National Care Service - Expert Legislative Advisory Group: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Expert Legislative Advisory Group on social care.

The Expert Legislative Advisory Group will use their expertise and knowledge of the delivery of social care, social work and primary and community health services to aid the development of the National Care Service (NCS) legislation.

Purpose and objectives

  • the advisory group serves as a sounding board and advice-giving body for the Scottish Government
  • their main function is to consider and discuss issues related to the development of the NCS (Scotland) Bill to help inform the Scottish Government
  • areas for development will be presented to the group either during meetings or through correspondence for their consideration and comment
  • the group may wish to contribute to agenda setting and present their own areas for development in partnership with the Secretariat

Scope and focus

  • the advisory group’s focus is on the NCS (Scotland) Bill
  • in the first instance the group will focus on Stage 2 Amendments to the Bill with a forward work plan developed for future activity
  • the group will provide advice related to the development of the NCS (Scotland) Bill and the interaction with other key pieces of legislation and legislation pertaining to local government and the NHS 
  • the group will highlight areas of opportunity and risk and suggest enhancements or mitigations to, for example, unintended risks and consequences

Duration and administration

  • the group will endure at least throughout the passage of the Bill with the opportunity to extend further
  • meetings will be chaired by Scottish Government policy officials on a rotational basis depending on the subject/policy matter being discussed. Ministers may attend periodically
  • meetings will be virtual and last approximately 90 minutes with a 15 minute break. This length of break has been agreed to allow everyone, with varying needs, an equal opportunity to a break
  • timely ad hoc meetings may be arranged to enable efficient working and ensure cost efficiency
  • meetings will be refined to ensure they are meeting the accessibility requirements of members. Speakers will be asked to speak clearly and avoid, where possible, using acronyms and industry specific or legal terminology
  • short life groups or workshops may be set up to enable deeper discussion on specific areas of interest
  • group members may be asked to look at draft materials in confidence. Outputs of each meeting will be recorded and shared with the group
  • we will consider how we bring co-design evidence and outputs from other working groups across the NCS to inform this group


  • membership will be established based on the nature of the work and expertise required, therefore may flex for each meeting based on priorities
  • where specific expertise is required for particular discussions, members may invite supporting officials from their organisation with prior agreement of the Chair or secretariat
  • a full list of representative organisations is outlined on the group page
  • an agenda and any associated papers will be distributed at least two working days before meetings due to the meeting frequency, but where possible papers will be shared earlier
  • agendas will reflect which follow up items are required. Accessibility requirements and needs of group members will be considered in line with the fast-paced timescales of activity
  • a succinct note of each meeting will be taken along with actions agreed by the group and shared within five working days of the meeting
  • the group will comply with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs)
  • the actions of the previous meeting will be reviewed at each meeting with an update provided by the action owner (or deputy)
  • there will be no remuneration, financial or otherwise, for the time of members who represent organisations that would be reasonably expected to participate in work of this type in carrying out their professional roles. Members are selected in recognition that informing legislation in the industry they work in is a relevant aspect of the work of the organisation they represent for which no additional payment is required
  • all members are expected to behave in a professional manner by respecting and showing courtesy to others and by using appropriate language
  • all members are expected to contribute to achieving the purpose of the group by:
    • contributing to achieving the goals of meetings and agenda items
    • attending meetings wherever possible or appointing a suitable depute where this is not possible
    • promoting open discussion by contributing within and between group meetings, sharing information freely and in a timely manner
    • challenging and supporting each other positively, in a respectful manner that recognises individuals’ contributions
    • maintaining confidentiality with regards to sensitive information shared through discussion or on paper
  • members must not:
    • ask the Secretariat or other civil servants to do anything that is inconsistent with the Civil Service Code
    • behave towards civil servants in a way which would be inconsistent with the standards set by the Scottish Government for conduct generally
    • authorise the expenditure of public funds, have responsibility for budgets, or any involvement in the award of external contracts
  • the Chair shall advise on all aspects of confidentiality with respect to the information presented to and discussed by the membership
  • information shared with members should be treated as sensitive and not for wider distribution beyond your colleagues and members who can help you make informed contributions
  • members have been selected for their professional expertise and/or lived experience. They are, of course, free to engage with media and communications as they so wish but should be clear that they are speaking in a personal capacity, except where they are explicitly authorised to represent the agreed views of the group
  • members should be mindful of Scottish Ministers’ commitment to inclusion and diversity in public life and, in fulfilling their role in this group, should strive to assist in creating a culture and environment that enables the Scottish Government to harness the talents of everyone by enabling and promoting the participation of people from under-represented groups
  • individual’s contributions to this group’s discussions will not be considered representative of the position of the members they represent
  • participation in this group does not constitute support for any of the analysis or amendments which may be advanced by the Scottish Government
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