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Steering groups

Steering groups are made up of experts who oversee a project to ensure that protocol is followed and provide advice and troubleshoot where necessary. The members of the steering group can be professionals, service users and carers or other interested members of the public. Their role is to:

  • Provide input based on their direct experience of the topic under investigation;
  • Give strategic direction;
  • Support the project manager.

The steering group usually meets at key stages during the course of a project and influences strategic decisions.

Steering groups are often used when a project needs input from, or must reflect the concerns of, a range of stakeholders.

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  • Involves key stakeholders;
  • Participants shape the agenda;
  • Has the potential to involve individuals at co-design and co-production levels;
  • Ensures a balanced approach to decision-making, allowing all voices to be heard.
  • May be an issue about the type of people who tend to be recruited on to such panels, i.e. not the marginalised or excluded;
  • Scheduling meetings can be difficult if participants have other priorities;
  • Can slow down the project if the committee is slow to make decisions.
  • A voice for all key stakeholders;
  • A consensus/shared vision may be achieved;
  • Input from expert participants.
  • Quick decisions.

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