Scottish Scams Strategic Partnership: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Scottish Scams Strategic Partnership.


In order to ensure both that Scotland’s Scams Prevention, Awareness and Enforcement Strategy continues to be co-owned by key stakeholders within the landscape and is delivered in line with strategic milestones, the new formalised Strategic Partnership will act as an overarching governance body with a focus on effective and collaborative delivery of actions over the lifespan of the strategy, 2021-24, as well as delegating resource as appropriate.

The Strategic Partnership will also exist as a standalone group in its own right within the wider national and international landscape – this will provide a structured means for longer-term stakeholder coordination, and the ability of partners to adopt a shared voice and take forwards collective advocacy on key issues relating to scams prevention, awareness and enforcement.


The overall governance and delivery structure for the strategy that is proposed is as follows:

Scottish Scams Strategic Partnership

This will be the main delivery and governance group for the strategy. It will monitor and steer the progress of actions set out in the strategy over 2021-24. This will involve reviewing associated reporting updates produced by associated delivery sub-groups, and managing programme level risks.

The Strategic Partnership will also provide a wider partnership and advocacy platform for longer term scams prevention in Scotland.

Workstream delivery

Collaborative teams will be established as required to take forward direct delivery of the actions in the strategy, with each group responsible for reporting on progress to the Strategic Partnership. It is anticipated that partners will contribute to the work and outputs of one or more sub-groups over time.

General oversight of progress by these groups towards determining the strategic course of action to be taken and any additional support that is needed or can be provided to facilitate this, will fall within the purview of the overarching Strategic Partnership, as the governance body.

These cross-organisation partnership groups will operate relatively informally, but with a shared agreement to meet regularly to help drive forwards delivery through discussion and collective input. Each work-stream delivery team will be responsible for reporting on progress to the Strategic Partnership.

Chair: appointment and role

The Strategic Partnership will be led by an appointed Chair who will:

  • chair all meetings of Strategic Partnership – ensuring that discussions are balanced, a diversity of opinions are heard, and consensus around next steps is built
  • support members in finding solutions or agreeing compromises to enable delivery against strategic actions to be maintained

The Scottish Government will assume the role of Chair, in line with feedback from partners at the first meeting of the Strategic Partnership, on 12 August 2021. This function will be performed up to the first reporting period for the Scams Prevention, Awareness and Enforcement Strategy, circa. 18-24 months post-publication in March 2021. Beyond this point, in line with a wider review of the Strategic Partnership’s role and membership, a decision will be taken as to whether or not the Chair should remain with the Scottish Government or an external appointed in line with the formalisation of the partnership as a standalone platform within the wider landscape.

At this point, should there be an on-going need for a Chair of the formalised partnership, it is anticipated that their responsibilities would include:

  • representing Strategic Partnership at wider external events and other meetings, as appropriate – ensuring that members receive fair and accurate feedback of discussions, and that members are consulted before any opportunities presented are accepted on behalf of Strategic Partnership
  • establishing and maintain strategic relations on behalf of Strategic Partnership with other key partner organisations/networks/actors – including Scottish Ministers, Consumer Scotland and other organisations that may play a role in supporting delivery of the strategy
  • promoting the vision and ambitions set out in Scotland’s Scams Prevention Strategy



The shared input of partners to deliver and oversee governance of the strategy is central to ensuring its success, and achieving the best outcomes for people living in Scotland. This reflects Strategic Partnership basis set out in the strategy for its shared ownership by those who have control over key levers of change, and/or the expertise, knowledge and wider asset base to enable progress and to inform next steps beyond the duration of delivery.  

It is on this basis that partners are expected to contribute some element of staff time to participate in the relevant groups as set out – as well as the on-going sharing of key insights, research, and learning, as appropriate.  

Scottish Government

The Scottish Government will inform the Strategic Partnership of any central government funding that will be made available each financial year to support delivery of the strategy, between 2021-24. Any spending decisions:

  • must be made in line with the vision, framework and actions set out in the strategy and are 
  • subject to internal Scottish Government financial management approval processes

Meeting schedule

During the lifespan of the Strategy’s delivery phase 2021-24, Strategic Partnership will meet quarterly, with the option for additional meetings to be arranged on an ad hoc basis subject to delivery requirements under the Strategy. Following conclusion of the three year strategy delivery period, meeting schedules will be reviewed to align with the longer-term needs and ambitions of Strategic Partnership. 


To facilitate efficient functioning of the Strategic Partnership, the Scottish Government will provide secretariat support. This will include managing meeting arrangements and drafting minutes.

Minutes of meetings and associated papers will be published on the Scottish Government website for purposes of transparency and wider communication of the work of the group.

The Scottish Government will look to facilitate all sub-groups as appropriate, proportionate to their needs and level of formal structure in place.


The Strategic Partnership will consist of the Chair plus a focused group of nine significant frontline advice, victim support, advocacy, prevention and enforcement bodies, and government and industry representatives. Each member organisation will be invited to present one named individual who will attend all meetings of the group, subject to availability, in order to maintain consistency and coherence of discussions and developments over time. Attendees will be of sufficient decision making authority within their organisation to be able to inform and support strategic next steps discussed by the partnership.  

Member organisations are:

  • chair (Scottish Government)
  • Advice Direct Scotland (ADS)
  • Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
  • Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS)
  • Police Scotland
  • Trading Standards Scotland (TSS)
  • Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS)
  • UK Finance
  • Victim Support Scotland (VSS)
  • Which?

A review of formal membership will be conducted after the initial phase of delivery against actions set out in the strategy has taken place, circa. 18-24 months from point of publication in March 2021.

Other organisations/individuals may be invited to attend meetings of Strategic Partnership as observers or to contribute to specific agenda items – this will be subject to the nature of discussions planned, and any wider support that the Chair feels may be appropriate to facilitate the work of the group. This may include, for example:

  • additional Scottish Government officials from across associated policy areas, such as: consumers, cyber resilience, mental health and wellbeing, organised crime, public health, and safer communities
  • UK wide counterparts such as: National Trading Standards, Home Office, National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, National Cyber Security Centre, National Crime Agency, UK Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and
  • broader stakeholders with an interest or active support function in the scams prevention landscape, such as: Truecall, Crimestoppers, Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, and Consumer Scotland (subject to their Board deciding scams should feature as a priority area of activity for the new national consumer advocacy body, in due course) 
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