National standards for community engagement diagram

Community engagement is a priority for us and is vital in meeting the Plan for Fife outcomes. We've created this toolkit to support services and organisations delivering impactful community engagement.

What it 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 steps outlined below, anytime your service or organisation is undertaking decisions that affect the community you serve.

Planning your engagement

There are nine key stages to consider when planning an engagement or consultation (Adapted from People & Participation: How to put citizens at the heart of decision-making 2005)

These are:

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 incorporate 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 on:

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

Engagement tools

Planning and evaluation tool

VOICE logo

VOiCE is planning and recording software that assists individuals, organisations and partnerships to design and deliver effective community engagement. The system will enable all users to use a common approach to plan, monitor and evaluate community engagement practice.

VOiCE will assist individuals and organisations to design and deliver effective community engagement.

The software will support you to:

  • Plan community engagement and service user participation
  • Monitor and record the process
  • Evaluate the process against the National Standards for Community Engagement (Scotland) and principles for good quality engagement (elsewhere).

Find out more about Voice and gain free access to the tool at