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Good Practice

Shared Risk Assessment

Following the publication of the Crerar report in September 2007, the Scottish Government's response stated its aim of establishing a simplified and coherent approach to delivering local government scrutiny. A key aspect of this agenda is to better co-ordinate and streamline scrutiny and achieve greater effectiveness, whilst at the same time protecting the independence of scrutiny bodies. Scrutiny bodies that engage with local government have established a shared assessment of the risks in each council and have developed a range of proportionate approaches in response to any risks identified. Audit Scotland is taking a lead in this work. Local Area Networks (LANs) have been established for each council area, and bring together representatives in a systematic way with the common aims of joint scrutiny scheduling and planning, shared risk assessment, and the delivery of a single corporate assessment.

Education Scotland plays a key role in the SRA process coordinated by Audit Scotland. It is committed to working alongside other scrutiny bodies and is represented on each LAN. This involves each scrutiny body sharing the evidence it has gathered about each local authority and to the deciding on a shared risk assessment of each local authority. The LAN then decides on any necessary scrutiny activity depending on risks identified. An Assurance and Improvement plan (AIP) is published on an annual basis for each local authority area.

We use information gathered from our establishment and service-level inspections to inform this process along with other information we have about education provision, for example young people’s achievements. Our involvement in the SRA process includes the key principles outlined in our Principles of inspection and review.

Scrutiny coordination provides better targeted audit and inspection of councils