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:



    A free e-learning platform offering a wide range of learning resources designed to enhance leadership and workforce development across Scottish local government, public and third sectors.


    CPP Board Member Guidance

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


    Leadership Checklist

    The Leadership Checklist helps the CPP board consider its strengths and areas for improvement in relation to the leadership of the CPP.  It also gives individual  partners the opportunity to consider their own leadership approach and identify personal improvement actions.


    Scottish Women in Public Service Leadership Network (WiPSL)

    The network enables women and men in leadership positions across Scotland's public services to connect with each other. The network is operated jointly with SOALCE Scotland, Police Scotland, Scottish Government and ACOSVO.

  • 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.


    Third Sector Community Planning Improvement Programme

    The Community Planning Improvement (CPI) programme aims to help Third Sector Interfaces to clarify and strengthen their role, and the role of the third sector, in community planning. This programme is provided in partnership with Voluntary Action Scotland.

  • 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.



    Viewstat is an interactive mapping tool that allows you to see data on life outcomes mapped to Scotland’s neighbourhoods.


    Welfare Reform Dashboard

    The Welfare Reform Data Dashboard is a dynamic tool bringing together key data on welfare reform from NOMIS, DWP and Scottish Government.

  • 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.