Date: 10 April 2024

Time: 10:00 – 11:00

Venue: Microsoft Teams



  • Dr Marilyn Howard (Chair)
  • Dr Mark Simpson (Member)

Apologies: None

In attendance (SCoSS Secretariat)—

  • Andrew Strong, Head of Policy and Scrutiny
  • Christopher Galloway, Analysis and Participation Support Officer

    1. Welcome and appointment of Chair

      Marilyn welcomed members to the inaugural meeting of the Charter Sub-Committee.

      It was formally agreed that Marilyn would undertake the role of Chair of the sub-committee for the first six months of this year, with Mark hosting for the ensuing six months.

      Members had no relevant interests to declare.

      2. Update on external research events

      Discussion was held around the two in-person stakeholder events and the virtual event SCoSS facilitated in March.  These events focused on researching the experiences of people with communication needs who access Social Security Scotland services.

      Andrew provided an overview of the events and presented the initial findings.  Members noted the findings with a discussion held around various points within the feedback. The sub-committee agreed a number of areas that would benefit from additional focus during the rest of the research project.

      The sub-committee added that it would be helpful to link all findings from these and future events as well as other research to specific Social Security Charter commitments in order to strengthen the sub-committee’s final report.

      Members discussed the online stakeholder event and acknowledged this would be further considered at SCoSS’s next Audit sub-committee meeting in May 2024.

      3. External research – draft project plan

      Andrew presented a draft project plan laying out the steps and milestones towards publishing a final report on the Social Security Charter.  This included relationship-building with interested parties to involve in focus groups and structured interviews including members of the inclusive communication sub-group of Social Security Scotland, as well as engaging directly with both the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland.  It was noted that drafting of the final report is provisionally intended to take place in late 2024.

      Discussion was held around proposed engagement methods with the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland.  It was agreed that SCoSS would seek to hold initial discussions with both around how services are delivered to people with communication needs and this will be followed by a later discussion on emerging research findings.

      It was decided that the Secretariat would take forward with Scottish Government policy officials and officials within Social Security Scotland to receive initial feedback, as well as initiating contact with wider stakeholders.

      4. AOB

      Members agreed for future meetings to be held when required, with the next meeting to take place in June ahead of the proposed structured interviews later that month.

      There was discussion of the Scottish Government’s review of the Social Security Charter and on the progress of receiving an update on this.  Andrew advised the Secretariat would take forward contact with Scottish Government officials to arrange a date for officials to provide a progress update with the SCoSS Board.

      The meeting closed at 11:01

      Date of next meeting: Tuesday 4 June

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