Experience panels: annual report 2018

This report summarises experience panels research work done in 2018 and looks forward to 2019.

This document is part of a collection

Looking forward to 2019 and beyond

This section will look at our plans for next year, and longer term the plan for transferring social security research to Social Security Scotland.


In 2019 we will continue our programme of work with panel members. We will continue work on specific benefits, including work on:

  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Child Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Cold Weather Payments
  • Carers Allowance Supplement
  • Funeral Expenses Assistance
  • Best Start Grant
  • Young Carers Grant
  • Scottish Welfare Fund

We will also continue to cover a range of topics to do with how Social Security works across all benefits. In early 2019 we will run an all panel set of surveys and focus groups around Scotland. We are in the process of finalising topics for these, but they are likely to include:

  • Advocacy
  • Processes for transferring DWP cases to Social Security Scotland
  • Local delivery of Social Security Scotland services

As described above, we will reopen recruitment of panel members in early 2019 to refresh membership. We will also continue work with ethnic minorities, and begin a large programme of work with particular marginalised, sensitive and dispersed groups of people.

We will continue and expand our new series of events with panel members to share findings and give an update on Experience Panels and social security more generally. We will continue the new newsletter for panel members, and as always will share reports as they are published.

In 2019 we will also continue to keep stakeholder organisations up to date through events and advisory groups. And we will extend this work to include sharing our findings and approach with other parts of the Scottish Government and the wider public sector.

Beyond 2019

The Social Security Experience Panels is a Scottish Government programme of work and it will run until all the benefits being devolved have gone live. But that will not be the end of the Experience Panels approach.

Already Social Security Scotland have begun building a programme of research with their clients. Anyone contacting Social Security Scotland is given the chance to complete a short feedback survey on their experience. Social Security Scotland will use this feedback to improve the service they provide.

As the number of clients increases, Social Security Scotland will begin more research with clients. This will echo the Experience Panels approach. As each benefit is launched by Social Security Scotland, panel members who are then clients will be asked about their experience of moving to Social Security Scotland from DWP. They will also be offered the opportunity to stay involved in future research by Social Security Scotland.

When all benefits have been launched, the Experience Panels programme will wind down, but it will be replaced by Social Security Scotland's research.

We will work with panel members when we are deciding exactly what Social Security Scotland's research programme will look like, and how existing panel members will be involved alongside clients.

More information on this will be available early next year.


Email: Carole Edwards

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