The home of Public Consultation Best Practice

We provide more help for organisations to implement best practice and do more training on public consultation and engagement than anyone else in the world.

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About the Consultation Institute

Since 2003, a well-established not-for-profit best practice Institute, promoting high-quality public and stakeholder consultation in the public, private and voluntary sectors. A membership body for everyone interested in public dialogue, engagement and participation.

Core Services include

Training Courses

A comprehensive range of one-day public engagement and consultation training courses.

Quality Assurance

Designed for high-profile consultations for an external assurance of its quality.

Partners in Excellence Scheme

To recognise and celebrate those organisations who can demonstrate high standards of performance.

Advice & Guidance

We provide organisations with a menu of services from which they can use our expertise.

Aarhus Convention Check

Self-assess your infrastructure engagement exercise based on international requirements.

Start your Consultation Journey

We offer the most comprehensive range of one-day public engagement and consultation training courses available anywhere. These courses are designed to be relevant to people and organisations in all sectors.

Download our 2016 Learning & Development Brochure now!

Some of our Clients and Members

Belfast City Council

Extensive training on public engagement and consultation has been delivered to various departments in the Council, and specialist advice & guidance made available on high profile contentious issues such as the proposed energy from waste plant.

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Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Board

As well as Institute training courses the Board sought advice & guidance to ensure that controversial consultations on the future of care homes in Northern Ireland met best practice quality standards.

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Transport for London

A major strategic relationship with the Institute. Holders of the Partners in Consultation Excellence Certificate. The Institute has trained approximately 60 TfL consultation staff and assisted with the Quality Assurance of transport related projects.

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NHS South East CSU

Holders of a preferred CSU agreement with the Institute. Under this deal we support major service reconfigurations in South London, including projects affecting NHS services in Southwark, Dulwich Hospital, and mental health service provision. Previously the Institute supported engagement activities for the ‘South West London’ project for hospitals reconfiguration. Extensive Executive Briefing for Senior NHS Managers. This client also pioneered ‘Ambassador Training’, whereby Senior Clinicians were trained by us in best practice handling of public meetings.

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EirGrid

The Institute undertook a comprehensive assessment of SONI’s public consultation practices, including detailed discussions with key stakeholders. It also benchmarked Northern Ireland activities with best practice researched elsewhere.

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Kent County Council

The biggest local authority in the United Kingdom. Long standing members of the Institute, having trained 20-25 public engagement staff. Executive briefings on legal and other aspects of public consultations have been delivered to Senior Officers and 40+ Elected Members.

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HS2

High Speeds Two is building one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe. We provided specialist quality assurance on the data analysis/interpretation following a key public consultation attracting 60,000+ respondents. Delivered specialist consultation and engagement training courses in-house.

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Essex Fire and Rescue

Full Quality Assurance of consultations regarding future deployment of Fire & Rescue resources.

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NHS North East Commissioning Support Unit

The Institute concluded a preferred CSU agreement with NECS whereby service change projects are supported through Advice and Guidance and also formal Quality Assurance. In-house training has been provided and NECS was the first client to use the tCI Risk Assessment Workshop methodology.

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Lincolnshire County Council

The Institute has conducted 2 separate Quality Assurance assignments for controversial consultations involving the restructuring of libraries and changes to Adult Social Care fees. The Institute has delivered in-house training for both Officers and Elected Members.

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NHS Education for Scotland

We built an in-house training resource for NHS Boards in Scotland called “Involving People – learning from experience”. It was used throughout Scotland and included training courses, learning exercises, and videos.

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London Borough of Hounslow

This Council faces a major challenge as it is affected by the continuing controversy surrounding the future of London Heathrow Airport. The consultation and engagement team have been trained through two programmes of in-house training from the Institute.

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Public Health Wales

Over three years this organisation has commissioned the Institute to design and deliver high-profile Executive Seminars for NHS and Local Government staff in Wales. Specialist events have included Seminars on consultation with young people, service change in health and social care, consultation with the ‘older’ generation, and using social media for public health engagement.

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North Ayrshire Council

This authority has trained more of its staff in public engagement and consultation than any other in the UK. In-house training has been provided by David Jones and the Scottish-Irish team, and the Council has been recognised with a special award for skills development at the Institute’s 2015 Conference.

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CCEA

In Northern-Ireland, the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment is responsible for extensive engagement and consultation on the education service. It has used the Institute since 2004 and continues to commission specialist in-house training and Advice & Guidance.

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Horizon Nuclear Power

We helped the client to develop a robust set of documentation - sufficient to satisfy unusually tight regulatory requirements - and be meaningful to the public. It also advised on the best approach to forthcoming statutory consultations.

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Consultation Institute Membership

Individual Level

From £195 per year

Enjoy most of the membership benefits as an individual

Corporate Level

From £995 per year

Giving membership benefit discounts to all employees

Membership of the Consultation Institute enables you to join a community of like-minded people and offers recognition to those who have undertaken training to improve their skills and knowledge.

Who wants to be consulted?

February 21, 2017

What exactly is the appetite for public consultations? And what is the civic-duty syndrome? We don’t often ask people if they want to be consulted. There are many reasons for this:…

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Devolution for Warrington – which way to turn?

February 16, 2017

Residents of Warrington look at least three different ways. To Manchester, Liverpool, and south to Cheshire. English Devolution obliges Councils to figure out whose organisation to join… and it is not…

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Beware a wholly inadequate definition of ‘consultation’

February 16, 2017

If you are among the couple of thousand public engagement professionals in the UK, wrestling with a serious public consultation from time to time, you may well be intrigued –…

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Hospital cuts planned in most of England

February 21, 2017

Hospital services in nearly two-thirds of England could be cut or scaled back, BBC analysis of local plans shows. The proposals have been made by NHS bosses as part of…

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Council in uproar as councillors vote for public consultation on free deckchairs

February 20, 2017

Councillors have voted in favour of a public consultation on a controversial proposal to get rid of free deckchairs for older people in Weymouth. At a meeting of the Policy…

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Petition demands public consultation on police station conversion

February 19, 2017

A petition to stop Iver Parish Council from spending £750,000 on offices has collected hundreds of signatures from people who are demanding a public consultation. South Bucks District councillor Paul…

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A Selection Of Our Videos

The Perils of careless policy making - The Rt Hon Michael Portillo

The Perils of careless policy making - The Rt Hon Michael Portillo

NIMBYism in Major Infrastructure Projects – John Morris, Former Director of Public Affairs at Birmingham Airport

NIMBYism in Major Infrastructure Projects – John Morris, Former Director of Public Affairs at Birmingham Airport

Modernising our National Health Service - Paul Brooks, Associate Director of Patient Experience and Facilities Management, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Modernising our National Health Service - Paul Brooks, Associate Director of Patient Experience and Facilities Management, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Allocating Roadspace in a Congested City: Transport for London's expierience with Cycle Superhighways - Peter Bradley, Head of Consultation & Engagement

Allocating Roadspace in a Congested City: Transport for London's expierience with Cycle Superhighways - Peter Bradley, Head of Consultation & Engagement

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