How to think about the engagement and consultation challenges you have (17 March)

Colleagues running active change programmes are considering what steps to take in light of updated (16 March) government advice on social distancing. We’ve been working through some of the considerations with them to inform their decisions and thought it might help to jot down some of the key points to support others considering similar issues.

The choice of action to take will be influenced by:

  • The needs of the change programme. Regulatory, commercial, and statutory, sustainability of the current situation and others will be considerations.
  • The scale and nature of the programme will influence choices
  • The stage the change programme is at in the process of involving stakeholders and the public will influence choices. It’s helpful to map out where a programme is on that progression. Pinpointing where the programme is in the process will be helpful. Try this:


  • Planning
  • Early engagement / discussing case for change
  • Proposal/options development and appraisal
  • Options selection

Live consultation

  • Pre-launch
  • Live with active data gathering
  • Live nearing the end
  • Closing


  • Analysis
  • Output reporting
  • Influencing
  • Consideration and decision

Other considerations:

  • Can you promote the activity sufficiently?
  • Is your target audience prepared to engage?
  • Can you resource the activity? Staff might be on other duties or not available through self-isolation or sickness.
  • Should you change your approach?

Some live consultation programmes have decided to proceed for now adapting the approaches they are using. Some have substituted activities that were face to face or required people to congregate with simple online approaches. Using conferencing (video and audio mix). Some have changed their strategies, using alternative methods to secure input form those they most need to hear from. Both of these, but particularly the latter rely on strong stakeholder analysis.

Most processes will be able to be paused simply and safely. If any of the factors means that is imperative the programme proceeds, we can help talk through the risks with you.

Last updated byAnonymous on March 23, 2020
Rate this artcile0020