Welsh Government
Setting the standard for public involvement

Setting the standard for public involvement

18 November 2019

The final UK Standards for Public Involvement, which aim to improve the quality and consistency of public involvement in research, are released today.

Health and Care Research Wales formed a key part of a UK-wide partnership to develop the Standards, which have piloted in ten sites across the UK including the Wales School for Social Care Research and the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research.  

The release of the Standards coincides with InvolveFest, a set of events celebrating involvement of people in health and social care in Northern Ireland.

The Standards set out six areas for developing good quality public involvement. They encourage approaches and behaviours that are the hallmark of good public involvement such as flexibility, sharing and learning and respect for each other.

These guidelines can be used by members of the public, groups, researchers and research organisations as well as public involvement facilitators and can be used with any method or approach to public involvement. They include:

  • Inclusive opportunities
  • Working together
  • Support and learning
  • Communications
  • Governance
  • Impact

More than 40 organisations, groups and individuals across the UK used the Standards during a year-long piloting phase – and were overwhelmingly positive about their experience of implementing them. The pilots used the Standards in different ways, including as a framework to support reflective practice and future plans for public involvement activities.

When asked to rate how the Standards had influenced their own, or their organisation’s practice, most of the 40 pilots said they’d either improved, started to improve or created the ambition to improve.

Bob McAlister, member of the Health and Care Research Wales involvement community and public member of the Standards Development Partnership said:

“I have been involved with the development of the Standards since the very first 2016 London meeting of all Partners. Fortunately, I have had the capacity to stay with the development throughout all the phases.

“It has been really rewarding, as the public members are a fully equal part of the team effort. I can attribute things that I said to the final product. If the Standards encourage other research work to go forward in this inclusive way they will fully serve their purpose”.

To read the Standards in full, and to find an Easy Read version, visit our UK Standards for Public Involvement webpage.