Find out more about Participation Requests

Information about participation requests.

Participation Requests are a formal process to involve communities in discussions and actions to improve services and outcomes provided by certain Public Service Authorities in their local area.

This doesn’t replace anything that is already in place, it just provides another way for communities to work with us.

This page contains useful information to inform communities about the process and how to submit a request. 

If you would like help to understand Participation Requests, to write one or to find out if we’re the right Public Authority to submit your request to, you can contact our Community Development Team at

The Scottish Community Development Centre has developed a Participation Request resource for communities which includes step by step guide to the legislation and information in accessible formats.  Further information on Participation Requests can be found on the Scottish Government website.

What is a participation request?

Participation requests are a process to allow community groups to talk to public authorities about local issues and local services. They were introduced by the Community Empowerment (Scotland 2015) Act.

Where a community believes it could help to make an improvement, it can request that the public body takes part in a process to improve that outcome.

Communities can use the process to discuss with service providers how they could better meet the needs of people who use that service, to offer volunteers to support a service or even propose to take over the delivery of the service themselves.

The Public Service Authority must agree to work with communities if they can, or explain why if they can’t. There must be reasonable grounds for refusal.

How to submit a participation request

Send us your Participation Request

If you are unable to submit an application form online, you can access the form in Word format here:

Download Participation Request form (Word)

This can also be used to assist you in the creation of your online Participation Request.

If you are unable to submit the Participation Request electronically, you can complete the paper form and return to it to us at The Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre, 38 East Clyde Street, Helensburgh, G84 7PG. Printed copies of the form can be requested by emailing or by calling 01436 658881.

When should I expect to hear about my request once I’ve submitted it?

Your request will be checked to ensure that it is valid (please see guidance on what makes a request valid). Once we have received a valid Participation Request your community should receive a decision on whether your request has been granted within 30 working days – if we need any further information from your community in order to make that decision we will contact you.

If the request involves another public body as well as Argyll and Bute Council then your community will receive a response within 45 days – this is to give us time to contact the other public body and establish whether they agree to participate in the process.

If your Participation request is accepted and agreed you will start the Outcome Improvement Process within 90 calendar days of you receiving your decision.

What is the Outcome Improvement Process?

In your community’s request, you will tell us what the outcome is that you would like to see improved.  If your Participation Request is accepted, then within 90 calendar days, we will have started the process of working with your community to look at how that outcome can be improved.

When we tell your community that your request has been granted we will:

  • describe the operation of the outcome improvement process
  • specify what stage it has already reached
  • set out how the community will participate in the process
  • identify others that are part of the process and how they will participate

We have prepared a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions which we hope will help you understand the process for submitting and being involved in a Participation Request.  If you have a question that isn’t answered by our FAQs, please don’t hesitate to contact for assistance.

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