Community Assets

Participation Requests

A participation request is a process which enables a community to request to work alongside a public service authority to improve an outcome. Communities have a right to make a participation request as set out in Part 3 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

The community should outline how it can help achieve the improvement it has identified when requesting to be involved in process. This provides an opportunity for the community to set the agenda around how to tackle the need or issue it's identified.

As a public service authority, HIE has a duty to respond to Participation Requests.

How does a participation request to HIE work?

This is set out in detain in the Act and the Scottish Government’s Participation Requests Guidance, but in simple terms:

  • The community submits a Participation Request to HIE, detailing the outcome it wishes to improve and how it can contribute to an improvement process
  • We must agree to the request an set up an process to consider the proposed improvement, unless we have reasonable grounds to refuse the request
  • At the end of the process we must publish a report on whether the outcome was improved and how the community contributed to this improvement

Who can make a participation request?

Only a ‘community participation body’ can use these provisions.  This is detailed in Section 20 of the Act and includes a community controlled body, a community body without a constitution, a community council or a body designated by the Scottish Ministers.

A community participation body could represent a community of interest or a geographic community (i.e. a community of place).

What is an outcome?

The community must identify an outcome that relates to a service provided by HIE.  The Act does not define what an outcome is, but essentially this is a change, a benefit, or learning that results from services we provide.

Outcomes can occur at different levels, including: individuals and families; organisations; communities; the environment; and systems/structures such as a reduction in traffic congestion from provision of cycle routes.

How do I make a participation request to HIE?

As a first step we would welcome an informal discussion with you.  This will help us understand the outcome you wish to improve and how best we can support you to make the request. However, you are not obliged to discuss your request with us prior to formally submitting it.

We would encourage you to read Scottish Government’s Participation Requests Guidance prior to making a request.

Download the Participation Request form >

Please email your completed form to

or mail to:

Craig Lawrence
An Lòchran
10 Inverness Campus

For more information, an informal discussion, or to request assistance to make a participation request, please contact:

Sandra Holmes
Head of Community Assets
t: 01463 383309

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