• Third Sector Interface (TSI) Community Planning Improvement Programme

    The Community Planning Improvement (CPI) programme was a partnership led by Voluntary Action Scotland (VAS), the Improvement Service, and the Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs).


    TSIs play an important development role with regards to the Third Sector and volunteering locally.  They are also charged by Scottish Government with the task of “building the third sector relationship” with community planning. Together these roles put them at the heart of building the bridge between sectors so that a growing range of ‘assets’ locally can contribute to better outcomes.


    The CPI programme aimed to help TSIs to clarify and strengthen their role in community planning with a focus on delivering the vision of the Statement of Ambition for Community Planning and ultimately “delivering demonstrable improvements in people’s lives”.


    Aims of the Programme

    The programme sought to develop and share the knowledge of ‘what works’ in building the third sector relationship with community planning.  More broadly, the programme aimed to strengthen the role of TSI’s within community planning and its partners.


    The output of the programme was an improvement plan agreed between the TSI and CPP highlighting areas for improvement to strengthen the role of TSI’s and Third Sector.


    The programme completed two phases of work involving 11 TSI’s and CPPs, delivering the following:


    • A collaboratively developed self-assessment and improvement planning model
    • TSI-led self-assessment
    • TSI-led improvement planning, with each partner TSI developing its own improvement plan
    • Opportunities for TSIs to share learning and build confidence in improvement activity
    • A clearer view from VAS on the reform of community planning


    Together such measures will achieve greater clarity around the role of TSIs, greater knowledge of ‘what works’ and a stronger focus on how TSIs and the third sector support better outcomes.

  • Partner TSIs

    During the TSI Community Planning Improvement Programme, the partner TSIs represent the diversity of operating contexts, operating models and financial circumstances across Scotland, and the range of improvement challenges TSIs face. They were:


    Phase One: August 2014 - March 2015



    Phase Two: November 2015 - March 2016



  • Outcomes

    The programme contributed to the achievement of the following outcomes:


    • Evidence of ‘what works’ and why is established
    • TSIs and community planning partners understand their starting point
    • TSIs and community planning partners are able to measure progress
    • CP partners have clarity (via improvement plans) on how to improve third sector engagement and involvement
    • The task of ‘building a relationship with community planning’ becomes measurable and outcomes are clarified
    • A clear and shared definition of the TSI role itself is established
    • The National Community Planning Review has greater clarity around the third sector role and ways to enhance this
    • Good practice is shared and replicated
    • VAS and TSIs are better equipped to support improvement
    • Ultimately the best possible environment in which the third sector can contribute to better outcomes is created.
  • Programme Activity

    The five partner TSIs are working closely with VAS and the IS throughout phase 1 in 2014/15 to:


    • Develop and apply a TSI self-assessment and improvement planning model
    • Develop a benchmarking framework
    • Develop a knowledge management system to share learning with all TSIs
    • Develop better evidence to support the reform of community planning


    Importantly they will connect with other work underway at the IS and within VAS and partners to ensure the work builds upon (amongst others) the development of:


    • The Quality Scotland led development of EFQM amongst TSIs
    • Common values, approaches and services for TSIs
    • The GIRFEC National Project
    • The Change Fund Enhancing the Role of the Third Sector project
    • The adoption and development of the Milo information management system amongst TSIs
    • The CPP self-assessment and improvement planning national project


    The development of the self-assessment and improvement framework has involved co-design and collaboration with the wider TSI network and opportunities have been developed to share learning as the programme develops so that a rolling programme of TSI involvement can be supported.


    You can download the checklists used for TSI self-assessment below:


    Partnership Checklist

    Checklist: Relationship between TSI and third sector representatives


Barry McLeod

Programme Manager

Tel. 01506 283800

Email Barry