News  |  Posted January 17, 2023

Sharpen your skills in community engagement with SP=EED

Our SP=EED Guide and Learning Programme is designed to help you take your community engagement practice to a new level.

How do you learn to do something really well? Skill and confidence usually develop through a mixture of formal instruction, picking up ideas from others, practice, experimentation, reflection, and more practice.

If you’ve been designing, delivering and/or assessing community engagement as part of your professional or volunteering role, it’s likely you’ve developed your approach through some or all of the above. And if you’re new to community engagement, you may be wondering where to start.

Whether you’re ready for a refresh or looking to step into community engagement for the first time, then our SP=EED® practical guide and learning programme is here for you.

PAS originally developed SP=EED in 2008 to promote effective and inclusive engagement within planning and placemaking.  Recently refreshed and updated and freely available for download from the PAS website, the SP=EED guide offers a clear and practical framework for practice, setting out three levels of engagement (informing, consulting and partnership) and eight criteria by which engagement projects can be designed, carried out and assessed.

Our accompanying SP=EED learning programme is designed to help you understand the SP=EED framework and apply it to your own engagement practice.

SP=EED Part 1 Understanding SP=EED is a group workshop, designed as a chance to connect with other practitioners and work together on activities exploring different aspects of the SP=EED framework. It’s an opportunity to deepen your understanding of effective engagement, explore creative tools and techniques and share experiences and learn from others. Part 1 can be delivered online or in person and is typically scheduled from 10am – 3.30pm.

SP=EED Part 2 – Putting SP=EED into Practice involves preparing a written reflective account of an engagement process you have been involved in, analysed against the SP=EED principles. As a Part 2 participant, you work to your own timeline in preparing and submitting your work, supported by mentoring  from PAS and feedback from PAS and an independent planning and engagement professional. Successful Part 2 participants gain SP=EED Verification, demonstrating that your practice has been verified as effective by PAS.

We run SP=EED workshops 3-4 times a year with enrolment open to all individuals (£250 per place) and we can also run them in house for teams of colleagues (£2.5K for up to 20 participants). Our next open event takes place on Thursday 2 February 2023book your place here!

We also convene SP=EED Meets, a quarterly get together for anyone interested in community engagement – a chance to share experiences and learn together. Participation is free and everyone is welcome. Contact us if you’d like to be kept informed about future events.

‘Brilliant, 5 star session!’

‘Well paced, with a well balanced mixture of tasks, topics and discussion. Allowing participants to use many of the engagement tools during the session. Right amount of breakout group time and large group time.’ 

‘As someone who works for themselves, serving a range of clients and often designing project communications and engagement and consultation activities and strategies, it has been really helpful to meet other people and share learning, understanding and experiences. The online tools were great to see too – as well as the tips and advice provided by the PAS facilitators.’

‘I really enjoyed the structure of the course and the break-out exercises which created variety – they were relevant, well designed and timed, and encouraged me to think outside of my usual box!’

‘Can’t recall another session which I have enjoyed as thoroughly as today. Thank you for making everyone feel included and for valuing their opinions and experiences.’

Feedback from SP=EED Part 1 participants, 2022