Social Security Experience Panels: annual report 2021

Fourth annual report from the Social Security Experience Panels programme, covering the key activities and outputs from 2021.

This document is part of a collection


The Scottish Government is becoming responsible for some of the benefits previously delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). As part of the work to prepare for this change, in the summer 2017 the Scottish Government set up the Social Security Experience Panels.

The Experience Panels are made up of people who have experience of at least one of the benefits that are coming to Scotland. The Scottish Government works with panel members to inform key decisions in the design of social security in Scotland. This is the fourth annual report for the Experience Panels programme of research. It aims to feed back to panel members and others interested in the work about what was achieved in 2021 and what is planned for 2022.

2021 was our fourth full year of running research with panel members. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to have an impact on the types of research activities we carry out. Without being able to offer any face-to-face meetings, we have used surveys, video interviews and phone interviews to hear from panel members since March 2020. This is to keep both participants and our staff safe. We would like to thank all panel members for their continued understanding and flexibility during this time. Hearing panel members’ views and experiences continues to play a critical role in the design of the new social security system in Scotland.

In 2021, we published more reports about our work with Experience panel members. As in 2020, we worked with our partner user researchers to undertake increasingly detailed research with panel members with the aim of testing and refining how some of Social Security Scotland’s systems and processes work in practice.

Finally, we have been doing some joint research projects with Social Security Scotland’s Client Panels. We have also spent more time sharing our findings and approach with others in the Scottish Government and beyond.



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