Please note that due to the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation, the PAS office is now closed until further notice and all face-to-face events are currently postponed.
However, we are continuing to work and our Advice Service for planning issues continues to function as normal.
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. Find out more about PAS here.
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.
A summary of our response to the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) ‘Call for Ideas’.
PAS volunteers reflect on taking public engagement online.
An update on how we’re working during quarantine.
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 we do at PAS. 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.
Volunteering with PAS is a fantastic way to make a positive contribution using your skills as a planner. But it’s not just about giving your time and expertise to help others, it’s equally about boosting your career in planning through developing new skills, connecting with other professionals who volunteer with PAS and actively advancing your Continuing Professional Development. We have a unique volunteer programme which allows you to volunteer flexibly and to suit your lifestyle and interests.
Your expertise as a planner can have an enormously positive impact on people’s lives. For example, our Advice Service volunteers help individuals and community groups across Scotland understand planning processes and resolve their enquiries. What might just take a short phone call for you can make all the difference to a member of the public who has no knowledge of the planning system.
“It’s a good feeling to know you are helping someone – even if it is just how to help themselves. And from a career perspective, as I don’t work in development management anymore, it helps keep my skills and knowledge refreshed.”
How can I get involved?
We need all kinds of different people to support us deliver our services. Here is some information about the roles we have available. Depending on your skills, knowledge and interests, you can volunteer in roles including:
- Advice Service volunteer, helping members of the public and community groups by providing planning and place making advice.
- Youth volunteer. If you are aged between 16 – 25 years old, you can get involved in our unique programme empowering young people to become knowledgeable and involved in town planning.
- Local Place Plan and community engagement workshop volunteers who welcome and orientate members of the public to workshops and help facilitate group discussions.
- Education volunteer. Bring your energy into our school and youth workshops to introduce children and young people to town planning and support them having their views heard.
- Training: Introduce groups including Community Councils and Elected Members to what planning is and what they need to know to fulfil their roles.
‘It has, and continues to be incredibly worthwhile for personal and professional development. I have also made many friends through volunteering!’
Get in touch
For a friendly chat about volunteering and to find out which opportunities could suit you, please contact Erin Fulton, Volunteers and Interns Manager. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 659 9778.
Alison McCandlish Project Officer Tel: 0131 659 9785 E: email@example.com
David Wood Planning & Policy Manager Tel: 0131 659 9777 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Thomas Finance Manager
Tel: 0131 220 9730