Who we are
PAS is Scotland’s leading place and active citizenship charity. We support a planning system that is inclusive, positive and innovative, where individuals and communities help shape the future of their place. We are a volunteer-led organisation supported by a network of over 400 specialist volunteers, including professionals from across the built environment sector. We have continuously held Investing in Volunteers status since 2008.
Who we help
We help individuals and community organisations to get involved in decision-making in the planning system in an impartial, open and inclusive way. We provide skills training and support for community groups, planners, elected members and public bodies. In particular, we work to engage children and young people in their places and offer support to seldom-heard groups who often cannot readily engage in the planning system.
What we do
We help people to understand and influence the place where they live by providing impartial advice, skills training and supporting communities to develop and deliver their own aspirations for their place. We offer a free, impartial and confidential planning advice service, provided by our specialist volunteers, all of whom are chartered planners. Find out how to submit your enquiry.
How to get involved
We offer a free, impartial and confidential telephone advice service to help with any planning issues, whether about your own home or wider planning issues in your community. Please visit the Advice page to find out more about this service and to submit your enquiry online.
We also provide information about the planning system, with specific information sheets about common issues, and details of how to contact the planning authority in your local area. Find out more.
The Scottish Government provides funding to support the development and running of the Advice Service.
March 2019 is shaping up to be a particularly busy for the Bridging the Gap project, one of our key education programmes. We are currently working with young people and teachers in five locations to deliver the project.
2018 was an important year for our organisation – it was Scotland’s Year of Young People and it saw an increasing number of PAS projects involving youth and children in the planning process.
PAS was commissioned by Historic Environment Scotland to engage young people in Kirkwall in their local heritage. The aim was to garner young people’s views on what they understood …
We work extensively with community groups and public bodies across Scotland on place-based projects. In particular, we are experienced in supporting community groups and public bodies undertake engagement activities to help communities articulate, develop and deliver plans to improve a particular place. Find out more about some of our place-based projects.
As well as place-based projects, we provide skills training for community organisations, planners, elected members and public bodies. Find out more about how we have delivered training and support and how we might assist your organisation.
SP=EED: Engagement Skills
SP=EED is our practical guide to undertaking effective community engagement in planning and is freely available to download. We also offer SP=EED Verification a training programme in engagement skills. Find out more about SP=EED.
Volunteers are at the heart of what PAS do. From planners, to students, to artists, to facilitators, each one of our volunteers brings their unique set of skills and expertise to help communities become better involved in planning and placemaking. In recognition of our commitment to volunteering, we have achieved and held Investing in Volunteers accreditation continuously since 2008.
- It is a phone/ email-based service, so you don’t even need to leave the house
- You can choose the type and number of cases you take on. Each case generally takes between 30 – 60 minutes of your time
Want to get out and about? Or not a chartered planner? As well as Advice Service our other volunteer opportunities include:
- Youth/Education Volunteer
- Training Volunteer
- Events Volunteer
Workshop Volunteer ‘It has, and continues to be incredibly worthwhile for personal and professional development. I have also made many friends through volunteering!’
Julia Frost Operations Manager Tel: 0131 659 9772 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deanne Cullen PA to Chief Executive & Advice Service Manager Tel: 0131 659 9782 E: email@example.com
Laura MacDonald Projects Co-ordinator Tel: 0131 659 9781 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Ferguson Youth Programmes Officer Tel: 0131 659 9785 E: email@example.com