CheckSee with Young Scot – a new approach to public engagement

Audit Scotland is keen to do more to engage, in different ways, with people who use the public services we audit. We’re also looking to engage with people much earlier, before we even begin planning audits, so that we can learn from their experiences. This will help shape our audit work.

We’re kicking off something new this week, working with Young Scot. Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship charity that does lots of different work with people aged 11-25. There’s loads of information about them and what they do on their website.

The Young Scot Co-design team is working with us on a new project called CheckSee. One of the aims of CheckSee is to help us identify the main issues that young people think are important to them, in particular relating to education, skills and employability. The other aim is to help us understand how we can engage more with young people as we develop and carry out audits.

For the young people involved, this is an opportunity to help shape our work in these really important areas. It will also help them develop their confidence in communicating their experiences, views and ideas.

CheckSee involves a group of 15 people aged 15-20. The group will get together four times over the next six weeks. I’m looking forward to going along to some of the sessions, along with colleagues. The first session is a getting to know each other ‘pizza and patter session’. There’s one great idea for a new approach to our team meetings already! We’re particularly looking forward to the young people coming into our office here in Edinburgh for the final session. This will be an opportunity for the group to meet more of our staff and ask us questions. The group will then share their thinking with us. I’m sure this will be a lively and really informative session.

We’ll be using what comes out of the sessions to help us think about, and shape, the areas we audit. We’ll also be really interested to hear the group’s thoughts on how people who use the services we’re looking at could be more involved in the audits. This is something we’ll take forward as we start planning new audits. Hopefully some of the members of the group will be keen to keep working with us after the pilot finishes, to keep up that momentum.

We’ll be tweeting from the sessions, sharing the sessions via Periscope and asking some of those involved to publish blogs about how the pilot is going, so watch this space for updates and follow the #CheckSee hashtag.

About the author 

MM6A6140Tricia Meldrum is a Senior Manager with Audit Scotland’s Performance Audit & Best Value group. She joined Audit Scotland is 2001 with a background in health economics, and currently oversees audits in the education and children’s services sectors.