Research and Publications

We produce a small number of independent research pieces or publications each year, which are listed below. This is in addition to our programme and project-specific publications which can be found on the relevant pages within our Products and Services sections.


If you are interested in finding out more about our research services, visit our research page.


2017 Publications


Talent Management in Public Services in Scotland

This research by the Improvement Service, Edinburgh Napier University Business School and

the University of the West of Scotland’s School of Business and Enterprise aimed to establish the current nature and status of talent management across Scotland’s public services. The report identifies a number of implications for practice and proposes some recommendations as to how these could be addressed.

A practitioner report is also available to accompany this research.


2016 Publications


Instrumental Music Services: Results from the IMS Survey 2016

This report documents the results from the 2016 Instrumental Music Survey.  This is the fourth consecutive year of this national survey and reports on the provision of local authority led Instrumental Music Services in Scotland.  Information available includes: tuition fees, concession rates, instrument hire/loan policies, pupil numbers, costs of services and revenue, instructor numbers, and additional activities.

Download the report: Instrumental Music Services: Results from the IMS Survey May-July 2016

Download the Summary Tables


Place-based Approaches to Joint Planning, Resourcing and Delivery: an overview of current practice in Scotland

This research looks at the current landscape of place-based approaches to joint planning, resourcing and delivery across Scotland’s local authority areas. It is based on literature review and interviews with 27 local authorities in Scotland.


Instrumental Music Services: Results from the IMS Survey 2015

This document outlines the findings of the Instrumental Music Survey 2015, carried out on behalf of Heads of Instrumental Teaching Scotland (HITS). The survey provides up-to-date information on local authority-led instrumental music services across Scotland.

Download the report: Instrumental Music Services: Results from the IMS Survey 2015

Download the Summary Tables


2015 Publications


Instrumental Music Services: Results from the IMS Survey

This report documents the results from the 2014 Instrumental Music Survey. This survey was

carried out on behalf of the Instrumental Music Implementation Group, which was set up by the

Scottish Government last year (September 2013) to oversee the progress of recommendations

reported by the Instrumental Music Group in June 2013. The purpose of this report is to provide

up-to-date information on the provision of instrumental music services across local authorities in Scotland.

Summary tables also available.


1000 Communities

This is an ongoing study seeking to address patterns of inequalities across Scotland over the past ten years. The key results indicate that inequalities between neighbourhoods in Scotland are persistent over time, and reinforce the multiple nature of positive and negative life outcomes. This calls into question the success of previous policies which sought to reduce such inequality and the ability of public services to meet demands equally across society. The results also highlight the value of employment and income-generating programmes within Scotland’s most deprived areas.

Download the report


2014 Publications


Consultation practices within Scottish local authorities and community planning partnerships

This report from the Improvement Service and The Consultation Institute examines consultation policies and practices within Scottish local authorities and Community Planning Partnerships. It makes a number of observations about how consultation is currently undertaken and recommendations for how it can be further developed.


For older publications, please visit our full website.