Consultation Timeline

  • 1. Getting Started

    Getting to know places, local communities and communities of interest helps define the context.

  • 2. Asking Questions

    Projects do not operate in isolation and instead join up with other local needs and aspirations. Finding out more about each project’s linkages and how projects can do more than one job gives maximum value and benefit to society.

  • 3. Scoping

    Projects are often criticised for disregarding the bigger picture. Doing more than one job makes a project seem more difficult in the initial stages, but outcomes from multi-functional projects and places offer better value and outweigh the initial difficulties by working better for society as a whole.

  • 4. Finding Resources

    Local people and users know the complications and are a massive project resource.

  • 5. Designing together with the community

    Designing the consultation together and recognising the complications, help to integrate future outcomes for greatest overall benefit. Involving the media early helps to find people that will make a difference to the quality of the project.

  • 6. First Concepts

    These should be recognised as first thoughts on how to proceed, bouncing them off colleagues and communities before high levels of investment make them costly to change.

  • 7. Changing right now

    While new buildings or infrastructure will change how places are used in future, there are often ways to start making better use of places right now. Active changes in management for example, as part of a consultation process, can allow people to experience early improvements, encouraging them with better uses now and informing the design brief.

  • 8. Time and money

    It is important to work out what kinds of consultation are needed and find ways to pay for them – salaries, consultancy and possible incentive payments or rewards, also including costs of some experimental consultation which allows people to experience places differently as part of the briefing process.

  • 9. Launching

    Decisions need to be taken about whether to start with small activities and arouse public and media curiosity or to launch widely in public – or to use a combination of both.

  • 10. Being flexible

    Allowance should be made for stopping doing something which is not working and trying a new tactic. This includes being responsive and changing to suit each developing consultation to achieve the maximum outcome.

  • 11. Assessing results

    Staying in contact with the participants keeps people interested as projects develop and brings new insights at each stage.

  • 12. The golden nugget

    Recognising and responding to great ideas improves the concept and brings added value.

  • 13. Giving a voice and publishing

    By this stage, the understanding of the project will have greatly increased. People want to see their input and how it influenced the project for good. Sufficient excitement encourages continuing participation as the project develops.

Download Toolkit Assets

Consultation Checklist (Word)

The checklist will help you to focus on the requirements for each particular section of the consultation. Print, distribute so that participants can check the requirements at each stage.


Budget Planner (Excel)

The budget planner is an Excel spreadsheet to help arrange the financial requirements of the consultation process.