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Public Service Improvement Framework - a performance improvement model for public service organisations


Barry McLeod

Programme Manager

Tel. 01506 283800

Email Barry

PSIF FAQs - General

General Questions


Can I use the PSIF to look at a theme?

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.


What is the difference between the PSIF and EFQM?

The PSIF is based upon the nine criteria of the EFQM Excellence Model. The PSIF reflects the language and culture of public sector organisations, whereas EFQM is based on private sector profit focus/language.


Can PSIF be implemented in all public sector organisations?

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.


Does the framework allow flexibility?

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.


How often does the PSIF get updated?

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.


What scrutiny arrangements are in place for the PSIF?

The PSIF is subject to scrutiny from our partner organisations, the PSIF organisations and the Improvement Service board.


If we become part of the PSIF partnership, can our organisation brand the framework with a different name?

Yes, this is very common and helps to ensure buy-in within organisations.


How can the PSIF be used to determine budget preferences?

PSIF organisations should be able to identify budget priorities based on the highlighted areas for improvement.


Will the PSIF link with my existing performance management system?

The PSIF is an “umbrella” framework and therefore should match to any existing performance management system.  Many PSIF organisations have already made this key link and the IS PSIF team can advise further on application.


How is the PSIF governed?

There is a clear governance structure in place for the management and delivery of PSIF support to all partner organisations. The Improvement Service Board comprises Chief executives from local government; and senior members from COSLA and SOLACE. The Board meets quarterly to review progress on a national level and to direct the officers supporting the PSIF within the Improvement Service on any development or review activity.


Finally, the PSIF Partnership is fully committed to ensuring that the partner organisations can influence the strategy of the programme. Every year, there is a review process involving lead officers from each PSIF organisation, providing them with an opportunity to feed into new developments and to feedback on those activities which have taken place throughout the year.


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