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Getting started

Use the key steps below to help you get started and consider how you may involve service users, carers and the public. You will also find a range of guides and involvement tools in this section to help you undertake meaningful involvement.

Consider the following questions to help you develop an involvement plan:


Stage of involvement Consider:
Planning The reason for involvement Outline why you are involving people in your area of work. For example, this may be to help shape the development of a new service area or to review a current service. Involve as early as possible in the decision-making process.
Who will be affected Outline who will be affected and who should be involved. This may include individual service users and carers alongside groups of people. Also consider hard-to-reach or easy-to-ignore groups and how you may include people who do not normally get involved.
How are you going to involve people Outline the ways in which you will involve people as it is likely that different methods will be undertaken at different stages of the programme of work. Consider the ladder of involvement and the level at which service users, carers and the public will be involved.  This may include setting up a Steering Group and seeking representation from service users or undertaking focus groups with identified groups of people. Check out the methods of involvement section to show you the different ways to involve people.
Doing Undertake the involvement Engage the identified service users, carers and the public. Think about how you are going to engage people and your communication method for your target groups. Develop a communication plan. The location and timing of involvement sessions can be important – ensure that venues are accessible and times are suitable. Provide reimbursement of out of pocket expenses for service users and carers involved in the programme of work.
Reviewing Assess the impact Identify the impact on the service area, and lessons learnt from the process of involvement of service users, carers and the public. There are different methods to use, for example, evaluation tools, questionnaires etc.
Feedback Feedback to everyone involved and let them know what changed as a result.


Check out the Guides available to support you to involve service users and carers.

Also check out the learning opportunities available to support you to develop knowledge and skills.