Governments Principles of Engagement

by Amanda Hayward

The Government have set out a list of community engagement principles in a recent statement published on 14th March 2024. The principles are identified as forming a framework for best practice guidance for government officials to make informed decisions about who to engage with.

The government has indicated that it is committed to external engagement and highlights their intention to enhance and broaden its engagement practices, to ensure a diverse range of voices are heard and included.

Here’s a breakdown of the key points they have set out:

  1. Promoting transparency throughout engagement: The government emphasises the importance of clarity in engagement activities. This includes clearly defining the purpose of engagement so that participants understand how their input may influence policy development or decisions. Transparency builds trust and ensures stakeholders are informed about the process and potential outcomes.
  2. Ensuring a wide breadth of representation in engagement: To gain further understanding of current and potential partners and how to follow best practice in delivering on the objectives of engagement the government will identify a range of stakeholders.
  3. Maintaining Relationships: The government stresses the importance of ongoing and sustained relationships with external stakeholders. Regular engagement allows for the cultivation of positive relationships which in turn will benefit both parties.

They hope by following best practice guidelines, they will be able to enhance and broaden their external engagement.

To maintain public confidence, they have also established a number of engagement standards for the following areas:

  • ministerial engagement with individuals, organisations, and groups outside of the UK government
  • Civil Service engagement with individuals, organisations, and groups outside the UK government
  • UK government grants
  • appointments to UK government advisory bodies and groups

With the Government acknowledging and creating a framework, it hopefully shows how committed they are to promoting positive engagements within communities.

One of the main parts of this framework is the emphasis on ensuring a wide range of representation in engagement efforts. By identifying and involving a diverse range of stakeholders, including community leaders and individuals from various backgrounds, the government has stated that it aims to create a more inclusive and representative relationship.

This approach is one in which we here at Urbanissta prioritise, we ensure that by identifying and building relationships with key stakeholders it not only enriches the decision-making process but also fosters a sense of ownership and enabling among community members.

There is also an emphasis on maintaining and sustaining relationships with external stakeholders. At Urbanissta, we understand that successful community engagement extends beyond the initial consultation, it requires building meaningful and lasting relationships that last beyond the build. By prioritising communication and collaboration, we strive to build strong and sustained partnerships that contribute to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of our communities.

To read more about the Governments principles of engagement click here:

Guidance on how to apply the UK government’s engagement standards.

The standards that have been identified include:

  • Standard One: In the opinion of the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, demonstrate ‘extremism’ as set out in the 2024 definition.
  • Standard Two: Publicly promote views that condone serious criminal activity.
  • Standard Three: Have unspent convictions or are under investigation for serious criminal activity; have unspent convictions or are being investigated for financial crime; are excluded or suspended by a professional body or regulator because of a finding of, or an investigation into, serious misconduct; are the subject of UK sanctions measures; or are proscribed by the UK government.

Guidance is also provided as to how processes should be designed in regards to these standards, including:

  • Ensure data protection compliance: Before undertaking due diligence checks, departments should ensure that all necessary Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA), privacy notices and data sharing agreements are in place.
  • Information sources: Departments should consider the sources of data that they propose to use for their due diligence checks, including their appropriateness, their reliability, gaps and limitations and the need for compliance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other relevant legislation.
  • Right of access: Departments should have arrangements in place for dealing with subject access and freedom of information requests. 
  • Public sector equality duty and duty not to discriminate in the exercise of public functions under equalities legislation: Departments should have regard to these duties when applying (and when designing the processes for applying) these engagement standards. Departments should consider carrying out an equality impact assessment and keeping it under regular review, and should put in place arrangements for monitoring how the engagement standards are being applied in practice. 


The government have highlighted that external engagement plays a fundamental role in the operations of central government and that engagement covers a wide range of activities that the government undertakes with civil society organisation’s, groups, and individuals.

The aim of the engagement standards are to help officials to engage more widely whilst mitigating the risk of undertaking engagement that undermines government’s core aims. The core aims are to maintain public confidence in government, uphold democratic values and protect the rights and freedoms of others.

To read more on the guidance click here:

Share With Friends