Scottish Government consultations


Find and take part in consultations that interest or impact you. You can also view published responses and analysis.

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We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

The Abortion (Scotland) Regulations 1991 set out requirements which must be met in relation to notifications of abortion made to the CMO.  The Regulations require that notifications must be completed on a paper form (commonly referred to as the ‘yellow form’) and sent by post or delivered in a sealed envelope to the CMO within seven days of the termination. The required information to be provided on the yellow form is set out in the Regulations and requires certain information to be provided about the abortion carried out. The CMO’s office then deliver the notification forms to Public Health Scotland (PHS), which uses the information in the form to prepare the abortion statistics.

The consultation proposed that the Regulations should be amended to enable the notification of an abortion to be sent electronically in future and sought views on the timeframe within which notifications must be made. The consultation also proposed changes to the content of the notification itself. The proposals would mean that providers would in future only provide a simple notification confirming that an abortion had been carried out to the CMO and so would no longer need to submit the yellow notification forms. Further details of the abortion would be submitted directly to PHS via secure electronic means, to allow it to produce abortion statistics.

You said

35 responses were submitted to the consultation, including fifteen from organisations. Overall, responses to the consultation were in favour of the proposed changes, with the greatest support for enabling electronic submission of notifications (91%), followed by permitting a period longer than seven days in which to do so (79% of those who answered the question) and enabling data to be provided directly to PHS (73% of those who answered the question).  There was more of a split in relation to perceived impacts on privacy of personal data about patients and staff, with 45% suggesting that there would be an impact and 34% suggesting there would not.

Comments in support of the specific proposals mainly focused on the benefits in terms of streamlining processes, providing increased flexibility and increased data privacy.  The future data requirements was a key area of focus for those who caveated their support for the proposals, including the need to ensure transparency about data requirements and the opportunities for increased/improved data collection.  Responses also focused on the practicalities of moving from one system to another and the need to ensure synchronisation and no data loss as a result.

We did

An analysis of the responses to the consultation has been published on the Scottish Government website and can be viewed here: Where consent to publish has been provided, the consultation responses are now available to view online.

The responses to the consultation will help inform the development of Regulations to amend the Abortion (Scotland) Regulations 1991.  

We asked

We asked you to comment on the draft Public Engagement Strategy for Climate Change, which provides a framework for engaging Scotland’s citizens in the transition to net zero emissions by 2045.

A consultation on the draft strategy was open for over three months, from 16 December 2020 to 31 March 2021. Through 19 open consultation questions, we asked for your views on important aspects of the strategy including the overall approach, strategic objectives and principles, the green recovery, COP26 and monitoring and evaluation.

You said

We received 178 responses to the consultation: 139 submitted via the online consultation platform Citizen Space and a further 39 submitted by email in an alternative format. 40 responses were from individuals and 138 from organisations.

A range of informed individuals and stakeholders shared their views and ambitions for how the Scottish Government can successfully communicate with individuals and communities and encourage the public’s participation in decision making. Your responses provide an essential evidence base for the Scottish Government to draw upon when developing and implementing the final Public Engagement Strategy.

We have published the responses received on where the respondent has given permission for us to do so. 

We did

We published the analysis of the consultation responses, completed by independent social research company The Lines Between.

There is evidence across responses that the strategy is welcomed, with broad endorsement of the objectives and principles included in the approach. As such, we will retain the broad objectives, principles and approach detailed within the strategy.

Some of the more significant points in the analysis included:

  • Include more detail on activities – we will include more detail on previous and planned activities and use a range of short case studies to showcase best practice. We will also include a Theory of Change model to show how input and activities translate to outputs, outcomes and impacts.
  • Show how activities relate back to the objectives and principles – we will use a range of icons and/or coloured text to clearly highlight where activities align with and contribute to the objectives and principles.
  • Consider language and wording of the principles – we will include more detail on each principle, and consider the language, particularly around ‘dialogue’ and ‘people’.
  • Not to add any new objectives – we will not add any new objectives.

Some of the other points in the analysis included:

  • Link the strategy to wider climate change context and other strategies – we will highlight links to the National Performance framework, Climate Change Plan update and Participation Framework.
  • Strong support for the use of trusted messengers – we will retain the emphasis on the use of trusted messengers and add further detail on who they are and how they will be supported.
  • Strong support for deliberative approaches and the Climate Assembly – we will include lessons learnt from the Climate Assembly and more detail on community climate action and youth participation and how these groups are supported to participate.
  • Scottish Government to collaborate with a range of organisations and sectors and use a range of communication channels – we will include detail on how we intend to work with other organisations and sectors and set out the channels we intend to use and how we will reach those least engaged.
  • Ensure communication is sufficient in scope, clear and relevant – we will commit to raising awareness of climate terms, avoiding technical terms, having clear and consistent messaging on action in Plain English and tailoring messaging to different audiences.
  • Highlight the positive benefits of a green recovery – we will include more detail on the co-benefits of a green recovery and emphasise that all sectors have a role to play.
  • COP26 being a unique opportunity to engage the public around climate change – we will include details of our COP26 public engagement work.
  • Accessibility of the strategy – we will produce the final strategy in PDF, html, Easy Read, large print and BSL formats to increase accessibility.
  • Monitoring and evaluation – in line with feedback we will commit to producing progress reports and an end-of-life evaluation, using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods, and using clear language and visuals to ensure inclusivity and accessibility.

The response to the consultation will be incorporated into the final version of the Public Engagement Strategy, which will be published on the Scottish Government website in September.

We asked

Following on from a previous consultation in 2019 we asked specific questions on how proposals put forward by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) about improvements to charity regulation in Scotland could be implemented.

The proposals broadly focus on changes to charity law that would increase transparency and accountability in charities and enhance regulatory powers for OSCR. The aim being to maintain public trust and confidence in charities and OSCR.

You said

We received 100 responses to the survey from a range of individuals, charitable organisations and others with an interest in charity law. 

The majority of respondents showed continuing support for the proposals in the survey and ways in which they could be achieved.

We did

We have published the responses that gave permission and an analysis report of the survey responses: Analysis Of Responses To Engagement On Strengthening Scottish Charity Law - (

We will continue to work with OSCR to establish the practical implications of the proposals on the organisation and publish the next steps before the end of the year.