Performance Expectations for CPPs
What we asked
Q2: The draft guidance sets out common long-term performance expectations for all CPPs and community planning partners. Each CPP will adopt its own approach towards meeting these expectations, reflecting local conditions and priorities. Even so, do you think there are common short- or medium-term performance expectations which every CPP and partner should be expected to meet? If so, what are they?
27. The draft guidance states that the expectations are intended to be ambitious and challenging. It is important that CPPs understand how closely their own performance matches these expectations and have a clear understanding of the nature and extent of improvement support required to make these ambitions real.
28. The guidance recognises that if CPPs and partners merely comply with the duties in the Act then we are unlikely to make the improvements our communities seek. It emphasises that effective community planning is founded on genuine challenge and scrutiny in community planning, built upon mutual trust and a shared and ambitious commitment to continuous improvement, and a culture that promotes and accepts challenge among partners. The guidance provides a summary of expectations in relation to each of the principles.
29. This question recognises an improvement journey for all CPPs and sought to identify whether there should be common short or medium term expectations. These expectations could potentially be in the form of milestones, indicators or measures that would be applicable to all CPP contexts. If so what should these common expectations be?
30. 79 respondents provided responses to this question. There were a wide range of replies with some respondents providing comment but without indicating specifically whether they were in favour or opposed to common short and medium term expectations.
31. 38 respondents indicated that performance expectations should be locally defined, with 5 of these respondents stating that these should be set in agreement with their local community. 13 respondents indicated that they considered common short or medium term expectations to be beneficial but there were few suggestions as to what these should be. The remaining respondents provided a wide range of commentary without expressing a clear preference.
32. Whilst recognising the potential benefits of common short, medium and long term performance expectations many respondents also commented upon the potential tension between plans that reflect local circumstances and common or nationally set short and medium term expectations for all CPPs. A small number proposed agreed indicators or a suite of indicators from which CPPs could choose to apply to reflect their conditions. Another small number distinguished between expectations for LOIPs and locality plans with those that did so indicating that common expectations were less relevant at locality or neighbourhood level.
33. Local determination of performance expectations was widely supported across categories of respondent. The reasoning was articulated well by a CPP respondent who considered that "It is essential that CPPs are given autonomy at a local level to identify and to respond the needs of their own communities. This is particularly important to allow development of effective Locality Plans" they continued that "Delivery must be tailored to local need and performance expectations developed to reflect this local context." Other respondents echoed this local determination when welcoming the emphasis on both hard and soft data as part of a portfolio of evidence of continuous improvement. A CPP respondent added that "targets should be locally determined through the principles of tackling inequalities and resourcing improvement". A Public Body respondent in favour of local determination argued that "development of an outcome based performance system focused at a local level should be a key priority for CPPs".
34. A Local Authority respondent whilst noting the importance of robust performance measurement and effective scrutiny also replied that "The setting of national standards or performance measures sits at odds with" being relevant to local people. This reflects the views of a small number of respondents across categories who queried whether local community empowerment with common nationally set measures was contradictory.
35. A Public Body which opposed nationally set short and medium term expectations considered that the introduction of common expectations would potentially impact upon local prioritisation and noted that the "Introduction of common specific short or medium term performance expectations will automatically raise the level of priority given to meeting those expectations."
36. This view of local determination of short and medium term expectations was not wholly shared by all. A small number of respondents indicated potential areas where commonality would be welcome.
37. A Public Body proposed that "Performance expectations around the standard of community engagement and consistencies in governance arrangements may be most appropriate for consideration in the short- or medium-term." A CPP respondent considered that the inclusion of a common performance measure relating to active participation by all CPP partners would be beneficial in holding partners to account
38. One Public Body considered that it would be helpful if guidance identified common expectations in standards of practice - "in particular around the use of data, information and community engagement" to ensure greater consistency across CPPs.
39. A third sector respondent proposed an alternate approach "rather than common performance expectations, …..a common approach to monitoring impacts and effectiveness of the CPP against their own planning processes may be more appropriate."
Expectations for locality planning
40. A small number of CPP respondents did not consider that common short or medium term performance expectations were as applicable at a locality planning level. Amongst other things they indicated that the accessibility of national data sets at a level which supports responsive local performance management for locality planning purposes was potentially challenging to the development of common short and medium term expectations due to the limited level of robust and real time data available.
41. A Local Authority respondent considered that it was difficult to set common short and medium term performance expectations for all CPPs particularly for locality planning purposes as disadvantage varied widely within CPPs and between locality areas. They stated "The broad range of work and interventions that is required across those areas experiencing the most deprivation and inequality will require more resource and will most likely take longer to have an impact (as the resource will have to be spread more thinly or focussed work takes one area at a time) than if it is an area with smaller pockets of deprivation which can more easily be targeted."
42. Another CPP respondent agreed with a suite of national indicators caveated by local determination "A core set of national indicators would be useful, such as those within the draft Improvement Service Community Planning Outcomes Profile Tool,…. We do not agree with nationally set targets: targets should be locally determined through the principles of tackling inequalities and resourcing improvement. "
In agreement with community
43. A CPP respondent favoured community involvement suggesting it should be built into performance approaches, indicating that this would ensure that performance frameworks and measures are relevant and provide a meaningful picture of progress for communities.
Short term measure of long term change
44. A CPP respondent noted the challenge around introducing common short and medium term expectations where the impact of preventative actions, which aim to moderate future demand for crisis intervention services, were likely to be longer term in nature. They were therefore, "cautious about shorter term performance expectations".
What common short or medium term expectations?
45. Of the 13 respondents who indicated they favoured common short or medium term expectations there was little comment which outlined what these should be. Of these few comments the development of community engagement/participation strategies and understanding of local needs and circumstances were the areas noted as potentially benefitting from common short and medium term expectations.
46. One respondent considered that each CPP should use their understanding of local needs and conditions to set short and medium term expectations that reflected local circumstances. This supported views from a small number of bodies which considered that practices and standards of engagement and consultation were more suited to common approaches. This may reflect other comments dotted throughout responses to this and other questions in support of the refresh of the National Standards of Community Engagement
47. A Public Body respondent noted that development of an outcome based performance system focused at a local level should be a key priority for CPPs and were keen to see an evaluation of preventative approaches being developed.
48. Two respondents suggested common expectations in relation to addressing socio-economic inequalities could be developed with key performance indicator(s) extracted from the national performance framework or developed as part of the library of indicators which would support benchmarking. However, they considered this approach may not be appropriate to locality planning.