Our Terms of Reference start with a clear statement about what we are working towards (in our case the implementation of consultation decisions). In discussions with all groups clarity about what is in scope and what is not came back as being vital. People don’t want to waste their times on thinks they can’t influence.
Our groups focused on the importance of a shared agreement around behaviour – this enables people within the group to challenge others in a way that isn’t personal ie, you agreed to behave x,y and z and your behaviour now doesn’t reflect that.
1) Membership – open to all, but will be considered as someone who has been to more than one meeting. We acknowledge the membership of the group may change as people commit time to working groups
2) Frequency – the steering group will meet monthly / 6 weekly / bi-monthly / weekly. Smaller working groups will focus on specific areas of work
3) Remit – specifically A, B and C. (You may wish to go further) – it will not cover D, E and F
4) Conversations that exceed that remit should be held outside this meeting
5) Respectful of any other external process – we now we do not work in isolation. Any impact should be communicated between groups.
6) We will generate learning and new ideas for co-production and should share them.
• To share everything early and to learn as much as possible about the current state, current improvements and actions and current risks
• To expect to be able to make your point
• To expect, and to role-model, co-operation
• For all suggestions to be considered and discussed – ideas should not be ridiculed
• To respect people’s professional roles and responsibilities
• To respect the time and energy committed by volunteers
• To respect confidentiality –information shared for the process should not be shared outside the group unless specifically agreed by the group
• To work to an ethos of trust – ‘Chatham House Rule’ – the freedom to express views within this process without having those views attributed to a particular individual outside of the process. This means notes of meetings will reflect the discussion.
• We acknowledge that trust needs to be built
• Members should feel safe to challenge behaviours seen as not in line with this agreement during meetings and with each other (and should always respond positively to constructive criticism) but should never criticise each other’s behaviour outside of the group.
• This is a new way of working and we expect there will be times when things will go wrong – everyone is committed to learning when things go wrong, not to attributing blame.
• Utilising existing information from local reviews by independent experts
• Respecting the significant pressure already on public sector staff and making reasonable requests for further information
• Not asking permission to do things – but keeping members of the group in the loop and not going off on ‘solo missions’
• Our way of working intends to form resolutions by consensus. If the chair requires a formal test of that consensus, then a vote of members will include those that have been to more than one meeting. The group may hold a variety of opinions, all of which may be reflected in any consequent report
• The terms of reference are subject to annual review
How will we know co-production has had an impact?
- We set a realistic goal – x has been achieved.
- We set a mood goal – x will feel.
We also wanted to measure more about how people felt:
- We did a survey 3 months in to be repeated 6 and 12 months on