Principles and practice

Download our guide to the principles and practice of design review, including how to set up and run a design review panel.

Design review is a tried and tested method of promoting good design and a cost-effective way of improving quality.

Design review: principles and practice explains how design review can support good design through the planning process and how to set up and run a design review panel. Case studies illustrate the breadth of panels now operating and share learning from their experiences.

Supplementary information


Dealing with confidentiality

Design review panels should have a policy for dealing with Freedom of Information requests, including requests about schemes reviewed on a confidential basis.

Creating the terms of reference

Design review panels need to have clear terms of reference which govern how they operate.

Requesting materials for reviews

Design review panels need to be clear to design teams what material they need in advance of a review

Writing good design review reports

Design review written reports involve turning the panel’s comments into a coherent narrative to provide advice which can be acted on.

Budgeting for a design review panel

Setting up and running a design review panel requires a significant investment of resources and money.

Evaluating and monitoring your panel

Rigorous evaluation of a design review panel’s impact is good practice and if possible should be undertaken every year.

Referring and reviewing schemes

To avoid duplication and to ensure that schemes are reviewed at the appropriate level, all panels should work together to ensure that schemes are not reviewed by more than one panel.

Recruiting panel members effectively

Design review panels need robust recruitment processes to appoint panels with a suitable range of skills that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.