What is a PSP?

mybus1The Scottish Government’s Guide to Forming and Operating Public Social Partnerships (PSPs), published in July 2011, defines PSPs as:

‘A strategic partnering arrangement which involves the third sector earlier and more deeply in the design and commissioning of public services’.

PSPs are based on a co-planning approach, through which the public sector can connect with third sector organisations (voluntary, charity and social enterprise organisations) to share responsibility for designing services based around service user needs rather than the current suite of standard services which users can access.

Public Social Partnerships recognise and value the contribution that third sector organisations can make to the service planning process through their close relationships with service users. By giving the third sector an equivalent role in service design, alongside the public sector commissioner; services can be designed with the needs of service users at the forefront of the process. Services can then be trialled by third sector providers, with a view to identifying how the service works in practice, the outcomes achieved and how much it costs. The service that emerges from this process is then commissioned for the longer term using a competitive tendering process.

The Community Transport PSP, a partnership between SPT and the West of Scotland Community Transport Network (WoSCTN), is intended to identify, design and pilot innovative transport solutions for communities through the re-design of Demand Responsive Transport services and to build the capacity and capability of the Community Transport Sector.