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Goodbye tick-box; hello your honour! – Will the new Cabinet Office Consultation Principles’ attempt to end the tick-box habit result in a bigger role for the Courts?

The infamous tick-box gets the blame for a lot. In the world of consultation, it is a regular refrain, with two different meanings.

One is the criticism that the consultation isn’t a really serious attempt to listen at all – the consultor is just ‘going through the motions’, because the organisation is expected to undertake such an exercise. In other words, it’s just a tick-box exercise. The other is a complaint that instead of a genuine dialogue, what happens is a bureaucratic process with mechanistic adherence to a list of requirements, regardless of their relevance to the circumstances of the moment. It’s just a tick-box exercise!


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About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

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