Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) support

Reviews

This paper sets out the Councils agreed approach to reviews that will involve voluntary and community organisations.

Approach to reviews that involve voluntary and community organisations.

Who is this guidance for?

  • Council officers involved in or leading on reviews
  • This guidance is intended to sit alongside the process of review that forms a routine part of contracts and service level agreements.

Reviews that focus on a service area

Principles

  • The review should involve all service providers, including statutory, private sector and Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) providers.
  • All affected organisations must be notified in writing/ by email of our intention to review them and they must be informed of the reason(s) for the review.
  • VCs organisations should be consulted about the scope of the review. This can be done either by sending out the draft terms of the review for comment or by inviting them to nominate a representative(s) to sit on the steering group. The scope of the review should include timescales.
  • Reviews can be resource intensive/ time consuming - consideration should be given to how vcs organisations will resource Written feedback should be given on the outcome of the review.

Reviews that focus on a single organisation

Principles

  • The preferred model is to review all service providers including statutory, private sector and vcs providers. In the light of this there must be good reasons for reviewing a single vcs organisation.
  • The organisation must be notified in writing/ by email of our intention to review them and they must be informed of the reason(s) for the review.
  • Discussion must take place with the organisation in order to finalise the scope of the review and the timescale.
  • It is legitimate to explore an organisation's structures, finances and processes as long as this relates to the services provided.
  • Care must be taken to make the review as specific, straightforward and efficient as possible.
  • Reviews can be resource intensive/ time consuming - consideration should be given to how the organisation will resource participation in the review.
  • The organisation must be involved in the review - discussion should take place to clarify how this will happen eg giving information, making a presentation. Reviews that are "owned" by the voluntary organisation are more likely to be productive.
  • Written feedback should be given on the outcome of the review.

Don'ts

  • Don't review voluntary sector providers in isolation. Reviews should include all service providers including statutory and private sector.
  • Don't involve vcs providers at the last minute