Co-production in social care: What it is and how to do it


How to do co-production – gives recommendations on how to develop co-productive approaches in organisations and projects. The section and its recommendations are based on a framework for change management structured around a four piece jigsaw covering culture, structure, practice and review.

The recommendations are:


  • Ensure that co-production runs through the culture of an organisation.
  • Ensure that this culture is built on a shared understanding of what co-production is, a set of principles for putting the approach into action and the benefits and outcomes that will be achieved with the approach.
  • Ensure that organisations develop a culture of being risk aware rather than risk averse.


  • Involve everyone who will be taking part in the co-production from the start.
  • Value and reward people who take part in the co-production process.
  • Ensure that there are resources to cover the cost of co-production activities.
  • Ensure that co-production is supported by a strategy that describes how things are going to be communicated.
  • Build on existing structures and resources.


  • Ensure that everything in the co-production process is accessible to everyone taking part and nobody is excluded.
  • Ensure that everyone involved has enough information to take part in co-production and decision making.
  • Ensure that everyone involved is trained in the principles and philosophy of co-production and any skills they will need for the work they do.
  • Think about whether an independent facilitator would be useful to support the process of co-production.
  • Ensure that frontline staff are given the opportunity to work using co-production approaches, with time, resources and flexibility.
  • Provide any support that is necessary to make sure that the community involved has the capacity to be part of the co-production process.
  • Ensure that policies and procedures promote the commissioning of services that use co-production approaches.
  • Ensure that there are policies for co-production in the actual process of commissioning.


  • Carry out regular reviews to ensure that co-production is making a real difference and that the process is following the agreed principles.
  • Co-produce reviews and evaluations.
  • Use the review findings to improve ways of applying the principles of co-production, so that continuous learning is taking place.
  • During reviews and evaluations, work with people who use services and carers, to think about ways of showing the impact that co-production has, as well as the processes that are involved.


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