BSL Launch Recite Me assistive technology myaccountMyAccount login image

Improvement and how we compare

We aim to continuously improve the services that we deliver to you. To make sure this happens, we have processes and reporting procedures in place.  You can provide feedback/suggestions at 'Have your say' on our performance or contact us at

Internal scrutiny

IMPROVe is the council’s performance management system which enables us to track progress of the actions detailed in the Council Plan 2022-27 and the Resource Plans.

Performance is monitored, reported and scrutinised by committees throughout the year; at the end of Quarter 2 (September) and Quarter 4 (March - year end).

South Lanarkshire Council carries out an annual self-assessment and improvement activity horizon-scanning exercise to build up a picture of the council's self-assessment profile and to provide assurances of the council's continuous improvement and Best Value journey. If applicable, a self-assessment activity may be proposed and we run workshops and surveys, with a cross-section of employees, to discuss statements and questions about their services and operations to help to identify areas for improvement with actions being put in place over an agreed timescale.

External scrutiny

Audit Scotland works with other scrutiny bodies to make sure the scrutiny of public sector bodies is better targeted and more proportionate in relation to identified risks. The main focus of development work is on local government, on behalf of the Accounts Commission.

Scrutiny coordination in local government is led by the Strategic Scrutiny Group (SSG). The SSG comprises Scotland's main public sector scrutiny bodies and aims to deliver efficient and effective, well-coordinated scrutiny that supports improvement. It is convened and chaired by the Accounts Commission and is supported by the Operational Sub-group (OSG).

A wide range of Audit Scotland’s work is carried out collaboratively, for example joint inspections of services for children and young people and joint inspections of adult support and protection services. The SSG is committed to this approach and plans to explore broader opportunities for scrutiny collaboration around important issues facing councils and the public, where all scrutiny bodies have an interest.

Best Value

Best Value (BV) was first introduced by the United Kingdom (UK) Government in 1997. In Scotland, councils have a statutory duty to demonstrate Best Value, introduced in the Local Government (Scotland) Act 2003.

Since introduction, the Best Value approach has evolved: driving improved performance, better governance, better use of public money and use of resources. (see Best Value in Scotland report to Performance and Review Scrutiny Forum on 19 March 2024, Agenda item 5)

Continuing it evolution, in September 2022 a new Best Value approach was introduced. The Accounts Commission’s approach to Best Value involves reporting on individual local government bodies and thematically across the local government sector through performance reports:

  • As part of their integrated wider-scope annual audit work appointed auditors use a risk-based approach to assess and report whether the audited body has made proper arrangements for securing Best Value and is complying with its community planning duties, including reporting progress against previous Best Value findings and recommendations. The Annual Audit Report sets out the conclusions of the audit to the public body concerned. In line with our Code of Audit Practice, these reports also cover: financial management, financial sustainability, governance and transparency, and Best Value and value for money.
  • The Accounts Commission also requires the Controller of Audit (CoA) to report on the performance of each council on its Best Value duty at least once over the 5 year audit appointment cycle. This enables the Accounts Commission to make findings for improvement where appropriate (South Lanarkshire Council’s CoA report for the audit cycle 2022-27 has not yet been scheduled)

The Accounts Commission reports nationally on thematic aspects of local government bodies’ approaches to, and performance in, meeting their Best Value and community planning duties. Local government appointed auditors report locally on any such Best Value thematic work prescribed by the Accounts Commission.


The Shared Risk Assessment (SRA) process enables scrutiny bodies to engage with local government in a simplified and co-ordinated way, whilst protecting their independence.

We also take part in a range of comparison and benchmarking activities with other councils and organisations:

Annual Performance Spotlights

Our Annual Performance Spotlights (APSs) help to ensure that our communities, residents, and customers are kept properly informed about our services, how they are performing and what areas of improvement we will tackle in the years ahead.  The APSs cover all of the council's six Outcomes as set out in the Council Plan Connect  2022-27. These can now be viewed individually by following the links on the Annual Performance Spotlights page.

Performance and improvement

Email: Performance and improvement