February 6th 2019 | COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh



Registration and Refreshments


Welcome and Introduction from the Chair

Session One

Stripping Away the Mysteries: How to Engage with Decision-Makers


Political intelligence and knowing who and how to engage are essential tools in the political communications toolbox. In this first session we will equip you to navigate the landscape by stripping away the mysteries of how to engage with key policy makers from across government and parliament through: 

  • Developing an effective public affairs strategy 
  • Understanding the 'basic ingredients' for communicating your message
  •  Relationship building with elected representatives and civil servants
  • The importance of having a clear strategy


Refreshments and Networking

Session Two

The Scottish Government: Devolution 20 Years On


Understanding the role our devolved government plays in these uncertain times is crucial if we are to navigate the architecture of the Scottish Government. In this session we’ll explore the Scottish Government in more detail to examine the basics from who’s who and the different directorates to the relationship with parliament and how elected representatives work with civil servants.

We’ll drill down into the key issues the government is facing at the moment and will seek to understand how, in particularly uncertain times, you can get your issues heard by those at the forefront of policy and decision-making.


Lunch and Networking

    Session Three

    The Scottish Parliament Explained - An Insider's Guide


    In the 20 years since devolution the Scottish Parliament has passed ground-breaking legislation and transformed the Scottish political landscape, but how can organisations engage effectively and influence the agenda?

    In this session we will understand the role of the Scottish Parliament in the policy-making process – the role of committees, public petitions, how to follow the legislative process and outreach, and how you can get your voice heard by MSPs to get your organisation’s represented on the political agenda.

    Confirmed speakers:

    • Sir Paul Grice, Chief Executive, Scottish Parliament


    Refreshments and Networking 

    Session Four

    Navigating Inter-Governmental Relations


    In this final session we’ll ask one key question – how do the Scottish Government and UK Government work together - particularly when different political parties are in power? This is largely down to the role of civil servants who are skilled at navigating the architecture of various devolved administrations and can exercise soft diplomacy.

    We’ll bring together those working between different administrations to examine how to interact with these administrations and how to know who is best placed to connect with.


    Closing Remarks From The Chair


    Close of the Event