The Public Service Improvement Framework (PSIF) is a self-assessment approach to support improvement in organisations, with a comprehensive review of their own activities and results. It promotes a robust approach to continuous improvement and is mapped to a number of established organisational improvement tools.
The PSIF provides a framework of statements to challenge existing performance through a structured process, which is developed to suit organisational needs and drivers. The standard PSIF statements can be adapted for use at a service, corporate or organisational level to support continuous improvement.
Through a programme of training, awareness raising and support from the Improvement Service PSIF team, PSIF organisations can systematically roll-out a programme of self-assessments throughout their organisation. The self-assessment process enables organisations to identify their strengths and the areas for improvement which will inform planning and define improvement initiatives. You will find information based on the experiences of these organisations in our FAQs.
The PSIF team engages with many public service and third sector organisations, preparing them for future implementation of PSIF.
If you have any enquiries about PSIF or require further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
PSIF was launched in September 2006, with six organisations identified to take part in Phase One of the roll-out: City of Edinburgh Council; Stirling Council and Clackmannanshire Council (based on certain shared services); Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue; Strathclyde Fire and Rescue; Scottish University for Industry (Learndirect Scotland).
PSIF has developed significantly over the years as it has been updated to remain relevant for the public sector in Scotland. As well as the standard PSIF statement set, there is now numerous other PSIF statement sets for areas such as Community Planning and Health and Social Care.
The table below shows the organisations and partnerships using or used the PSIF since 2015.
|Standard PSIF Statements||PSIF for Community Planning||PSIF for Health and Social Care|
|City of Edinburgh Council||Angus CPP||Argyll & Bute IJB|
|Clackmannanshire Council||Argyll & Bute CPP||Chester Park Care Home|
|Comhairle nan Eilean Siar||Community Planning Improvement Board||Clackmannanshire and Stirling Chief Officers Group|
|COSLA||Dundee CPP||Craigieknowes Care Home|
|Dumfries and Galloway Council||Dundee City Council Administration||Dundee Adult Protection Committee|
|Dundee City Council||East Ayrshire CPP||Dundee Child Protection Committee|
|Falkirk Council||East Dunbartonshire CPP||Shetland HSPC|
|Fife Council||East Lothian CPP|
|The Highland Council||Fife CPP|
|Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland||Highland CPP|
|Improvement Service||Inverclyde CPP|
|Inverclyde Council||Midlothian CPP|
|Macmillan Cancer Support||Moray CPP|
|Midlothian Council||North Lanarkshire CPP|
|The Moray Council||Outer Hebrides CPP|
|North Ayrshire Council||Renfrewshire CPP|
|North Lanarkshire Council||Shetland CPP|
|Officer of the Scottish Charity Regulator||South Lanarkshire CPP|
|Police Scotland||West Dunbartonshire CPP|
|Scottish Borders Council|
|Scottish Police Authority|
|Scottish Fire and Rescue Service|
|South Lanarkshire Council|
|West Dunbartonshire Council|
Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) are tasked to deliver the outcomes identified in Local Outcomes Improvement Plans (LOIP) for each area in Scotland and comprise of officers from local government, the NHS, police, fire and the third sector amongst others.
The key aim of self-assessment at this level is to support the Board of the CPP to ensure that areas such as governance, accountability, leadership and performance management are fit for purpose to achieve the outcomes of the LOIP.
The following PSIF based frameworks for CPP’s are available to support self-assessment. These are:
The PSIF team engages with many Community Planning Partnerships wishing to undertake a self-assessment.
If you are interested in undertaking a Community Planning Partnership self-assessment please contact email@example.com
With the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 coming into force on April 1st, 2016, health and social care services have been integrated across Scotland. This has taken the form of Health and Social Care Partnerships, with the majority having an Integration Joint Board (IJB) to oversee this process.
In order to support health and social care integration, self-assessment checklists have been developed to provide improvement support to both IJBs and Health and Social Care Partnerships (see below).
In order to reflect the regulatory and inspection environment of this area, the Health and Social Care Checklist was developed in partnership with the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), based upon the joint inspection quality indicators for adult services. The self-assessment for IJBs adopts a similar approach to the of the CPP Checklist and focuses primarily upon areas such as governance, accountability, leadership and performance management within a health and social care context.
The PSIF approach can also be used at committee level to support improvement work, with adult support and protection and child protection committees having used this self-assessment approach.
Pilot work is underway in 2019 to support improvement in care homes across Scotland. This pilot is testing the PSIF approach in partnership with the Care Inspectorate and Scottish Care.
The following PSIF based frameworks for HSCPs/IJBs are available to support self-assessment.
The PSIF Team engages with a number of organisations within health and social care.
If you are interested in undertaking a self-assessment within health and social care please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The PSIF Benchmarking Network was established in 2010 by Clackmannanshire Council following recognition that there was an absence of reliable comparative results for PSIF organisations for benchmarking for improvement, particularly for people, customer, and community results.
The work of the network involves undertaking further analysis on results to compare and challenge performance, to look in more detail at the corresponding processes and practices and the way services are managed and delivered. Only once the intelligence that lies behind the results is considered, does it become easier to identify the differences between organisations, to understand why these occur, and to identify what needs to be done to improve a particular aspect of service delivery.
The network collates its annual results and produces data on a range of people measures. This shows what organisations have achieved in terms of motivating, involving, developing, and valuing their employees. Some organisations were pleasantly surprised to be the benchmark for others as they felt their work in a particular area was still under development, but they have willingly shared their journey with others in the Network.
The indicators used by the PSIF Benchmarking Network are currently under review to ensure these remain relevant and focussed on the key priorities of the network.
The implementation and guidance around the use of the PSIF is flexible to suit each organisation’s culture and experience e.g. some organisations have started their PSIF journey by completing fully facilitated assessments; using online checklists; templates; or using a Corporate Management Team assessment whilst others pilot the PSIF within a service area. There are numerous options on how to implement PSIF and all are equally valid and realise benefits dependant on that particular organisation.
Yes, the PSIF can be used to examine themes, using the red threads that are contained within the framework. Red threads can be used to assess the following themes: Communicating with Employees; Communicating with Customers and Partners; Impact on the Community; Customer Focus; Governance and Accountability; Managing Knowledge and Information; Managing and Developing Employees; Process Improvement; Partnership Working; Sustainability; Equalities; Efficiency; and Benefit Realisation.
There is also a separate accompanying framework that is focused on a corporate self-assessment.
The PSIF community already consists of local authorities, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, non-profit departmental bodies and third sector organisations. Tailored PSIF frameworks have also been used by Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) throughout Scotland, both at Board and Thematic level. We would actively welcome enquiries from any public or third sector organisation, both within and beyond Scotland.
The PSIF is subject to constant review by our partner organisations and the team within the Improvement Service who monitor its relevance and effectiveness for each participating organisation on an annual basis through the Review Events and formal framework review exercises.
Yes, this is very common and helps to ensure buy-in within organisations.
Organisations who have used the PSIF for a number of years report a variety of benefits including a consistent approach to performance management and improvement planning across the organisation, a more proportionate response from scrutiny and inspection bodies and external recognition. Annual reviews of PSIF by those using the framework show consistently high levels of support and satisfaction with the PSIF model.
The PSIF clearly links to other existing frameworks in use within the public sector in Scotland, reducing duplication of effort. The PSIF has been mapped with those frameworks used by audit, inspection and regulatory bodies. These bodies have also agreed to accept evidence towards future inspections via the PSIF framework reducing duplication of effort and time within local authorities.
The PSIF operates as a partnership with a learning and sharing forum hosted online and via a schedule of regular networking and learning events. This provides a meaningful and open forum to share good practice, experience and lessons learned and offers the opportunity for further benchmarking.
The sharing of best practice and benchmarking is actively encouraged amongst PSIF practitioners. There is an informal benchmarking network in the partnership which encourages sharing and learning from benchmarking data and processes.
Organisations will receive support from the IS PSIF team throughout the process, including regular progress meetings with an officer from the IS PSIF Project team.
The PSIF question set is accompanied by a standard set of materials and supporting systems to ensure a common language and approach for PSIF organisations.
Through involvement with the PSIF community, you will also have the opportunity to network, benchmark and share best practice with the other organisations that are implementing PSIF. This is achieved through:
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