. This is particularly important if you do record Type I advice interventions as ‘cases’.

 

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14. Is Citizens Advice Scotland aware of this work? What contact has been made with local bureaux?

Yes, CAS is represented on the Project Advisory Group of the Improving Outcomes in Money Advice project. It is also regularly invited to participate in the MAPMF steering group discussions.

 

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15. We externally fund a money advice service, do we need to speak directly to them?

We are asking that local authorities gather this information from their externally funded money advice service. It is up to each local authority to coordinate with the money advice services it funds. We are asking for one combined report of all money advice activity, be it in-house or externally funded. Where possible, we would ask that local authorities provide contextual information to their external Money Advice Services via the MAPMF guide.

 

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16. What is meant by ‘The number of cases closed at the end of the financial year’ (A1 Volume)?

This means the total number of cases closed during the year as at 31 March of that reporting year. It is recognised that some services will open and close a case multiple times throughout the year. We are thus looking to capture a snap-shot of closed cases at that particular point in time. Where possible, any additional information you can provide on how your services record closed cases would be useful.

 

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17. What is meant by ‘Total number of clients awaiting outcome this financial year’ (OP1 Debt Strategy Agreed with Client)?

This refers to any client who has not yet agreed to a strategy (clients who are currently in the advice process but haven't agreed with their adviser on the outcome). Conversely, clients who ‘did not agree a strategy’ were not willing to commit to an outcome and thus left the service without agreeing to a strategy.

 

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18. We may struggle to meet the deadline, what should I do?

Please contact us directly to let us know. We are keen to understand any difficulties people may experience in collating the data and provide support where we can.  We are available to answer any queries that you may have. You can contact the team at MoneyAdviceOutcomes@improvementservice.org.uk

 

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19. Should we include Insolvency cases in the Volume (A1) indicator as an ongoing case?

Please do not include insolvency cases as an ongoing case. We do recognise though that some organisations may record insolvency cases as an ongoing case. Where possible we would ask that you clarify this in the data return.

 

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Please add comments to the data return template for those indicators where you currently use a different definition from what is suggested in the MAPMF. We will use this feedback as basis for further work to ensure improved consistency of measures and recording.

 

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