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Effective and appropriate engagement to achieve positive public involvement in planning and placemaking remains a key matter of discussion following the publication of the Planning Scotland Bill in December 2017.

PAS has been running a successful programme of community engagement skills training and verification around Scotland since 2014. This is based around the established SP=EED® toolkit for effective community engagement (which was developed in response to planning reforms introduced by the Scottish Government in 2009 aimed at achieving an inclusive planning system).

No-one would claim that community engagement in planning is simple. However, unlike other community engagement guidance, SP=EED recognises that achieving positive community involvement around planning and placemaking presents specific challenges.

SP=EED Verification is a two-part skills development programme for planners and others who would like to enhance their approaches to community engagement and have their skills independently verified.

The programme can also be delivered on a dedicated organisational basis – please contact us if you would like to discuss this option.

Part 1 is an interactive workshop led by our SP=EED Verification trainers.
Part 2 involves submission of a written reflective-learning report based on an engagement process participants have been involved with.

We have an upcoming date in Edinburgh for Part 1 of the process – a facilitated interactive workshop: Thursday 25 January (5.30-9.00pm).

Previous participants have come from local authorities, community planning partnerships, planning consultancies, the renewables and energy sectors, communications agencies, academia and 3rd sector organisations. Many employers have supported staff members to attend as part of their CPD programme.

The cost of the two-part SP=EED Verification programme is £250. If you would like to register or have any questions please email or phone David Wood on 0131 659 9774.

Feedback from previous participants:

I feel that using SP=EED principles in the early stages of the development planning process improved our relationships with our stakeholders and greatly enhanced the quality of our Main Issues Report. The engagement resulted in fresh ideas which would not have emerged otherwise which we can now take on board and incorporate into the proposed plan as well as complimentary regeneration projects.

I am delighted that by achieving SP=EED Verification I have also met an action identified within my RTPI Professional Development Plan. I strongly believe that taking time to fully consider the engagement techniques adopted means that the overall quality of the engagement process was improved.

Very relevant to my profession in private sector planning – highlighted the SP=EED principles we currently adopt and additional ideas to incorporate into our strategies.

As a recent graduate I believe SP=EED has given me the edge to step out as a planner to interact with people and incorporate their views in the planning process.