Arrow point in a new direction

New transformation support available from IS

The Improvement Service has launched a renewed offer of support to councils on transformation.

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New Report Highlights Extent of Councils’ Economic Development Activities

The Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development (SLAED) Indicators Report for 2017/18 was published on 6 December 2018. The publication coincided with the SLAED- EDAS annual conference.

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Blog: Public health reform is an opportunity we need to grasp

Last month I had the pleasure of meeting directors of public health as a group for the first time and was deeply encouraged by their positive attitude not only towards the reform of public health but also to the role local government plays in improving health and wellbeing outcomes for our communities.

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A community lottery for Scottish local government

For a number of months, the Improvement Service has been facilitating discussions with councils on the potential to establish a local authority lottery scheme.

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First cohorts of project management qualification underway

The first three cohorts of the PDA in Project Management are underway, with each group progressing well and really interesting debates in each workshop.

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Improvement Service hosts second Change Manager’s Networking Event

In June 2018 the Improvement Service hosted its first Change Manager's Networking Event.

We listened to those who attended the event and found that individuals and organisations were looking for support with change and transformation, particularly around service redesign, leadership, culture, people, empowerment and data.

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Spatial Information Service publishes new national datasets and encourages conference attendance

The Spatial Information Service (SIS) exists to improve local authority’s spatial data and its use. It also plays a role in promoting spatial data and technology across the wider community.

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16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign - 25 November to 10 December

Violence and abuse can have a devastating impact on the lives of women and children in local communities. It is estimated that more than 1 in 3 women in Scotland have experienced physical and/or sexual violence, and 1 in 5 children have experienced domestic abuse.

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Improvement Service to be awarded Cycle Friendly Employer Award

On 3 December the Improvement Service will be presented with the nationally recognised Cycle Friendly Employer Award by Cycling Scotland. The Award aims to support and encourage cycling as a healthy, sustainable and accessible way to travel to work.

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Improvement Service supports Scottish Poppy Appeal 2018

Inspired by Lt Colonel John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields, written during the First World War, the poppy has become the symbol of Remembrance for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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Change Management Training for Councils

The IS’s Change Management Team has developed a range of free training for councils to help improve their change management skills and capacity.

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Cloud services and online proof of identity among myaccount developments

Work on the next generation of myaccount has begun following the contract award in August. With the ink now dry on the contracts, the Improvement Service has been busy working with the four appointed suppliers - Tata Consultancy, Brightsolid, Yoti and Wallet Services - to lay the foundations for the next generation ambitions to be achieved.

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Funding to increase number of money advice workers in GP practices

The Scottish Government has granted £189,000 to the Improvement Service to extend the availability of money and welfare advice in healthcare settings.

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Supporting STEM careers through pupil

 placement

Geospatial data underpins almost everything we do, from satellites to smartphones. With a recognised skills deficiency in this sector, the Improvement Service recently hosted a week-long pupil placement in geospatial data analysis.

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Increasing the value of local government data

The Spatial Information Service (SIS) delivers a range of projects and initiatives that seek to make better use, and increase the value, of local authorities’ rich location and address-based data. It also provides guidance, support and representation for local authorities on many national data and technology initiatives.

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Get ready for Talk Money Scotland Week 2018

The Talk Money Scotland Week (formerly Financial Capability Week) will take place between the 12-18 November 2018. The annual event is celebrating the work thousands of organisations are doing to improve financial capability across the UK.

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One Scotland Gazetteer to support first online census

The Improvement Service has been working with National Records of Scotland in preparation for the 2021 Census. The forthcoming Census, which will be conducted online for the first time in the UK, will use the One Scotland Gazetteer (OSG) as the core address dataset.

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Launch of Partners In Planning website: a key element to delivering outcomes

Partners in Planning have launched a new website to provide people working in the planning system with a single point of access to the skills and knowledge that enable behaviour change.

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Change management support

The new Professional Development Award (PDA) in Project Management offered jointly by the Improvement Service and Scotland Excel is off to an encouraging start. Seven councils are taking part in the first cohort with  a further four council-specific cohorts to come over the next few months in South Lanarkshire (x2), North Lanarkshire and Fife.

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Community finance project improves financial inclusion

A pilot project to establish a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) has increased access to affordable credit and financial services among its target market, and improved confidence in managing money, according to an evaluation by the Improvement Service.

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Cycle networks and culverts added to Spatial Hub

Two new datasets - cycle networks and culverts - have been published on Spatial Hub, the source of

Scottish local government spatial data.

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Money Worries - In Sickness and In Health

The Welfare Advice Service Facilitator team has created a short film to support the establishment of welfare advice and health partnerships.

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Change management team learning from Wigan colleagues

The IS' change management team visited Wigan Council in June to find out more about how it has been changing the way it works with customers, communities and partners.

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Change manager's networking event

The IS Change Management team held a Change Manager’s Networking Event in Glasgow in June.

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Partnership looking to smart technology to tackle attainment

A new project to tackle the attainment gap in Scotland through partnership with Scottish Government and Young Scot has been launched by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

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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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Talk Money Scotland Week 2018

The Talk Money Scotland Week (formerly Financial Capability Week) will take place between the 12-18 November 2018. The annual event is celebrating the work thousands of organisations are doing to improve financial capability across the UK.

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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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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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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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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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