Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Scottish Government: operating framework

Sets out how we will work with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, including roles and responsibilities.


1. This Operating Framework sets out how Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and the Scottish Government (SG) work together. It defines the key roles and responsibilities which underpins and describes the detail of the relationship between HIS and SG. HIS retains operational independence and its Executive Directors are accountable to the HIS Board through the Chief Executive.

2. Both organisations will always seek to collaborate and co-operate in the public interest in the delivery of our work while recognising our respective statutory roles, responsibilities, and operational independence.

3. This Operating Framework is the primary accountability and governance document between SG and HIS and should be reviewed and updated as necessary, and at least every 4 years. Any proposals to amend the document either by SG or HIS will be taken forward together and with due engagement, taking account of latest priorities and policy aims.

4. The Operating Framework will support:

a. an effective, strategic working arrangement between HIS and SG based on a shared understanding of respective roles and responsibilities;

b. risk management arrangements that allow both organisations to effectively identify and alert each other to issues and risks and potential areas of tension;

c. a clear two-way communication channel between the organisations;

d. a robust system for agreeing HIS’ priorities, which includes a cohesive view of the priorities and resources for the future, through a formal commissioning process;

e. early constructive dialogue and input to the formulation of SG policy and initiatives utilising HIS’ evidence and intelligence; and

f. further strengthening of our relationship based on openness, honesty, learning support, and constructive challenge.



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