Community engagement is a priority and vital in meeting the Plan for Fife outcomes. We've created this easy-to-use toolkit to support services and organisations.

What the toolkit sets out to achieve 

This toolkit gives you the tools and information you need to run good community engagement. It will help you embed this way of working into your work going forward.

What people can use it for 

This toolkit can be used in the planning, delivery and evaluation of your work. We recommend checking the three steps outlined below anytime your service is undertaking decisions that affect the community you serve. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Think about who you might need to help you and what else might be already going on in your area. If you’re not sure where to start, please do get in touch.

3 steps to effective community engagement

  1. Planning
  2. Delivery
  3. Evaluation

1. Planning your engagement

There are nine key stages to consider when planning an engagement or consultation. 
Find out more about:

Levels of engagement/involvement

 PurposeExpectation Examples of Methods

To provide the public with information to assist their understanding of an issue

We will keep you informed

  • Fact sheets
  • Websites
  • Street stalls/displays-Newsletters
  • Shop fronts

To collect information from the public about attitudes and opinions.

We will keep you informed, listen to and provide feedback on how public input has informed the decision.

  • surveys
  • public meetings
  • web-based consultation
  • citizens panels
  • consultation documents

To work with the public throughout all stages of the process to ensure their concerns are understood and considered.

We will work with you to ensure your concerns and aspirations shape the process and influence the decision.

  • workshops
  • community events

To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision, agree sharing of resources and decision making.

We will look to you for advice and help in developing solutions and incorporating your advice.

  • citizen advisory committees
  • participatory decision making
  • open space events

To place final decision-making in the hands of the public

We will implement what you decide.

  • citizens juries
  • ballots
  • delegated decisions

Community engagement methods

In the section below we've provided several useful links to external sites which we will check on as we can. However please note that we're unable to ensure that they will be always live and up to date. If you encounter any dead links or issues, please email:

A website that has a useful directory of methods can be found at: involve | people at the heart of decision-making |

Engagement tools

Step 2: Delivery

During the delivery phase, it's important that you continue to communicate clearly and regularly with the people, organisations and communities affected by the engagement.

There are certain steps you must ensure you complete. 


Get the information about your engagement out to the people you are trying to engage with.

Giving particular consideration to those who would not normally take part. You can use the Equalities framework to help with this and think about the protected characteristics. Online is a great and convenient place to hold engagement but think about how to use other methods to let people know that they have an opportunity to get involved.

The consultation or survey needs to be accessible and easy to understand for the target audience. Avoid complex jargon, specialist language and long questions and be noticed for the right reasons!


As you go, you should ensure that all the outputs you’ve planned align with any branding requirements from your organisation or funder. Take note of where you should be sharing details and/or logos of your funders. If in doubt, have the conversation and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Step 3: Evaluation

There's no such thing as a perfect engagement. The best way to gauge whether or not your consultation has been successful is to ask the community.

Remember to feedback

There will never be a more accurate measure to your success than the relationship that you have at the end of the day with the community.  Remember to feedback on a regular basis and share results with participants.


Take time to reflect on your engagement - what worked well, what could have been done better. Learn and grow from successes and mistakes.

We’d love to hear from you and learn from what you’ve been doing in your local community. If you have a case study written up or a report you’d like to share, we’d love to see it. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for us to share your story on our communications channels.