Who We Are › Our Impact

Our Impact

What difference do we make? Understanding our impact and seeing how we can improve is fundamental to our work.

Advice Service

Our advice service offers free, confidential and impartial advice on planning issues.  Annually we receive over 1200 enquiries, fielded by our experienced chartered planners dedicated to sharing their knowledge and providing clear and accessible expert advice.

‘Your input has been so useful and made a great difference to me. Thanks again for all the time and care that you spent helping me with this.’

‘Fantastic joined up planning advice that is respected by all who know and have benefitted from its support.


We provide training on the Scottish planning system to a wide range of audiences across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Our work helps to ensure that, for example, elected members are equipped to make sound planning decisions and that community councils understand their rights and responsibilities within the planning system.

‘Very clear introduction to planning – the presenters and course material were excellent.’

‘Totally brilliant! I had been worried I would find it a snooze-fest, however the absolute opposite was true – interesting, invigorating and instilled some enthusiasm and confidence in dealing with planning matters.’ 

‘The training was great, it certainly opened our eyes to the bigger picture that’s for sure! The format worked brilliantly, lots of great discussion taking place and we’ve now came away with a lot of things we need to look at.’

We also run training for to promote inclusive and creative community engagement practice. Since our SP=EED® verification programme was launched in 2014, we have supported over 250 people from a wide range of backgrounds to enhance their skills and become recognized as community engagement practitioners.

‘Extremely useful for any profession which involves both built environment and people’s opinions.’

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

Consultation Policy responses to Scottish Government Consultations

PAS responds to Scottish Government planning consultations and supports others to respond effectively to consultations too. For example as part of public engagement in 2021 and 2022 in relation to the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) Position Statement and the subsequent Draft NPF4, PAS supported over 500 individuals to share and shape their views through a range of events and discussion opportunities.

‘Illuminating and helpful; Excellent presentation; Thoroughly professional’

‘I very much enjoyed the workshop and was delighted to be able to participate in a consultation which will change the way we humans live and work in a beneficial way for the future of this country and the planet as a whole.’

Do you need free, impartial and confidential advice on planning issues?

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Working with communities

Through our social enterprise arm, we work alongside communities to facilitate local place plans and community action plans. This work helps to ensure a creative, collaborative engagement process and the production of detailed, practical plans to inform future decisions and developments.

‘Receiving the training and support from PAS has been brilliant in establishing confidence in our community facilitators as we progress to running our own Local Place Plan.’

‘What a fantastic and impressive service PAS are providing for the community here. It’s making us all feel listened to and the whole process feel very smooth and easy.’

‘Worthwhile session made me think about things from the perspective of others. Although we will never be able to solve all to everyone’s satisfaction, as long as it moves us closer together it’s a win.’


We have a pool of 400 volunteers who contribute to our work in a wide range of ways, from supporting our advice service to facilitating community events. We are committed to providing outstanding training and support to our volunteers in return.

‘A good challenge and a way to expand my knowledge of the planning system across Scotland. ‘

‘I’ve always found it both rewarding (putting something back into the profession for a cause I believe in, community engagement) and a hugely valuable learning experience.

‘Enjoyed going to different parts of Scotland and getting young people engaged with planning and place making issues.

‘Very intense and rewarding volunteering opportunities, with a lot of personal support and amazing people.

PAS is proud to contribute towards the National Outcomes for Scotland, in particular

  • Communities – people live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe
  • Environment – people value, enjoy, enhance and protect their environment
  • Education – people are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society

Want to know more about what we do and how we can help your community?

Take a look at What We Do