Cut-out letters spelling community on a cork board
  • About Community Planning

    Community Empowerment Act


    The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 aims to raise the level of ambition for community planning, setting out a legislative requirement to improve outcomes and ensure that:


    • communities are central to the process
    • effective collaboration and joint resourcing takes place among partners
    • a robust evidence base is used to ensure efforts are targeted on areas of greatest need
    • a real and sustainable reduction in inequalities is achieved.


    The focus of the Act is not a new approach but a natural progression in the ongoing reform for public services that gained added impetus with the publication of the Christie Commission report in 2011. In particular, Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) are being handed a new set of powers, and increased expectations, designed to raise ambition around reducing inequality and enhancing community participation. There are three core elements to these powers and expectations: Local Outcomes Improvement Plan; participation requests; asset transfer.


    See the links below for more information on the expectations of CPPs in these areas or download our briefing note on the short- and medium-term expectations of CPPs.

    CPPs can use our Partnership Checklist to assess their own performance against these expectations and gain an understanding of the nature and extent of improvement support required to meet them. The IS can support CPPs with the facilitation of the Partnership Checklist.


    Download the Partnership Checklist


    We also offer a range of support to CPPs. Use the tabs below to explore the support available across a range of themes.

  • Leadership Development

    The support we offer to Community Planning Partnerships on leadership development includes:


    Community Participation Action Learning Report

    This paper provides a summary of the emerging themes from the community participation action learning process which took place between February and May 2018.


    CPP Board Member Guidance

    This series of notebooks provides information, guidance and support to CPP Board members.


  • Governance

    The support we offer to Community Planning Partnerships on partnership governance includes:


    Partnership Checklist

    Two partnership checklists have been developed to support CPPs to critically review their ‘fitness for purpose’ in achieving shared outcomes.

  • Local Outcomes Improvement Plans (LOIP)

    The Improvement Service continues to support Community Planning Partnerships in the ongoing refinement and implementation of their Local Outcomes Improvement Plans (LOIP) and Locality Plans. Support is also offered to work with CPPs to determine the most appropriate governance and performance management structures to assist in the delivery of the LOIP. Of particular importance, is ensuring that CPPs are well placed to deliver on the community empowerment agenda.


    Key elements of our support, can include working with CPPs to:


    • profile and assess how communities in the local authority area are performing against life outcomes, in order to support the CPP to identify the local outcomes which it will prioritise for improvement
    • identify interventions that the CPP could implement to help it achieve improvements in the local outcomes it has prioritised, using available evidence of what works, particularly in relation to prevention
    • provide support to agree realistic but stretching targets for improvement for each of the local outcomes it has prioritised, based on evidence of the likely impact of agreed activities/interventions
    • support the development of transparent and accountable performance management arrangements that will enable the CPP to track and evidence progress against local outcomes, report publicly on progress, better understand where they are/are not having a positive impact and inform decision-making about future approaches to targeting inequalities and improving outcomes
    • support the agreement of appropriate governance arrangements to oversee delivery against local outcomes


    Working with NHS Health Scotland and Audit Scotland, the Improvement Service recently completed a ‘stock-take’ of all published LOIPs. The report was approved in May 2018 by the Outcomes, Evidence and Performance Board (OEPB). A key recommendation in the report was that the OEPB would support the Improvement Service, working with relevant stakeholders, to continue to develop and deliver appropriate support for CPPs. Therefore, in addition to the support identified above, it will also include assisting CPPs to contribute to the wider transformation agenda being pursued through public service reform across a range of agencies (who are already part of local CPPs).


    The types of support and interventions provided will be tailored to each CPP and will be dependent on the skills and capacity available locally within the CPP.


    For more information on this work, contact Gerard McCormack on 01506 283852.

  • Data and Analysis

    The support we offer to Community Planning Partnerships on data and analysis includes:


    Business Analysis Framework

    This is designed to help councils and their partners carry out more effective and formalised business analysis. The Framework offers bite-size learning materials, including templates, guidance notes and tutorials, to assist councils and their partners in the analytical phase of business change projects.


    Community Planning Outcomes Profile

    The Community Planning Outcomes Profile aims to provide better and more consistent data to CPP boards to support them in the assessment, interpretation, understanding and prioritisation within communities.

  • Place

    The support we offer to Community Planning Partnerships on place includes:


    Linking community and spatial planning

    This programme supports developing closer links between community and spatial planning to achieve better places and outcomes.


    Place-based research

    An overview of place-based working in Scotland, which captures current place-based activities within 27 local authority areas and includes a synthesis of published materials on the subject.


    The report includes a practical checklist that summarises key issues that partnerships may wish to consider, either when embarking upon a new place-based initiative or when reviewing existing activities. The IS can offer facilitation support to partnerships as they work through the checklist.

  • Prevention

    The support we offer to Community Planning Partnerships on prevention includes:


    Economic Outcomes Programme

    The Economic Outcomes programme, currently in its second phase, is focusing on undertaking detailed impact assessments of the 'economic footprint' of councils/partnerships.


    Improving Outcomes in Money Advice

     The Improving Outcomes in Money Advice (MAO) project is aimed at improving the impact of Scotland’s money advice services and supporting councils and their partners in this process.


    Tackling Violence Against Women

    Every local authority area in Scotland has a multi-agency partnership which has responsibility for influencing and co-ordinating activities that challenge and prevent violence against women (VAW). The IS coordinates the National VAW Network.

  • Online Collaboration

    The support we offer to Community Planning Partnerships with online collaboration includes:


    Knowledge Hub

    Knowledge Hub is the UK’s largest public service collaboration platform. It’s the place where people working across public services go to exchange knowledge, experiences and ideas on how to improve services, and create connections with peers and experts in a secure environment. The Improvement Service can support CPPs and other partnerships to create Knowledge Hub groups.

  • Facilitation and Consultancy

    The Improvement Service offers facilitation support at many different levels, including:


    • supporting round table conversations
    • assisting collaborative teams working beyond single organisations at a senior level to address complex systemic issues
    • supporting organisations and partnerships to work toward improvement.


    This involves developing and sustaining high-quality relationships fostered by authenticity, openness and trust. Facilitators use a variety of methods which can include approaches like co-operative learning, graphic facilitation, open space technology, dialogue work and action inquiry.


    The IS currently works with local authorities, at different levels within CPPs, TSIs, “Place” Boards and has a sound knowledge of local and national priorities and challenges. Our consultancy support may include bespoke facilitation but seeks to determine the most appropriate intervention, identifying and mobilising those who are best placed to offer what is required, drawing from a wide variety of expertise and skill.


    For more information on our work in this area, contact Sarah Gadsden on 01506 283826 or Andrew McGuire on 07824 599725.