Scrutiny health check

As well as our range of training modules we also provide more in-depth support for scrutiny functions in local authorities. This can take many forms but it focuses on our scrutiny health check – a tried and tested formula for evaluating and improving your scrutiny function based on more than 15 years of practice and research. 

We also provide support and advice on scrutiny work planning – critical to the effectiveness of the scrutiny function. 

The health check

With an unrivalled track record in supporting councils to improve their scrutiny arrangements based on 15 years of research and practice, our health check involves a review of documentation, surveys and interviews with key individuals and on-site observation of scrutiny meetings. It is the only way to give yourself independent, external assurance and confidence that your approach to scrutiny overall is as focused on outcomes as it ought to be.

The Scrutiny Health Check is based on a proven evaluation model that works with your council to identify both structural and cultural pressures that can affect scrutiny performance. The Scrutiny Health Check is:

– A short, focused and inclusive process.

– Results driven to ensure sustained improvement.

– External and authoritative gaining internal buy-in.

– Supported delivery; not just analysis and diagnostics.

– A planned and structured way to improve.

– Member led and CfPS supported.

The Scrutiny Health Check is structured around your council’s needs and designed to bring sustained improvement in the effectiveness of scrutiny. 

Support on work programming

An effective work programme is central to effective scrutiny. But it’s no simple task. Consultation, prioritisation, challenging conversations, seeking agreement and then piecing it all together. And then there’s the amount of resource available to support both the design and delivery of the work streams and making sure members are prepared and engaged.

Help and expertise from the UK’s leading authority on Overview and Scrutiny. CfPS offers support to officers and members on work programme design and development.

Our support starts with a key skills course for officers and members to work through the tools and techniques to research, set goals and prioritise programme options, and ways to make the process member led. This intensive workshop provides a useful primer for both members and officers as they launch the planning process.


– CfPS provides practical help to support the work programming process itself. 

– We can facilitate, advise and do the leg-work on the programming process, working with officers and members.

– We can manage the process and method for selecting topics, helping members to balance competing objectives; convening workshops and assisting in the design of the final work programme.