Advocacy has an important role to play in supporting people to express their views. This consultation seeks view on a revision to the Guide for Commissioners last published in 2010. The Guide has been updated to reflect Commissioner's statutory responsibilities for the provision of independent advocacy.

10. Commissioning Independent Advocacy

10.1 Public bodies should ensure that their procedures for procurement of care and support services (which includes advocacy) comply with the public procurement rules and reflect the guiding principles contained within the joint Scottish Government and COSLA Guidance issued in 2010. The guidance highlights the need for engagement with service users prior to and during commissioning processes and is available at

10.2 NHS Boards and Local Authorities should fund advocacy jointly and guarantee a realistic level of funding for a minimum of three years, albeit that funding is reviewed annually, to the independent advocacy providers. Funding should include costs to cover an external independent evaluation.

10.3 Commissioners should recognise that the primary accountability of any advocacy organisation is to the people it serves. The organisation is accountable to commissioners for how it spends public money, and should be expected to report fully on this. But commissioners should remember that the advocacy organisation is an independent organisation and therefore there needs to be clear boundaries which are respected.

Question 2: Are you content that the level of detail given in Section 10 on the Commissioning of Independent Advocacy is appropriate?

Yes No

If not, why not?

10.4 Secure long term funding will:

  • allow advocacy organisations to plan for their development
  • allow advocacy organisations to manage change rather than respond to crisis
  • allow trust to develop between commissioners and advocacy organisations
  • provide continuity for advocacy partners
  • allow for greater staff retention.

10.5 There is a statutory duty under the Equality Act 2010 for NHS Boards and Local Authorities to provide other support services which may arise depending on the specialist needs of the client group, such as BSL sign language interpreters, interpretation or translation services.


Email: Sandra Falconer

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