Innovation Exchange

Change Programme and Training


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Further Information

The Council has always been regarded as high performing, with a reputation for excellence and continuously improving services.  However in recent years, the financial landscape for the public sector has become increasingly challenging with local councils having to find significant year on year savings, whilst continuing to deliver services that meet the growing and more complex needs of local people.


It was therefore agreed that the Council needed a refreshed approach to change, with a clear direction of travel, sound governance and fundamental service redesign at its heart. This meant drawing a line under the previous programme and migrating critical ongoing projects to a new programme based on future priorities and capacity to deliver change. It was also recognised that the organisational development work would be a key element of delivering the ‘people' element of this change.


We identified key areas where we need to develop as an organisation if we are to continue our success. We have called these the ‘5 capabilities’.  These are prevention, digital, modernisation, community engagement and data (evidence and benchmarking).


The programme  is driven towards a picture of what the Council will look like in future years. It builds on the Council’s 5 capabilities and enables future savings contributions. It is an emerging picture which will develop over time. Given that a lot can change in 5 years, it is not possible to paint an exact picture of the future but it is possible to plot a forward direction.

Theme: Workforce Planning and Management

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The key activities that have enabled us on our change journey include;


Leadership Development Programme

We have made a commitment to develop the leadership skills of our senior and middle managers to make sure we are working together in a supportive and empowering way that emulates our vision and values. A set of key leadership competencies has been developed to shape an ongoing development plan for our workforce. This competency set will also provide a framework for personal development, succession planning, recruitment and selection, and performance management. In addition, there will be a renewed focus on employee engagement and communications to enable staff, especially those who are not office based, to link with one another, and to be able to participate in communication with their managers and teams.


PDA in project management

The Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) and Chartered Management Institute (CMI) accredited Personal Development Award (PDA) in Project Management is the first of its kind to be delivered in-house within a local authority. It was acknowledged that there had to be a wider range of people across services that were equipped with the skills and knowledge required to successfully carry out challenging change projects to improve the impact and efficiency of our work. This externally accredited qualification allows staff to work on a live project supported by the Change team which brings benefits to the organisation but also provides the employee with personal development.


ERC Yellow Belt for the Future

 “Yellow Belt” is a recognised term originating from process improvement methodologies such as Six Sigma / Lean.

The internally accredited ERC Yellow Belt for the Future employee leads and implements a Lean Service Review within a service area.

This means working with employees and managers in a service to review all aspects of the service ‘end to end’ including customer demand, operational processes, financial performance, HR structures, performance indicators etc.

The end result of this will be to recommend changes within the service that can be taken forward as potential projects to support any of the 5 capabilities, modernise the service, improve customer satisfaction, make cashable efficiencies, increase revenue generation etc.

Training a range of staff in project techniques has enabled the Council to have a bank of staff that are able to take on challenging change and improvement projects which will enable the Council to meet its strategic objectives of being a modern and efficient council with appropriately skilled staff. This has meant that change and improvement work which was hindered by the lack of staff to drive it forward has now grown into a skilled pool of staff across the organisation which enables a wider programme of change to take place.


It will also allow the extension of our change programme which has already delivered £4.8million savings since 2009, without the recruitment of any additional staff with over £700,000 of this realised through our staff development initiatives.  In addition, it will provide staff with opportunities for their own personal development.

As each cohort of trainees pass through the courses then feedback has been taken on board to improve the content. This has included development of a more rigorous and challenging case study to assess financial knowledge and understanding also risk / benefit analysis.

Cabinet Report – 4 June 2015


A Programme For Our Future Council



Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Rebecca McDonald

Business Improvement Officer

East Renfrewshire Council

0141 577 3173

Case study added to site: June 2016

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