What is a participation request?
A participation request is a request that comes from a community group asking to be involved in a process to help improve something (this is referred to in the Act as an outcome). For example a group may wish to help to reduce loneliness in older people in their village.
What is an outcome?
An outcome is the change that results from what an organisation provides or delivers, such as increase in physical activity levels arising from the development of a community park. The increase in physical activity is the outcome.
Who can make a participation request?
A community group can make a request. The group does not need to be constituted but it must be:
- open to anyone in the community it covers to join, might be a geographical area such as village or street, or a group of people with something in common such as young mums or a group of allotment holders
- community led
- the majority of members are from that community
- for the benefit of the community
- uses any surplus funds/assets for the benefit of that community
Who can participation requests be made to?
The Act identifies nine public authorities, or organisations, that community groups can get involved with. It’s ok if more than one public authority needs to be involved such as ourselves and the NHS.
The authorities and organisations are:
- NHS Borders
- Borders College
- Scottish Enterprise
- Police Scotland
- Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
- Scottish Natural Heritage
What information does our group need to provide when we make a participation request?
Your community will need to say:
- what it is you wish to improve (the outcome)
- why you think you should be involved
- what experience or knowledge your group has that will be useful
- how your groups expects things will improve as a result of their participation
When can our group make a participation request?
Your group can make a request at any time. We recommend that you get in touch with us for a chat before you send us your request, there may be things that we think you could include in your request. It’s fine if you don’t want to speak to use before you send us your request, we will contact you if we have any questions about it.
What happens to my request after our group sends it?
Once we receive your request we will contact you if we need any more information. When we have all the information we need we will ‘validate’ your request. Once your request has been validated we will let you know whether we agree or refuse your request within 30 working days (if more than one public authority needs to be involved we will let you know our decision within 45 working days).
If we agree your request we will say how we think we can work with you to you improve the outcome you have identified, this is called an outcome improvement process.
Is there something I can read about Participation Requests?
More information is available in the summary guidance documents that have been produced by: