• Community Planning & Single Outcome Agreements (SOAs)

    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.

  • SOA Guidance and Support

    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:


    • use an evidence-based approach, underpinned by disaggregated data, to drive improvement in meeting the differing needs of local populations
    • include clear performance commitments that will lead to demonstrable improvements in people’s lives
    • focus upon reducing outcome gaps within populations and between areas – and promote early intervention and preventative approaches in reducing inequalities
    • identify priorities for interventions and include plans for prevention, integration and improvement to promote better partnership working and more effective use of resources


    The 2013 SOAs demonstrate a clearer focus on reducing inequalities within and between communities, in relation to six agreed national priorities:


    • economic recovery and growth
    • employment
    • early years
    • safer and stronger communities, and reducing offending
    • health inequalities and physical activity
    • outcomes for older people


    Tools to support Single Outcome Agreements

    We have developed several tools which an assist CPPs in developing and monitoring their Single Outcome Agreements. These include:


    • Menu of Local Outcome Indicators - a suite of outcome indicators for use in SOAs
    • Viewstat - an interactive mapping tool that allows you to see data on life outcomes mapped to neighbourhoods
    • Community Profiler - an interactive mapping tool that allows you to see data on life outcomes mapped to neighbourhoods
  • Further Support for CPPs

    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:


    • Supported self-assessment for CPPs and support for members of CPP Boards
    • Assisting CPPs in improving the availability and use of evidence and data to support improvement
    • Developing a Community Planning Outcomes Profile to help CPPs better assess their performance and identify opportunities for improvement
    • Working with CPPs and Third Sector Interfaces to strengthen the role of the third sector in Community Planning


Andrew McGuire

Head of Improving Outcomes

Tel. 07824 599725

Email Andrew