The process that we follow is largely defined by the law but can be summarised as:

  • we develop our Initial Proposals;
  • we publish those proposals for 12 weeks of public consultation;
  • we hold public hearings during the consultation period;
  • we publish consultation responses online for public comment for a 4 week period;
  • we consider all responses and comments received during the consultation period, and produce Revised Proposals as necessary;
  • we publish any Revised Proposals for 8 weeks of public consultation;
  • we consider any further responses made and amend our recommendations as necessary; and
  • we submit our report to the Secretary of State for Scotland.

For our 2023 Review, we will follow a slightly different process: 8 week public consultation on our Initial Proposals; 6 week secondary consultation when we will hold our public hearings; and 4 week consultation on any Revised Proposals. 

Public hearings are an important part of the consultation process on our proposals. We hold between 2 and 5 public hearings around Scotland. Each hearing can last for up to 2 days, and provides an opportunity for anyone to make their views known on our proposals.

Yes. The public consultation process is designed to allow everyone to inspect our proposals and express their views for or against our proposals, and also to allow comment on views expressed by others. You can do this by letter or email, using our contact details given on this website. During consultation periods, we have a response form on this website. You can also express your views in person at public hearings. Views in support of our proposals are as important as those against.