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Best Value/Moving Towards Excellence

Date: 1/8/2003


These pages are intended to keep you informed of the work of POS in the realm of Best Value and the Local Government Modernisation Agenda. The Guide contains advice on current best practise in delivering Best Value and will be regularly updated.

It includes how to ensure step change improvement through robust Best Value Review of your services and how to achieve the continuous improvement required to deliver Best Value in all aspects of Planning Services. Feedback from Inspections of Planning Services are incorporated, as are two new chapters on 'Improvement' and 'Information and Communications Technology'.

The Society's work on what constitutes an 'excellent' planning service is also covered in the Guide. Further work in this area - under the Moving towards excellence banner - is described on separate Moving towards excellence page.

The updated guide presents many case studies illustrating how others have tackled particular aspects of Best Value to good effect. Please let us know via the message board about any aspect of :

  • Your service, of which you are particularly proud,
  • Actions that you feel have led to improvements in your service.


  • Moving Towards Excellence - see below
  • Updates to the Guide
  • A Guide to Best Value & Planning - no longer available
  • Update of the chapter on equality-  Equality, inclusion and diversity
  • Update of the chapeter on competition - Competition and procurement

    Moving Towards Excellence

    The Planning Officers Society is aiming to define what an excellent service would consist of in practical terms through its work on "Moving Towards Excellence". This work involves a series of papers which are being published by POS and I&DeA over coming months.

    The results of the survey on resources for planning services indicate widespread concern about the time and other resource needed to conduct reviews. So it is hoped that anything that helps pressurised planners, by making the job of best value review and continuous improvement a little easier, will be of interest.

    The Moving towards Excellence work is intended to be of value in a number of ways:

    • First it is a self assessment framework for evaluating a planning service.
    • Second it supports the drive for continuous improvement.
    • Third its a tool for Managers to use to ensure that they are achieving Government priorities.
    • Fourth it provides a benchmark for practitioners when they come to consider where they want their service to be.
    • Fifth its a guide to recognised best practice.
    • Finally it assists in identifying gaps in present service provision and helps one to map out one's improvement plan.

    The new Compendium on "Moving towards excellence in Planning" is therefore intended to assist Planners with what they need to do to raise the standard and quality of their service into the realms of excellence. It is an aspirational document which describes in detail the character of the very best services and as such defines critical success factors for the service together with essential features of an excellent service around the areas of :

    • policy
    • customer focus
    • processes and procedures
    • performance measurement and outcomes

    The Compendium is designed to help those who want to look at the Planning service as a whole. It has an overview of the service as a whole supplemented by shortened versions of three of the original four independent excellence papers on Policy, Development control and Design and Conservation.

    The updated compendium can be viewed on the Planning Advisory Service website: a benchmark for the spatial planning function

    The original draft versions of  papers remain on this web site for reference:




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