Improvements and Transformation

We are working hard to deliver services to our communities and individuals in these difficult challenging times. All local authorities continue to experience reducing budgets. We are committed to improving our service delivery by identifying and implementing ongoing improvements and transforming our services and service models where ever possible.

On this page you will find information about some of our improvements and transformation projects, along with examples of exemplary good practice and how we use our consultations with you to help us form the improvemts.


We use both internal and external improvement tools and inspections to drive forward improvements. Working within the Performance and Improvement Framework (PIF) our performance reviews help drive our improvements. We have provided links to documents, strategies and external websites for more information.

Following on from all improvement activities or inspections we develop action plans to ensure we address any areas for improvement that have been highlighted.

Internal improvement tools

The ABIF - Argyll and Bute Improvement Framework. To ensure we drive improvements throughout the council we have embarked on a programme of self-evaluation workshops, which sit within the ABIF. The ABIF sets out a structure that ensures all parts of the council that do not have specific evaluation programmes in place carry out self-evaluation activities. These activities identify the areas for improvement. Arrangements are made to ensure the improvements can be delivered and evidenced. Find out about the details of the implementation of the ABIF.

Other improvement tools include -

Business Improvement Tools - We use a process improvement toolkit to identify and implement improvements and efficiency. These are structured workshops that crucially focus on improvements from the perspective of our customers and stakeholders. Examples of benefits may be cost, time, quality or morale. Within the workshops other improvement tools are also applied as appropiate.

School Improvement Planning - All schools have a statutory requirement to complete a standards and quality report and improvement plan. These are collated annually and scrutinised by education central officers. All schools share a summary of these on their websites.  All our school polices and plans are available.

National Improvement Hub - The Hub provides information and support that enables Education practitioners to improve their practice and increase the quality of learners’ experiences and outcomes. It provides access to: self-evaluation and improvement frameworks, research, teaching and assessment resources, exemplars of practice and support for on-line collaboration and networks. The Hub has a variety of tools that we use to help us continually improve. The following links will take you to the specific toolkits and our overall improvement plan - Our Children, Their Future

  • HGIOS4 - How Good Is Our School 4. This underpins effective self evaluation as the starting point for all school improvement.  The HGIOS4 framework supports self evaluation and reflection at all levels and is used in conjunction with our education vision and strategy, “Our Children, Their Future” during each establishment review processes.
  • Community Learning and Development - This framework outlines an approach to self-evaluation. It can be used by senior managers, local managers or practitioners working directly with young people, adults and community groups. At the heart of the document is a set of quality indicators and performance measures which help identify strengths and where further development is required. HM Inspectors use the same set of quality indicators and performance measures in external evaluation of services.
  • Early Learning and Childcare - This framework is new and closely relates to the work undertaken on the recent review of How Good Is Our School 4. The framework builds on the strengths of previous and existing frameworks for improvement. It offers specific illustrations of practice in early learning and childcare (ELC) for children aged 0-5 years

Customer Charter and Customer Service Excellence

Argyll and Bute Annual Education Plan

Corporate Improvement Plan (CIP)  - This is built in our performance management system. This ensures the CIP is transparent and allows every employee and elected member to view it. The CIP is monitored on a regular quarterly basis.

Service Improvement Plans (SIP) - The identified activities are part of the Service Plan. As improvement activities are identified they are added to the plan, this makes the plans 'live'. These plans are also built in our performance management system and are therefore visable. They are monitored on a six-weekly basis.

Benchmarking - We regard benchmarking as a crucial tool to help us improve. We attend and contribute to all the national groups and networks as well as the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF). This allows us to share good practice and benchmark our performance against other councils. Further information regarding our benchmarking activities can be found here.

External improvement tools

HMIe - School inspections - You can find the results of our school inspection reports on the HMIe website.

Care Inspectorate - Care services - You can find the results of inspections into our child and adult care services on the Care Inspectorate website.


With your help we have been able to make changes to our service delivery models - thank you. Our budget consultation process has recently been identified as 'good practice' by Audit Scotland. You can read the full report here.

We have a library of our general consultations. To view the reason for a consultation, the response and actions taken as a result please visit our consultation library.

At times we also consult with service users. This is called ‘We Asked; You Said; We Did’. You can read the results of our 2017/18 consultations here and our 2018/19 consultations here

During 2018 we embarked on a road show to capture your views on the Future Of Public Services consultation - The Big Listen. You can watch a short film on the Big Listen that explains how important your views are to us. You can view the summary reports by our 4 administrative areas here 

The following links will provide you with more information regarding our public consultation events. Budget Consultations, The Big Listen, Consultation and Engagement Events

Exemplary Good Practice and Award Winning Council

We engage and contribute to Partners in Planning which is managed by the Improvement Service. This allows us to share good practice and improve service delivery.  You can view some of our case studies here - Partners in Planning. 

Like all Scottish local authorities we are regularly audited. A recent inspection report commented on our performance framework (PIF) 'We concluded that the Council’s framework for performance reporting is of a high standard and the developments made have improved elected members ability to exercise scrutiny ' You can read the full report here.

Every day Argyll and Bute council employees work hard to deliver services that contribute to all aspects of our communities’ lives. Here is news on just some of our award winning standards!


We have been making changes to what we do and how we do it in order to protect services and jobs in the face of reducing budgets.

Our Transformation Board has been set-up to find ways in which to continue this process of change to deliver savings and generate income by redesigning services and exploring self-funding and business cost reduction opportunities. Here are the Terms Of Reference for the Transformation Board.

Below are some of the projects we're currently working on, where possible we have included links to supporting information -

The Transformation Board recently provided an update outlining some of the many transformation projects that are currently being considered or plan to be implemented. You can view the update here.

We publish regular reports that summarise the improvement and transformational work we have been doing. These are presented to Council and called Policy Leads Report. You can view the reports from the following links.

26 September 2019; 27 June 2019; 18 April 2019; 29 November 2018; 27 September 2018; 28 June 2018; 26 April 2018

Over the years we have identified and implemented a range of sustainable savings and improvements. We have made best use of new and emerging technology whenever we can, and have been at the forefront for many improvements. We have a Transformation Story Map to showcase some of our largest transformation projects. Our Transformation Story Map will be regularly updated as we continue to deliver on our commitment to improve how we work and deliver services to you.

Service Redesign

Some of our Transformation projects naturally lead into service redesigns. Additionally however we also develop service re-design options. Whilst the service redesign options are key to identifying financial savings they are also a tool to help identify and deliver sustainable service delivery options and improvements.  You can view the latest suite of re-design options here.