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We publish news from the Improvement Service as well as other news relevant to local government improvement in Scotland. We welcome contributions from Scottish local authorities and partner organisations. If you have a story you would like to share, contact us.

Next Generation contract for myaccount and digital public services awarded

The Improvement Service has appointed four technology partners to further develop myaccount and its platform for digital public services.

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New project management qualification from Improvement Service and Scotland Excel

The Improvement Service and Scotland Excel are joining forces to deliver an established qualification in project management. The course will focus on the practical application of key project management skills in a local government context.

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Parentsportal.scot ready to go live

 A new online service designed to transform communications between schools and parents/carers is about to be launched. Parentsportal.scot is designed to replace the ‘schoolbag run’, giving parents online access to a range of school-related services.

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Myaccount celebrates over 500,000 registered users

Myaccount, the secure sign-in service for online public services in Scotland, has reached a milestone of half a million registered users. A Glasgow resident has become the 500,000th person to register with the service.

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Scottish Financial Capability Week 2018

Scottish Financial Capability Week will take place from 12-18 November 2018 aiming to raise awareness about the stubbornly low levels of financial capability across Scotland, and encourage organisations to work together to address this issue and help people make the most of their money.

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Transformation on the table at public service discussions

The Improvement Service and Audit Scotland hosted a round table on transformational change in January, with public service and third sector leaders, policy makers and partners attending to speak about their experiences.

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Green light for basic income pilot thanks to successful funding bid

A successful joint bid to the Scottish Government for £250,000 will help fund the work to design local pilots of basic income in four councils across Scotland.

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Mental health programme seeking workplace equality consultant

See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination, is looking for a Workplace Equality Consultant.

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First Spatial Hub Forum a success

Local government spatial data experts gathered on 1 May 2018 for the first Spatial Hub Forum, hosted by the Spatial Information Service (SIS).

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Support for tackling child poverty

The IS is supporting the Scottish Government and Hunter Foundation Innovation Fund to tackle child poverty, with interim chief executive Sarah Gadsden sitting on the panel to advise on applications.

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IS ‘highly commended’ for welfare advice research at LARIA awards

The Improvement Service was highly commended at the LARIA Research Impact Awards 2018, coming second in the ‘best use of local area research’ category.

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Framework for measuring performance and progress in tackling violence against women published

The Scottish Government, COSLA and the Improvement Service have published the Equally

 Safe Quality Standards and Performance Framework. Developed in partnership with the National Violence Against Women Network, the framework provides an invaluable resource to help multi-agency Violence Against Women Partnerships measure their progress and performance in implementing Equally Safe: Scotland’s Strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls at a local level.

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Improvement Service Shortlisted for LARIA Research Impact Award

The Improvement Service’s Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis of the embedding of welfare rights advisors in medical practices has been shortlisted for the ‘best use of local area research’ award in the Local Area Research and Intelligence Association (LARIA) Research Impact Awards.

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myaccount to continue to support Scottish Government’s ambitions for digital public services

2018 will be a big year for this multiple award-winning service, as we look to build on myaccount’s strong foothold in local government and health. In the first quarter of the year, more online public services “powered by” myaccount will launch – Parents Portal, NHS Scotland’s Health and Social Care Portal (as a proof of concept) and South Lanarkshire Council.

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Improvement Service appoints interim chief executive

The Improvement Service has appointed an interim chief executive, initially for eight months, to succeed Colin Mair, who retires at the end of this month. Sarah Gadsden, currently Director of Strategic Development and Collaboration within the Improvement Service, was chosen by the Improvement Service Board.

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Getting organised for the impact of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018. In common with other organisations, the Improvement Service is working hard towards ensuring it complies with the new regulation.

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Money Advice Performance Management Framework (MAMPF) Annual Report 2016/17 Published

The Money Advice Outcomes (MAO) project team have published the Money Advice Performance Management Framework (MAPMF) annual report for 2016/17, alongside individual reports for each local authority. All 32 Scottish local authorities submitted data returns regarding the money advice services they delivered or funded during the 2016/17 financial year

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Councils continue to perform well despite sharp reduction in spend

Scotland’s councils continue to perform well for their communities in terms of service delivery despite a sharp reduction in their finances according to the latest Local Government Benchmarking Framework report.

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Turning Volunteer Participation Upside Down event

As part of the Improvement Service's Leading Practice Conference Programme, join Volunteer Scotland, the Improvement Service, Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface and Argyll and Bute council on their journey to realise how volunteers and public services can collectively improve outcomes for their communities.

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North Lanarkshire Council  wins Verint EMEA Digital Engagement Award

 North Lanarkshire Council has won the prestigious excellence in Digital Engagement Award at the Verint EMEA 2017 awards at a ceremony held in central London.

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Dundee regeneration conference materials available

The IS and Dundee City Council hosted a regeneration conference in Discovery Point, Dundee on 8 November 2017, as part of the IS Leading Practice conference programme.

Colleagues from Dundee City Council and partner organisations shared their stories about Dundee’s journey to transforming a city, focusing on both economic and community regeneration.

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Funding agreed to extend welfare advice within healthcare model

The Scottish Government has provided funding for a Welfare Advice Service Facilitator to help embed welfare rights and money advisors within GP practices and primary care services.

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Community Planning Portal improvements

A refresh of the Community Planning in Scotland Portal has been completed to incorporate resources supporting health and social care partnerships.

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SLAED Economic Development Activities Update

The SLAED Indicators Report for 2016-17 was published on 24 November. The report provides consistent data and evidence on what councils throughout Scotland are delivering as local economic development organisations. This is the fifth year that the SLAED Indicators Report has been produced and it assists in ongoing monitoring of performance and resource allocation within councils.

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Volunteers sought to trial change framework

The IS is now trialling its Change Framework, an online resource which provides tools, templates, reports and good practice to help support change projects.

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Money Advice Service conducting first mapping of financial capability provision for children and young people

The Money Advice Service is conducting the first ever mapping of financial capability provision for children and young people, as part of its work to help better coordinate financial education in the UK.

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Improvement Service scoops prize at 2017 UK IT Industry Awards

The Improvement Service has won the Big Data/Analytics Project of the Year Award at the 2017 UK IT Industry Awards.

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TellMeScotland unveils new website

Tellmescotland, Scotland’s national public information notices portal, has been relaunched with a new look and improved functionality.

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Partnership aims to boost digital services for young people

A partnership to increase the development of digital services available using the Young Scot National Entitlement Card (NEC) has been agreed between Young Scot and the Improvement Service.

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Aberdeen seeks directors to lead transformation

Aberdeen City Council is seeking four new directors to oversee transformation of the council's operating model.

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IS to offer support for early learning and childcare expansion

The IS has been awarded funding from Scottish Government to be an integral part of the Early Learning and Childcare Expansion (ELC) Delivery Support team and is in the process of recruiting six regional ELC Expansion Change Management Programme Managers, two ELC Expansion Business Analysts and an ELC Expansion Knowledge Management Project Officer.

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Data Hub nominated for IT award

The National Entitlement Card Migration Project has been shortlisted for the 'Big Data/Analytics Project of the Year' awards at the UK IT Industry Awards 2017.

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Parent views of school engagement and an online portal

Research detailing parents' views of schools' communications and the development of an online portal has been published

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