Co-production tool glossary

The listing below shows common terms associated with co-production.

For a full list of the most commonly used social care words view the TLAP Care and Support Jargon Buster.

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  • Access

    The opportunity to use, get or benefit from something. If you have a disability, you may need changes to be made to enable you to have full access to everything in your community, including services, facilities and information.

  • Access to Work

    A scheme run by the Government that provides practical advice and financial support to help you work if you have a disability. It can pay for things like someone to help you communicate at a job interview, special equipment to help you do the job, or additional travel costs if you are unable to use public transport. How much you receive depends on your circumstances. You can find details of your local access to work centre at:

  • Active listening

    A way of listening that enables you to be fully heard, especially if you have dementia or difficulties with communication. Someone who is actively listening to you will be making eye contact, not interrupting, giving you their full attention, not doing other things, and checking with you that they understand what you are saying.

  • Alliance contracting

    When there is a single agreement (a contract) between a commissioner and a group of organisations who provide different services. The organisations work together, rather than competing with each other, and aim for the same outcomes.

  • Asset-mapping

    Working with individuals and communities to look at the positive things that people and communities have, and at what they are able to do rather than what they lack. These positive things - assets - include people's knowledge and skills, local community organisations and the connections that exist between people.

  • Assets

    Things you have that may be valuable in money terms (such as a house), or useful in other ways (such as particular skills, knowledge or relationships).


  • Block contract

    An agreement between a commissioner (such as a council) and an organisation to provide a service to a number of people, for a fixed amount of time, for a fixed sum of money. The number of people who receive the service may not be fixed, and the exact type of care and support they receive may not be specified. This type of contract is not tailored to people's individual needs.


  • Capabilities

    What you are able to do, what your strengths are, and what you might be able to do if you had support or assistance.

  • Co-design

    When you are involved in designing and planning services, based on your experiences and ideas. You may be invited to work with professionals to design how a new service could work, or to share your experiences in order to help a service improve.

  • Commissioner

    A person or organisation that plans the services that are needed by the people who live in the area the organisation covers, and ensures that services are available. Sometimes the commissioner will pay for services, but not always. Your local council is the commissioner for adult social care. NHS care is commissioned separately by local clinical commissioning groups. In many areas health and social care commissioners' work together to make sure that the right services are in place for the local population.

  • Commissioning authority

    An organisation, such as a local council or NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG), that plans the services that are needed by the people who live in a particular area.
  • Commissioning standards

    What good commissioning - planning of services - should look like, in order to improve the care and support that people receive. The standards have been created to help everyone who is involved in commissioning understand what excellent services look like, so that they can put the right care and support in place. They cover things like focusing on outcomes for people, ensuring equality, and using evidence about what works best.

  • Co-production

    When you as an individual are involved as an equal partner in designing the support and services you receive. Co-production recognises that people who use social care services (and their families) have knowledge and experience that can be used to help make services better, not only for themselves but for other people who need social care.


  • Diversity

    Recognising and respecting people's differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, and other things. Valuing and including people from different backgrounds, and helping everyone contribute to the community.


  • 'I' statements

    What good care and support looks like from your perspective, with your feelings, beliefs and experiences expressed as a statement that begins with the word 'I'. For example: 'I am in control of planning my care and support.'


  • Market facilitation

    The process by which councils make sure that there is a variety of care and support services in their area to meet all the different needs of everyone who lives in the area. Councils need to have a good understanding of what people need, where the service providers are, and where the gaps are.

  • Market management

    When a commissioner such as a council controls which care and support services are available in their area, through the choices they make about who they place contracts with.

  • Market shaping

    The way in which a council looks at what people's care and support needs are in the local area, considers what care and support services are available in that area, and works out where the gaps are and how they can be filled. The aim is to make sure that people can find care and support that meets their needs, and that a variety of options are available to suit people's individual circumstances and preferences.


  • Peer support

    The practical and emotional help and support that people who have personal experience of a particular health condition or disability can give each other, based on their shared experience. People support each other as equals, one-to-one or in groups, either face-to-face, online or on the telephone.

  • Performance indicators

    Ways of checking that an organisation is doing what it is supposed to be doing, by measuring progress towards particular goals. An example of a performance indicator might be how long people have to wait after requesting an assessment.

  • Personal Health Budget peer network

    A group of people in a particular area who use a personal health budget and are interested in connecting with other users and in working with professionals to help personal health budgets develop further in their area. There is also a national personal health budget peer network, through which users can contribute their views and experiences.

  • Procurement

    The process by which organisations such as councils find and pay for things such as goods and services, check that the service can genuinely be provided, and make sure that money is well spent.

  • Public sector

    The full range of organisations that provide government services, such as health, education, police, etc, that are available to everyone.


  • Quality Assurance Framework

    A structure for explaining, measuring and improving the quality of services provided by an organisation. Quality is measured in a variety of ways, including hearing the views and experiences of people who use services.


  • Restorative justice

    Where someone who has been the victim of harm such as abuse or neglect has the opportunity to talk to the person who has harmed them about the impact their actions have had. The person who has caused the harm then has an opportunity to try to put things right.


  • Shared endeavour

    The task of commissioning care and support services and 'shaping' the range of services that are available in a particular area. The term is used in the Care Act 2014, which requires councils and service providers to work together, with local people at the centre of all their planning.

  • Statutory guidance

    Information from the Government explaining how specific laws such as the Care Act 2014 should be put into practice and what they mean for people.


  • Universal information and advice

    Information and advice that is available to everyone in your local area. This should cover what care and support services are available in the area, how you can get these services, where you can find financial advice about care and support, and what to do if you are concerned about the safety and wellbeing of someone who has care and support needs. Councils are required by law to make information and advice available to everyone, regardless of who pays for the care and support you need.


  • Voluntary sector

    Organisations that are independent of the Government and local councils. Their job is to benefit the people they serve, not to make a profit. The people who work for voluntary organisations are not necessarily volunteers - many will be paid for the work they do. Social care services are often provided by local voluntary organisations, by arrangement with the council or with you as an individual. Some are user-led organisations, which means they are run by and for the people the organisation is designed to benefit - e.g. disabled people.

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