Publication - Research and analysis

Developing the Social Security Charter: co-design process

Published: 9 Jan 2019

Report on the process used for development of the Scottish Social Security Charter.

Developing the Social Security Charter: co-design process
1. Introduction and Background

1. Introduction and Background

The Scottish Government is getting new powers to deliver some social security benefits[4]. Provision for delivering these benefits is set out in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018[5]. These benefits will be delivered by Social Security Scotland (the Agency).

One key requirement of the Act is the development of a charter to guide the experience of people who apply for and receive social security (referred to as 'clients'). The charter should reflect the Human Rights approach to social security as well as the eight social security principles which are set out in Section 1 of the Act (see Annex A for a list of the principles).

Consultation on the charter with people who are disabled with a physical or mental health condition[6] and who have experience of one or more of the benefits being devolved is also a requirement of the Act. Additionally the Act requires consultation with those who work with or represent people who claim social security. During the bill process Ministers strengthened these requirements by committing to giving those who have experience of the benefits to be devolved a leading role in developing the charter.

The role of facilitating and enabling people with experience of social security to lead this process, gathering and inputting stakeholder expertise and bringing all these voices together in the charter was undertaken by Scottish Government researchers and policy officials and key staff from the Agency. We have termed this process co-design. The co-design work on the charter took place over six months from June 2018 to December 2018.

The result of this work was a draft charter which was laid before the Scottish Parliament in January 2019.

The content of the Charter is based on a list of statements that represent what the principles in the Act mean in practice to people with lived experience of social security and stakeholders. In this report, we have explained how the process of drafting the charter turned this list into a set of commitments that when delivered will give us a human rights based social security system that will encompass dignity and respect for all.

This report was written by Scottish Government researchers. It sets out the process by which the considered thoughts, views and ideas of people with lived experience of social security and stakeholders were brought together to produce a comprehensive, evidence led, robust manifestation of the meaning of the eight principles in the Act. It describes the co-design process as follows:

Chapter 2 sets out the people who were involved – 'Who',

Chapter 3 describes the work these people undertook – 'How',

Chapter 4 sets out what is in the draft charter and why – 'What and Why',

Chapter 5 describes next steps,

Chapter 6 sets out a conclusion to the work.

Please note: this report builds on a short interim report describing the early stages of the process published in September 2018[7].


Email: Julie Guy