Social Security Charter: measurement framework

The Charter measurement framework document and a short user guide describing how the framework was made and how it will be used.

Social Security Scotland 'Our Charter' Measurement Framework User Guide

What is the Charter Measurement Framework

This framework is a co-designed list of measures relating to the commitments set out in Our Charter. Over the next few years we will collect information or data for the measures, put it into the framework and then publish the results; this will do two things. Firstly, it will show how Social Security Scotland and the Scottish Government are getting on with delivering the commitments. Secondly, it will help Social Security Scotland and the Scottish Government to constantly improve what they are doing.

Please note, the Charter Measurement Framework is not the only measurement being done for the social security system in Scotland; please see for example the statistical publications page of the website.

This user guide sets out;

  • Who developed the framework
  • What the framework will measure and when
  • How the measures line up to the commitments
  • Where we will get the information (or data) from to fill in the framework
  • How to read the framework.

Who developed the Framework?

The Charter Measurement Framework (the framework) was co-designed by the Scottish Government, Social Security Scotland and a diverse group of people with lived experience of the social security system (known as 'Core Group 2' ). Groups who represent people with lived experience (stakeholders), and SCoSS; the Scottish Commission on Social Security have given valuable advice and input to the framework.

Government officials collected information from seven workshops with Core Group 2, two stakeholder meetings, two meetings with SCoSS and from Social Security Scotland staff over a period of five months. Social researchers then analysed the information and used it to produce the framework.

What does the Framework measure?

The Framework has four sections that match up with Our Charter. The first three sections are about how Social Security Scotland operates and delivers benefits, so the measures are designed to tell us how the agency treats clients, if staff are well supported, how the systems are working and how clients are experiencing the systems. The final section is mostly about Scottish Government commitments which relate to policy making about benefits and what the system should do as a whole, so the measures in that section are designed to tell us what is being achieved over the longer term.

When will the framework be filled in and published?

Some of the measures will not be relevant until all the benefits being devolved to Scotland are rolled out.

We will publish the framework with all those that are relevant every year starting in 2020.

We will collect the information needed to fill in the framework (data) using a variety of different research methods and we will use some of the data that Social Security Scotland is already collecting.

  • A yearly 'all clients' survey, the first one is planned for winter 2019/20. This data will be used to fill in, for example, the percentage of people who said they were treated with kindness
  • Management information, this is data that is collected all the time to see how well systems are working for example, call response times
  • Staff survey and additional staff research, this will be used to fill in, for example, the percentage of staff saying they have the tools they need to do their job well
  • Research organised specially to show whether or not a benefit is meeting its aims - evaluation
  • Other data collections methods like interviews with Social Security Scotland Managers and stakeholders, and reports put together by the Scottish Government to show its activity to support the Charter commitments.

For a full list of all the measures and how we will collect the data needed to fill them in please see

Please note, wherever possible we will analyse the data we collect for the framework by protected characteristics (and other demographic characteristics). This is essential in order that we can assess whether Our Charter is being delivered comprehensively to all groups.

How do the measures match up to the commitments?

Our research found that it was important to people that the framework covered most of the commitments in the Charter but that it is also easy to read, clear and simple. Obviously it is difficult to achieve both these things and we have written a report that sets out in detail how this was done

In brief: at first, we started putting in measures for each commitment in the Charter. We found that many of the commitments need more than just one measure and as there are around 50 commitments in total we would have needed well over 100 measures. The results would have made a framework that was too long and complicated so not simple or easy to read.

We then asked people with lived experience which commitments were the most important to them to try to cut down on the number of measures to make it easier to read. This was also unsatisfactory as the framework, although simple and easy to read would not have covered most of the commitments.

Finally it was decided to look for similar or overlapping commitments in the first three charter sections. This helped us to reduce the number of measures needed, whilst making sure most of the elements of the Charter are covered.

People with lived experience also decided that the framework should have a one-page overview, or summary, of the key information from the framework. This will show people, at a glance, how Our Charter is being delivered.

Reading the Framework

The front page gives an 'at a glance' overview of how Social Security Scotland is performing in each section, presented with a few important pieces of data and information.

Each page of the framework represents a section of Our Charter. Each page is divided into four rows which are read from the top downwards.

  • Row 1 is the title row which sets out the name of the section of Our Charter, for example, A people's service
  • Row 2 is made up of questions that will be answered about that section, for example, 'Are clients experiencing a service that reflects the human rights values as set out in Our Charter when interacting with Social Security Scotland?'
  • Row 3 sets out what is the ideal situation we want to achieve, for example, 'Clients receive good service'
  • Row 4 will contain data that can be used to answer the question in row 2 and demonstrate whether, or not, the ideals are being achieved.

There is more information about how the framework was developed and how it will be used in the report

Is Social Security Scotland delivering what the Charter promised?

A People's Service

Social Security Scotland's Service is Person-Centred

  • XX% Clients said they were treated with kindness
  • XX% staff were confident in delivering a service that reflects human rights values
  • XX% Average rate of positive response to XX People's Service indicators

Processes That Work

Social Security Scotland involves clients in designing services that are supportive, accessible, simple, quick and flexible

  • XX% Average rate of positive response to XX Processes That Work indicators

A Learning System

Social Security Scotland's service evolves in response to the needs and preferences of its clients

  • XX A measure that indicates how clients and stakeholders think we are doing

A Better Future

The Scottish Government will develop and maintain social security policy so that it is as fair as possible

  • XX A measure that indicates how clients and stakeholders think we are doing

Is Social Security Scotland delivering what the Charter promised?



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