Next Steps For Lobbying In Scotland

Lobbying is an essential part of democratic society. 

Ensuring that communications between politicians and organisations seeking to influence political processes are transparent is key to the legitimacy of lobbying in Scotland going forward. 

The context

The Lobbying (Scotland) 2016 Act aims to increase the level of public transparency around direct, face-to-face contacts made between individuals, organisations and the Scottish Parliament or Government and new offences have been created for a failure to provide information and to register on the Lobbying Register.

With the new Lobbying Register due to be fully operational in early 2018, organisations must understand how to ensure compliance with the act, its new functions and the potential implications of future lobbying activities in Scotland. 

The event

Join us on 15 November 2017 to understand the latest policy and legal developments surrounding Lobbying in Scotland, including the impacts of the Lobbying (Scotland) 2016 Act and progress towards implementation. We will examine issues around transparency in lobbying and compliance with the Act, but also look more broadly at steps you can take to improve the effectiveness of your organisation's approach to influencing politics and policy. 

Key issues to be addressed

  • The Lobbying (Scotland) 2016 Act and the implementation: what lobbying is now regulated?
  • The latest policy developments and how these will impact upon your organisation's plans for lobbying and influencing democracy 
  • The importance of transparency in lobbying and public expectations 
  • Strategies for engagement and having an effective approach to lobbying
  • The latest case studies and how you can learn from them 

Speakers confirmed

  • Dougie Wands, Acting Lobbying Registrar, The Scottish Parliament
  • Andrew Henderson, Director of Public Policy, Pinsent Masons
  • Dr William Dinan, Programme Director, MSc Strategic Public Relations, University of Stirling​
  • Alastair Ross FCIPR, Convenor, The Association for Scottish Public Affairs and Assistant Director, Head of Public Policy Scotland, ABI​
  • Sarah Boyack, Head of Public Affairs, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and former MSP


09:15    Registration and Refreshments 

09:45 Session 1: Lobbying in Scotland: Policy and Legal Context

09:45    Welcome and Introduction from the Chair

             Rt Hon. Henry McLeish, Former First Minister of Scotland 

09:50    The Lobbying Register 

  • The Lobbying (Scotland) 2016 Act and the introduction of the Lobbying Register
  • Where are we now and looking forward to implementation in 2018
  • The operation of the system and guidance for users 

Dougie Wands, Acting Lobbying Registrar, The Scottish Parliament 

10:10  Understanding Lobbying in Scotland: Legal, Procedural and Strategic Issues

  • How will the new lobbying law impact your organisation and affect your organisation’s ability to engage in the political process

Andrew Henderson, Director of Public Policy, Pinsent Masons LLP

10:30   Practical Implications for Third Sector Organisations

  • Implications for different third sector organisations 
  • Understanding the Act for various scenarios; events, speeches, party conferences and independent advocacy
  • Next steps for third sector organisations 

Jenny Bloomfield, Policy Officer, SCVO

10:45    Questions and Discussion 

11:05    Refreshments and Networking

11:25 Session 2: Panel Discussion: The Future of Lobbying Practice

In this panel session we bring together panellists to examine topics including but not limited to: 

  • Delivering transparency in lobbying and impact across different forums and media 
  • Key challenges for compliance with new rules and how these could be overcome
  • The impact of new changes for wider strategies for engagement and delivering on your organisational goals 
  • Democracy and influencing politics: getting your voice heard and engaging with politics and policy 
  • Public expectations of organisations

Dr William Dinan, Programme Director, MSc Strategic Public Relations, University of Stirling

Alastair Ross FCIPR, Convenor, The Association for Scottish Public Affairs and Assistant Director, Head of Public Policy Scotland, ABI

Sarah Boyack, Head of Public Affairs, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and former MSP

12:30    Lunch and Networking 

13:20  Session 3: Interactive Session

In this session, facilitated by the Lobbying Register Team, Scottish Parliament, delegates will work interactively to become more familiar with the new Lobbying Register.

Delegates will take part in group discussions where they will use fictional scenarios to become more familiar with the new functions of lobbying in Scotland.

This will be followed by an opportunity for delegates to discuss any outstanding queries surrounding the Lobbying Register with Dougie Wands, Acting Lobbying Registrar, Scottish Parliament, and his colleagues from the Lobbying Register Team.

14:50  Closing Remarks from the Chair 

15:00  Close of Event 

*Agenda subject to change


NASUWT, 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh, EH2 4JD


Delegate rates (excluding VAT)

  • Discounted rate: £145 (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 | 2+ places £195 (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 | 2+ places £245 (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

15 November 2017



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