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Citizens Advice Scotland Strategy 2022 - 2025

Citizens Advice Scotland is a national organisation supporting the Citizens Advice Network in Scotland. Our primary role is to make sure the Network of Citizens Advice Bureaux in communities Scotland have the support they need to deliver on our collective mission. This includes training, quality assurance, co-ordination of national projects, as well as providing the platforms which enable high quality advice provision. We also produce online advice pages that are accessed by millions of people each year, and we deliver a statutory support service resolving energy complaints and delivering positive outcomes for vulnerable energy consumers and micro-businesses across Great Britain. We are experts in debt advice and provide training and second-tier advice to Bureaux and all other free providers in Scotland. We also deliver a range of shared services to Bureaux like Human Resources, Information Technology and Finance. We carry out research, policy work and campaigning on key issues informed by statistical analysis of the advice sought by clients from across the network, which influences the practices of government, regulators and private companies. In everything we do, we aim to work in partnership with Bureaux, respecting their autonomy and ways of working.

Our Vision

Is for a Fairer Scotland where everyone has the advice and information they need to realise their rights, and where the barriers to accessing those rights are effectively challenged.

Our Aims

The Network has two aims which are equally important:

> We provide free, independent, impartial and confidential advice and information to ensure that people understand their rights and responsibilities, and can express their needs effectively.

> We campaign and influence to tackle the root cause of the problems people face, and to work to strengthen their rights.

Our Mission

We have four mission statements that describe what we do as a Network:

> We help people navigate systems and access their rights.

> We build resilience in local communities.

> We support the realisation of human rights.

> We help change policies and practices to ensure they work for people.

Across 2022-2025 we will focus on five strategic delivery areas:

Funding and income. - We have set the challenge of encouraging funders to focus on outcomes for individuals and communities (rather than measuring inputs and outputs) to give Bureaux flexibility to deliver what works best for their communities.  In order to secure the future of our services we will also develop the business development capacity across Citizens Advice Scotland and the Bureaux so we are more successful in bringing in new funding and securing existing funding. We will also explore new ways of funding the Network.

Service delivery - We have committed to supporting the Network to remain Scotland’s advice provider of choice by supporting the delivery of quality-assured advice.  We have also committed to ensuring that our services are inclusive by:

> taking a person-centred approach to service design.

and to ensure our services are inclusive by:

> developing an innovative, multi-channel advice offering (including face-to-face) that connects people to local advice and breaks down barriers to access.

> supporting people who are able to self-help so we can prioritise more intensive help for those who need it most.

We will also work to demonstrate the wider benefits advice can have in terms of public policy objectives such as employability and health and wellbeing. 

Advocacy & Influence - We have committed to build upon the success of our evidence based approach to advocacy and influencing, by using our data to influence policy, practice and legislation and create better outcomes for people. We will also develop ways of analysing our data to better understand what challenges may be ahead. We will continue to develop our strategic relationships with Government and service providers so that we are well positioned to put forward policy recommendations that emerge from our data to create better outcomes for people.

We have also committed to work with CAB to build capacity and capability so that they can undertake effective advocacy and influencing work within their  own communities.

Building brand - We have committed to updating how we communicate about Citizens Advice Scotland and the Network in light of the new strategy. We will also work to ensure that the public are aware of how our services have developed as a result of the transformation work that has been undertaken over the last 5 years, and that our brand has broad enough appeal to reach people who would benefit from support.

We also aim to position advice as an essential service by communicating the wider benefits it has to people’s health and wellbeing so the service is valued by funders and the general public.

Network - The new Strategic Delivery Area which focuses on Network commits us to building a culture based on partnership working between CAS and bureaux in line with our values; establishing a partnership agreement that sets out the nature of the network and the roles and responsibilities of Citizens Advice Scotland within that network and reviewing our governance arrangements to ensure they are fit for purpose for network working.

For more details on our values, priorities and key activities in relation to each strategic delivery area please download the full strategy document below.



Publication date
December 2022
Publication type