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The Consultation Window – Unless there is sufficient time to undertake a professional consultation, it might be better not to do it at all!

“Chris! I’ll need you to organise a consultation on this issue……..”

“So how long have we got ?”

“Oh, don’t worry about it – you’ll get your three months – and a bit extra if we’re lucky……..”

“That’s all right, then ……”

 WRONG!  It’s not all right. The 12-week rule, recently re-inforced by the Government’s code of practice is gradually seeping into the consciousness of managers, but it isn’t anything like enough.  The consultation window needs between one and three months lead-time, depending upon the methods to be used. We may be able to hire a school hall at three weeks’ notice, but try drafting, editing, proof-reading, designing and printing a complex inter-departmental policy paper in less than three months …


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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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