'Island-Proofing' your work Introducing Island Communities Impact Assessments (ICIA)

This leaflet provides an overview of the Island Communities Impact Assessment process and has been designed to complement existing guidance and support those working through the process. 

Why do I need to do an Island Communities Impact Assessment?

In Scotland, Local Authorities, Scottish Government and other public bodies have to carry out an Island Communities Impact Assessment when developing, revising and delivering any policy, strategy, service or legislation that could have a significantly different effect on island communities. It's a duty under the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.

It's the law. But it's not just the law. It's about the principles of fairness, integration, and inclusiveness.

While our island communities are different from each other, they often face challenges compared to mainland and urban areas – due to distance, geography, connectivity and demography. There might be issues or barriers you haven't thought of, which unfairly disadvantage islanders.

Some examples of how islands are different:

  • Higher delivery charges and higher costs for utilities like electricity
  • Longer, more complicated and more expensive journeys to education, work, leisure, and healthcare
  • Affordable and suitable housing is often more scarce on islands
  • Islanders may face isolation and loneliness
  • Shrinking and ageing populations on some islands can make it harder to deliver services such as education or health care
  • Some island communities have poor and unreliable internet connections.

"Scotland's Island communities are very important. Islanders deserve high-quality accessible services, and the same opportunities as people living on the mainland.

Island Communities Impact Assessments are designed to help you to consider islands carefully throughout your work to develop new policies, strategies, or services - from inception to delivery and beyond."

Mairi Gougeon
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands


Email: info@islandsteam.scot

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