Quality Framework for Community Engagement and Participation

Quality Framework for Community Engagement and Participation

Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate have worked with stakeholders to develop a Quality Framework for Community Engagement and Participation.

The Quality Framework for Community Engagement and Participation supports NHS boards, local authorities and Integration Joint Boards to carry out effective community engagement and demonstrate how they are meeting their statutory duties for public involvement.

It is aligned to Planning with People: community engagement and participation guidance published by the Scottish Government and COSLA.

The framework identifies, supports and assures engagement activity within organisations in relation to 3 domains:

  1. routine ongoing engagement
  2. specific engagement activities relating to service planning and design
  3. internal governance systems for community engagement activity

It provides a framework to help senior management, operational staff and service leads within health and care services – and those externally quality assuring and inspecting them – to understand what good quality community engagement looks like, and how well how their organisation is carrying out its engagement functions.

Health and care services will complete a self-evaluation, which should focus on outcomes rather than activities. This could include a description of the impact of engagement, changes made as a result of feedback, or information on how potential impact is being monitored.

Organisations completing the self-evaluation should consider public representative input to this process, and the relevant governance or committee structure to provide oversight.

We recommend that public representatives play an active role in completing the self-evaluation and identifying areas for improvement.

The self-evaluation statements are published jointly by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate. They are the result of contributions from, and wide-ranging consultation with, colleagues across health and social care services and other key partners.

The Quality Framework is an improvement tool developed in collaboration with, and for the use of, health and social care providers. It is designed to support reflection and self-evaluation, which is an important first stage in any quality improvement journey. The input so far from engagement practitioners across territorial boards, special boards and health and social care partnerships to the development of these materials has been particularly valuable.

Support and advice

If you are using the self-evaluation tool please let us know. We can provide advice and support with planning and undertaking the self-evaluation.

We also want to hear how people are using the tool and the impact it has had.

We can also help facilitate consensus and improvement planning sessions for NHS boards and Integration Authorities. 

We have developed a series of tools and resources that align to the domains in the framework. We can support improvement activity at a local level and also at a national level by sharing practice and case studies that are identified through the self-evaluation submissions. 

The Quality Framework is intended to be used for organisational or service level self-evaluation of engagement, not to self-evaluate individual service changes or redesign. Our service change team has a quality assurance role in that process.

"The HIS Framework for Community Engagement and Participation was the perfect tool for us to use as a Participation and Engagement Network. It really helped us to identify our future shared outcomes and the steps to take to improve on engagement within East Renfrewshire.

As a network we used the evaluation tool in smaller group and individual sessions. This told us what we do well and how we know this. We used this baseline to invite our wider partners to help us develop a fuller action plan and have now set up sub groups to work collaboratively on this.  

Using the Framework helped us identify our shared direction and have a more established presence."

Angie McGregor, Strategic Planning Programme Officer, East Renfrewshire HSCP

“In North Ayrshire we have used the HIS Framework for Community Engagement and Participation to support our Community Mental Health Team to think about their current approach to engagement within the service. We asked staff to take part in a self-evaluation to establish a baseline and then facilitated 2 sessions with the team to establish areas for development and an associated action plan.

We’ve learned a lot from use the Framework and the Partnership will look at implementing this approach across other service areas in order to create consistency in our approach to engagement.”

Michael McLennan, Partnership Engagement Officer, North Ayrshire HSCP

Last Updated: 15 September 2023