Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

Audit Scotland: An Accounts Commission report published recently says ‘gathering, analysing & acting on performance information is essential to improve services and the quality of people’s lives.  But no single council has all the elements of a comprehensive performance and improvement framework in place’.
 
Managing performance: are you getting it right? offers practical pointers & support to help councillors & officials.  It says effective management of performance is everyone’s business – from the chief executive down.

In well-run councils, it is embedded throughout the organisation as part of the day job and not seen as a burden.  A key element is getting the culture right with councillors & officials sharing a common purpose & vision and setting clear priorities.
Press release & links
 
SFA: The Skills Funding Agency has published a suite of information materials to help providers in their conversations with learners & employers.  These include a learner FAQs & factsheet and FAQs for providers to use in conversations with employers. They are available on the Student Loans Company's practitioner website.
 
The SFA is sending to providers their 24+Advanced Learning Loans Facility & Loans Bursary indicative allocations for the 2013/14 academic year and has published a first draft of the funding rules addition for 24+ Advanced Learning Loans and supportive frequently asked questions.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: The Scottish Government is urging keepers of all breeding herds to think about their Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) testing before putting calves into the sales this autumn. As part of the Scottish BVD eradication scheme all breeding herds must be screened for BVD by 1 February 2013.
 
Testing youngstock is the most efficient method for most herds and keepers are being asked to consider which BVD testing method is best for their herd before it’s too late. A guidance booklet was sent to all farmers in February and is available online – farmers who didn’t receive it or would like another copy can call 0300 244 9823.
Press release & links
 
ICO: A series of reports published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has highlighted the ‘positive approaches many private sector companies are adopting to look after people’s data’.  

However concerns remain about data protection compliance within the local government sector and the NHS.  The findings are included in 4 reports which summarise the outcomes of over 60 ICO audits carried out in the private, NHS, local and central government sectors.
Press release & links
 
NICE: New guidance from NICE provides GPs and other healthcare professionals with advice on the use of glucocorticosteroids for the remission & management of people with Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract.
 
Around 115,000 people currently have the condition in the UK, with between 3,000 & 6,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The disease affects slightly more women than men and can start at any age, though it usually starts between the ages of 15 & 30.  In new guidelines, NICE provides recommendations on a number of new drugs that have been licensed for the condition over the past decade.
Press release & links
 
SC: The Sentencing Council has launched a short animated film for victims & witnesses of crime explaining how sentencing works & the types of sentence offenders can get. As well as being available to view online, it will also be used by Victim Support’s Witness Service volunteers at courts when they are helping victims & witnesses.
Press release & links
 
WAG: The Welsh Government has published templates to help organisations in the private, public & third sectors act on climate change. The 3 documents highlight what organisations can gain from addressing the challenges of climate change.  Each provides advice on producing business cases and includes case studies of organisations that are already seeing the long-term financial and environmental benefits of taking action.
Press release & links
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