Publication - Consultation paper

Scottish Forestry corporate plan: consultation

Published: 8 Jan 2020

Consultation on the first corporate plan for Scottish Forestry.

40 page PDF

687.9 kB

40 page PDF

687.9 kB

Contents
Scottish Forestry corporate plan: consultation
Draft Corporate Plan 2020-2023

40 page PDF

687.9 kB

Draft Corporate Plan 2020-2023

1. About this Corporate Plan

This is our first Corporate Plan and sets out our Strategic Objectives for the next three years and the priorities which will support their delivery.

It will be supported by annual business plans for Scottish Forestry and our cost centres. These will set out detailed actions for each year and how we will measure progress.

2. Our Purpose

Our purpose is –

The sustainable management and expansion of forests and woodlands to deliver more for Scotland.

We believe that our Purpose sets out a clear statement of what Scottish Forestry aspires to. As a regulator, funder and policy advisor, our role is to protect and enforce standards, support delivery of planting targets, and ensure that trees are at the heart of policymaking across the wider SG family.

2.1 What we do

Scottish Forestry is an executive agency of the Scottish Government. This means that we are an integral part of the Scottish Government, directly accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Parliament. We play a vital part in a modern, flourishing Scotland by working with others to ensure that woods and forests across the nation are managed sustainably. We also help to increase the overall area of woodland for the wellbeing of all – now and in the future.

For the period of this plan, we will do this by

  • Administering grant and other support to land owners to support delivery of ambitious planting targets
  • Regulating planting and felling of trees, and ensuring that forest owners continue to adopt sustainable forest management practices as set out in the UK Forestry Standard
  • Providing policy input on forestry matters to Scottish Ministers, and other parts of the wider Scottish Government family to ensure that trees are at the heart of public policy.

2.2 Our People

Our highly valued and capable people will deliver this Corporate Plan. Our people have shown themselves to be adaptable, innovative and resilient as we have established our new organisation, striving to deliver the best service they can in a rapidly changing environment. As we establish Scottish Forestry as a high performing agency, we want to build on the positive, 'can-do' attitude of our staff and the strong history of our predecessor organisation, Forestry Commission Scotland. We will do this by focusing on the following key areas.

  • Our Identity – we will continue to work with our people to develop our identity as an organisation and ensure that our values are embedded across the organisation.
  • Workforce Planning – we will produce a Workforce Plan to address staff recruitment and retention, succession planning and attracting talent. This Plan will help to drive our organisation forward and ensure we have the staff in place to meet our objectives and targets.
  • Training, Learning and Skills Development – we will plan for and invest in the training, learning and skills of our people. This will ensure they are able to meet the requirements of our organisation as well as grow and flourish as individuals.
  • Wellbeing, Health and Safety – excellent health and safety practices will continue to be central to our organisation and we will continue to broaden the focus so that we have a holistic approach to wellbeing. We will encourage and enable staff to look after their own and support others' mental and physical health and wellbeing.
  • Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion – we will continue to seek opportunities to diversify our workforce population, ensuring that under-represented groups feel encouraged to work for our organisation.
  • Representation – the views of staff will be sought as part of organisational decision making processes and they will be able to influence the outcomes. There will be reciprocal and respectful relationships across the organisation, with formal and informal, individual and collective structures in place to enable constructive dialogue.

2.3 Organisational structure

Scottish Ministers are responsible for determining the overall policy and resources framework within which Scottish Forestry operates. Ultimately, they are accountable to the Scottish Parliament for its functions and performance.

The Chief Executive of Scottish Forestry is responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency. We operate a management model comprising five functional teams:

  • Standards, Evidence and Expertise
  • Policy
  • Operational Development
  • Operational Delivery
  • Finance and Business Support.

An Executive Office supports the Chief Executive in corporate activities, including developing and monitoring the Corporate Plan and communications.

The diagram of Scottish Forestry’s organisational structure illustrates the 5 different teams which sit under the chief executive, and the functions they perform.   It also shows the Executive Office who provide support to the Chief Executive.

The Chief Executive is supported by a Strategic Advisory Group and a Senior Executive Team. The Strategic Advisory Group comprises the function heads and non-executive advisors.

Strategic Advisory Group (SAG)

The Chief Executive, as Accountable Officer, is personally accountable to Scottish Ministers for the performance of Scottish Forestry and delivery of its functions. This role is supported by the SAG which comprises all function heads and three non-executives.

The Group's role is to support and provide advice to the Chief Executive to help them reach robust and well informed decisions.

Photographs will be included in the final document

Executives Non Executives
David Signorini, Chief Executive James Stuart
John Dougan, Head of Operational Development Phil Taylor
Brendan Callaghan, Head of Operational Delivery Eleanor Ryan
Ian Donaldson, Head of Policy
Alan Hampson, Head of Standards, Evidence and Expertise
Ross Machardie, Head of Finance and Business Support

The Non Executive Directors also form the Audit and Assurance Committee (AAC). The (AAC) supports the Chief Executive by providing advice and constructive challenge, in particular providing support in relation to their responsibilities for issues of risk management, control, governance and associated assurance to support year-end accountability and reporting.

Senior Executive Team

The Senior Executive Team comprises five function heads. The Head of Human Resources (a shared service), Head of the Executive Office and the HR Business Partner support the SET.

Photographs will be included in the final document

David Signorini, Chief Executive Jonathan Taylor, Head of Executive Office
John Dougan, Head of Operational Development Rosetta Forbes, Head of Human Resources
Brendan Callaghan, Head of Operational Delivery Marelle Dalziel, HR Business Partner
Ian Donaldson, Head of Policy
Alan Hampson, Head of Standards, Evidence and Expertise
Ross Machardie, Head of Finance and Business Support

Regional teams

As well as a National Office in Edinburgh, Scottish Forestry operates a network of five Conservancies which discharge the majority of our statutory and grant giving functions. Supported by teams in our National Office, they advise land owners, managers and stakeholders about forestry matters.

The Conservancies are managed primarily as part of the Operational Delivery function. However, they also contribute to and receive support from other functions.

Map showing the five regional conservancies

Our five regional conservancies:

  • Operate the Forestry Grant scheme, using it to promote and ensure the sustainable management of Scotland's woods and forests.
  • Deliver regulation of forestry activities, including felling permissions, forest and management plans, and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) cases.
  • Implement forestry policy, and feed regional perspectives into national activities.
  • Carry out health, education and engagement programmes with local communities.

This structure will be kept under review as the organisation establishes itself. This approach has proven itself to work well. Any significant change will be undertaken with the extensive consultation with staff and stakeholders.

We strongly value our good relationships with staff and their representatives, and will continue to work constructively with the forestry trades unions as we enter this next, important stage of our development.

3. Supporting Scotland's National Performance Framework and Purpose.

All of the work we do supports delivery of Scotland's purpose: to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.

The illustration of Scotland’s National Performance Framework shows the national Purpose, Values and Outcomes which drive all Scottish Government activity.  Scottish Forestry fits within this framework

3.1 Delivering within Scotland's National Performance Framework

Scottish Forestry will directly contribute to outcomes based approach, as set out in the National Performance Framework. This means that our corporate outcomes will be aligned with this larger national framework to demonstrate how we will assist with the delivery of its objectives.

Although we support delivery across all 11 national outcomes, we will make a particular contribution to the following:

Environment

We value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment

Economy

We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy

Health

We are healthy and active

The breadth of our work across rural and urban areas means that we also contribute to many other national outcomes. For example, our ground-breaking work on Forest Kindergartens is part of the Scottish Government's overall approach to improving educational standards. This work contributes to the outcome: we are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society.

3.2 United Nations: Sustainable Development Goals

The diagram of the United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals shows the 17 goals which have been agreed on an international basis, and which the work of Scottish Forestry contributes to

The United Nations has set a series of Sustainable Development Goals. These are 'global goals' and targets that are part of an internationally agreed performance framework. The First Minister committed Scotland to these global goals in July 2015. All countries are aiming to achieve these goals by 2030.

The National Performance Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals share the same aims. The National Performance Framework is Scotland's way to localise and implement the Sustainable Development Goals. It also focusses on tackling inequalities so that no one in Scotland is left behind as we work together to achieve these objectives.

3.3 Responding to the Global Climate Emergency

The Scottish Parliament's commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2045 has provided additional impetus to our work to increase woodland creation and the use of wood in construction as a substitute for materials with a greater impact on climate change. A significant focus of our work over the lifetime of this plan will continue to be on helping Scotland to maintain growth in woodland creation. [more to be added following cabinet discussion and decision in January]

3.4 Scotland's Forestry Strategy

Published in February 2019, Scotland's Forestry Strategy sets out a 50-year vision for Forestry in Scotland:

'In 2070, Scotland will have more forests and woodlands, sustainably managed and better integrated with other land uses.

'These will provide a more resilient, adaptable resource, with greater natural capital value that supports a strong economy, a thriving environment, and healthy and flourishing communities.'

This vision will be realised by delivering the Strategy's three 10-year objectives:

  • Increase the contribution of forests and woodlands to Scotland's sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
  • Improve the resilience of Scotland's forests and woodlands and increase their contribution to a healthy and high quality environment.
  • Increase the use of Scotland's forest and woodlands resources to enable more people to improve their health, well-being and life chances.

Scottish Forestry is leading the co-ordination of the delivery, monitoring and reporting of the strategy, including the development of the Forestry Strategy Implementation Plan, following engagement with a wide range of stakeholders. The Implementation Plan will be published, alongside this Corporate Plan by 1 April 2019.

Supporting delivery of the Forestry Strategy vision will be a key part of our work of over the period of this plan, and forms one of our Strategic Objectives. Many of the outcomes and actions set out in the Implementation Plan are reflected in our annual Business Plans which will also be published on 1 April.

3.5 Contributing to other plans and programmes

Scottish Forestry is an enthusiastic and energetic partner in the delivery of many other national, regional and local plans and programmes.

These include:

4. How Scottish Forestry makes a difference

Although a relatively small team, Scottish Forestry makes a huge impact.

The forests and wodlands that we support and regulate currently cover around 19% of Scotland's land area. As the Scottish Government implements its plans, that area is set to get bigger.

By supporting sustainable forest management and woodland creation, Scottish Forestry impacts on many aspects of life in Scotland including:

  • Thriving economies - forestry makes a substantial contribution to the economy at both local and national level through the production of timber and other wood fibre and the provision of recreation and tourism assets. It is particularly important for rural communities, where the woodland creation, management, harvesting and transportation take place.
  • Tackling climate change - trees play a crucial role in regulating our climate by reducing the amount of harmful greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Harvested wood products can be used as a substitute for materials and fuels which involve higher emissions of greenhouse gases. Trees also help society to adapt to climate change, particularly in the urban environment, through providing shelter, cooling shade and runoff control.
  • Supporting local communities – Scottish Forestry encourages community groups to use and enjoy woods. We support woodland owners and managers to engage with local communitie, and to involve them more directly in the use and management of woods. We play a vital link between communities affected by forestry and those responsible for the plantations and can assist with addressing any issues which may arise.
  • Urban woods and forests – [to be added, include branching out, diversity work, green infrastructure]
  • Helping nature to thrive – Scottish Forestry helps protect our native woodlands and species such as the red squirrel and golden eagle. By applying UK Forestry Standard (UKFS), woodlands and forests are becoming more biologically diverse: they are important ecosystems in terms of habitat, food sources, water drainage, soil improvement, and so on.
  • Beautiful landscapes – through UKFS, Scottish Forestry helps manage the landscape visually, alongside protecting our historical and archaeological heritage.

5. Our Corporate Outcomes and Priorities

We will work on the following strategic objectives for the next three years to achieve our mission:

Strategic Objective 1 –Lead and co-ordinate the delivery of Scottish Ministers' forestry ambitions as set out in Scotland's Forestry Strategy - Vision and Objectives

Strategic Objective 2 -Ensure that Scottish Forestry is a supportive, innovative and inclusive organisation

Strategic Objective 3 -Develop the processes operating across Scottish Forestry to develop us into a higher performing and more resilient organisation.

The following sections lay out what our priorities and key actions will be against each of these objectives and how they link to the wider Scottish Government agenda.

5.1 Strategic Objective 1: Lead and co-ordinate the delivery of Scottish Ministers' forestry ambitions as set out in Scotland's Forestry Strategy Vision and Objectives

Scotland's National Outcomes UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy.
  • We value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment.
  • We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.
  • We have thriving and innovative businesses with quality jobs and fair work for everyone.
  • We are well-educated, skilled and able to contribute to society

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

SDG 12 : Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 13: Climate Action

SDG 15: Life on Land

Using our support, regulation and policy role, we will work with our delivery partners to deliver on the objectives set out in Scotland's Forestry Strategy 2019-2029.

These are:

  • Increase the contribution of forests and woodlands to Scotland's sustainable and inclusive economic growth
  • Improve the resilience of Scotland's forests and woodlands and increase their contribution to a healthy and high quality environment
  • Increase the use of Scotland's forest and woodland resources to enable more people to improve their health, well-being and life chances.

These objectives are supported by a suite of priorities in the implementation plan. The priority activities for Scottish Forestry to deliver these objectives will be:

Ensuring forests and woodlands are sustainably managed

Activities

  • Maintaining and promoting the UKFS as the benchmark of good forestry practice, and assessment of the quality of forest and woodland expansion proposals and forest management plans.
  • Further developing our shared understanding of the application of sustainable forest management principles in a Scottish context.

Expanding the area of forests and woodlands, recognising wider land-use objectives

Activities

  • Ensuring an integrated approach to land-use policy that seeks to maximise the synergies and reduce the potential conflicts between different land uses.
  • Supporting the creation of a range of types and scales of new forests and woodlands using native and other tree species for a range of purposes, including production of timber.
  • Improving our understanding of appropriate forest establishment and maintenance techniques in Scottish conditions
  • Encouraging an increase in tree canopy cover in urban areas.

Improving efficiency and productivity, and developing markets

Activities

  • Supporting the ambitions of the Forest and Timber Technologies sector, as set out in their strategy, Roots for Further Growth
  • Encouraging and supporting innovation, research and development, and the adoption of new technologies and practices throughout the wood fibre supply chain.
  • Ensuring wood fibre availability from Scotland's forests and woodlands is predictable and increases over time.
  • Supporting businesses of different types and scales to develop and grow markets for value-added wood products and forest tourism and recreation opportunities.
  • Attracting new and more diverse talent to the forestry sector and improving the capacity, capabilities and safety of the existing workforce.
  • Supporting efforts to enable the sustainable transport of timber and mitigate risks of potential negative impacts.

Increasing the adaptability and resilience of forests and woodlands

Activities

  • Improving the understanding of the threats to Scotland's forests and woodlands and potential mitigating actions, through education, research, surveillance and the development of new technologies.
  • Managing for, and mitigating against, the threats posed by tree pests and diseases through biosecurity measures and contingency planning.
  • Supporting forest design and silvicultural actions which increase the capacity of forests and woodlands to adapt to, and thrive in, a changing climate.
  • Maintaining and enhancing biodiversity, in particular by using the recruitment of natural regeneration and improving mitigation of the risks posed by invasive non-native species, deer and other herbivores.

Enhancing the environmental benefits provided by forests and woodlands

Activities

  • Supporting and enabling design and management of forests and woodlands to increase their positive impacts on air, water, soils, biodiversity and landscapes.
  • Safeguarding priority habitats and species.
  • Identifying and managing the cultural and historic value associated with our forests and woodlands.
  • Supporting activity to improve the ecological condition and habitat quality of native forests and woodlands, including PAWS.
  • Supporting the management of forests and woodlands to provide natural flood management and shelter for livestock.

Engaging more people, communities and businesses in the creation, management and use of forests and woodlands

Activities:

  • Improving people's understanding of the practice and value of forestry and the wider benefit it provides (e.g. for livestock husbandry, flood management or health and wellbeing).
  • Supporting the provision of more opportunities for children to play and learn in forests and woodlands, particularly in urban areas.
  • Increasing the use of forests and woodlands to improve people's health and wellbeing.
  • Providing more opportunities for urban and rural communities to influence the decisions affecting their local forests and woodlands, including through increased community ownership.
  • Supporting the provision of appropriate education and skills training to encourage wider participation in forest and woodland-related employment.
  • Encouraging a more diverse range of people to value and use forests and woodlands, particularly those close to where they live.

More detail on our work is included in the Forestry Strategy Implementation Plan and in our annual Business Plans

Measuring performance

We will develop a range of performance measure, including the following

Woodland Creation

% of woodland creation schemes meeting Customer Charter times

Progress on woodland creation targets

Payments

Time taken on processing payments

1) Capital payments against customer charter

2) Annual recurrent payments meeting RPIDS payment strategy

These will be developed and included in the final plan.

5.2 Strategic Objective 2: Ensure that Scottish Forestry is a supportive, innovative and inclusive organisation

Scotland's National Outcomes

UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • We are educated, skilled and able to contribute to society
  • SDG 03: Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 04: Quality education
  • SDG 05: Gender Equality
  • SDG 08: Decent work and Economic Growth

We are proud to have a highly skilled and motivated workforce. We want Scottish Forestry to be a great place to work and we intend establish key performance indicators with regard to employment, retention and career progression.

We are committed to creating a diverse workforce where all feel valued and respected for the talents they bring. A key focus is increasing the diversity of our workforce attracting and retaining people from across the communities we work with and in. To support his, we will focus on increasing opportunities for flexible working and developing career pathways.

We will embed a culture of continuous learning and development by increasing learning and development opportunities and mentoring support.

Priorities

  • Being recognised by our staff as an excellent employer, using meaningful engagement and effective internal communications
  • Living and demonstrating the organisation's values

Activities

  • Encouraging everyone within the organisation to be involved in corporate conversations about what we do and why we do it
  • Working to enable our people to achieve their career goals.
  • Attracting, inspiring, developing and retaining a talented, motivated and agile workforce.
  • Working positively and creatively with staff representatives to maintain and build cross-organisational working.

Measuring performance

We will develop a range of performance measures, including the following

  • Staff turnover levels
  • Absence levels
  • Staff survey engagement scores

These will be developed and included in the final plan.

Other Key National Strategies and Documents

  • Scottish Government People Strategy
  • Forestry Industry Safety Accord
  • Fair Work Convention
  • Scottish Government Equality Mainstreaming Report 2017-2021
  • Workforce Scotland

5.3 Strategic Objective 3: Develop the processes operating across Scottish Forestry to develop us into a higher performing and more resilient organisation

Scotland's National Outcomes

UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy
  • We value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment
  • We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe
  • We have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone
  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 15: Life on Land

As a Scottish Government Agency we will deliver according to Best Value principles, based on sound governance, good management, public reporting on performance, and a focus on improvement. This objective will ensure that we develop and use the most effective processes for carrying out our work.

As a newly established organisation, we are developing appropriate governance structures and systems and a sustainable financial model which will support delivery of our objectives. These have all been established in our first year of operation, and will be further reviewed and developed over the duration of this plan.

Many of our priorities for performance and resilience for the duration of this Corporate Plan will form part of an Organisational Improvement Programme, led by the Head of Operational Development. This will help to foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, aspiring to be recognised as being the best at what we do, building on the reputation established by our predecessor organisation, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS).

Priorities

  • Using improved business processes to support excellent customer service
  • Using effective financial planning and management to drive productivity and efficiency
  • Ensuring that SF is compliant with relevant laws and regulations

Activities

  • Deliver a new online felling permissions service by focussing on user needs and digital first standards – improving efficiency, accuracy and response times.
  • Deliver process improvements to speed up the processing of key Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS) claims to deliver faster payments for customers.
  • Deliver a strategy for managing information across Scottish Forestry. This will drive improvements to management information that will aid corporate decision making and managing organisational performance.
  • Development and implementation of a new finance system to replace out of date legacy FC system.
  • Ensure budgetary and financial management systems and processes facilitate financial sustainability and value for money.
  • Further develop and maintain a robust governance and assurance framework across the organisation.
  • Ensure the appropriate level of technical knowledge is established and held within the organisation to enable discharge of legal and regulatory responsibilities.

Measuring performance

We will develop a range of performance measures, based around the following

% of Freedom of Information and correspondence cases handled on time

Expenditure – Invoices paid on time

These will be developed and included in the final plan.

Other Key National Strategies and Documents

  • Programme for Government

6. Resourcing this plan

This section will outline SF budgets and will be populated in the final version

7. Monitoring and reporting

We are an executive agency of the Scottish Government and how we operate and our relationship with Scottish Ministers is set out in our Framework Document.

We operate a dispersed delivery model and work closely in partnership and collaboration with a wide range of organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors at a national and local level to ensure we are able to deliver on our Corporate Outcomes and also contribute to the delivery of Scotland's Purpose and National Outcomes.

An overview of our performance against our delivery priorities will be included in our Annual Report and Accounts which are laid before the Scottish Parliament every year. In addition, we will regularly publish corporate performance information on our website, and formally report on progress in the Annual Report, which will be laid before Parliament each year.

We will develop KPIs and other measure which will ensure we are able to monitor and report on progress.

Scottish Forestry Corporate Plan -

You can access and respond to this consultation online at https://consult.gov.scot/environment-forestry/scottish-forestry-corporate-plan.

You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open.

Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 5 February 2020.

A copy of the Respondent Information Form and Consultation questions can be downloaded from the supporting files section


Contact

Email: corporateplan.sf@forestry.gov.scot