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.

Appendix 1

Principles and Standard for Independent Advocacy Reflecting Commissioners' Statutory Responsibility[4]

Principle 1

Independent advocacy puts the people who use it first.

Standard 1.1 - Independent advocacy is directed by the needs, interests, views and wishes of the people who use it
Standard 1.2 - Independent advocacy helps people to have control over their lives and to be fully involved in decisions which affect them.
Standard 1.3 - Independent advocacy tries to make sure that people's rights are protected
Standard 1.4 - Independent advocacy values the people who use it and always treats people with dignity and respect.

Principle 2

Independent advocacy is accountable.

Standard 2.1 - Independent advocacy is accountable to the people who use it
Standard 2.2 - Independent advocacy is accountable under the law
Standard 2.3 - Independent advocacy is effectively managed.

Principle 3

Independent advocacy is as free as it can be from conflicts of interest.

Standard 3.1 - Independent advocacy providers (individuals or organisations) cannot be involved in the welfare, care or provision of other services to the individual for which they are providing advocacy.
Standard 3.2 - Independent advocacy should be provided by an organisation whose sole role is independent advocacy or whose other tasks either complement, or do not conflict with, the provision of independent advocacy.
Standard 3.3 - Independent advocacy looks out for and minimizes conflicts of interest

Principle 4

Independent advocacy is accessible.

Standard 4.1- Independent advocacy reaches out to the widest possible range of people, regardless of ability or life circumstances.

These principles and standards are designed to support commissioners and advocates in ensuring the provision of high quality advocacy which meets the needs of advocacy partners. Whilst the principles and standards focus on the delivery of independent advocacy under the Mental health (Care & Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, much of what they say reflects good practice in relation to advocacy more generally. Of course, where individuals and organisations are involved in the delivery of non-independent advocacy, they will not be in a position to satisfy some of the standards.


Email: Sandra Falconer

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