ADD371 HIA training for planners and public health specialists

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD371
Date signed: 
05 January 2016
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

1.1    This decision seeks approval for expenditure to deliver Health Impact Assessment (HIA) training to maximise the health enhancing potential of urban planning across London. 

1.2    HIA is a key process for maximising the potential of urban planning developments to improve health and reduce health inequalities. Although it is a term often used, many people do not have the practical experience of how to commission or undertake a good HIA. A good HIA can help maximise the benefits on health of a particular project or policy and also identify and mitigate negative impacts. 

1.3    ADD355 included approval for £4,000 of spending to develop accredited training workshops for planners and public health professionals. This ADD seeks further funding for an additional training stream to deliver the training to a wider range of London Boroughs and GLA planning specialists and to cover the cost of assessment/accreditation of both streams. The additional £11,000 funding (from MD1551) is from money that was originally gifted to the GLA by NHS London in 2012 which has been rolled forward since to spend on obesity, taking a whole systems approach. This money has not yet been allocated to a project, and this programme should not only encourage local planners to develop neighbourhoods which reduce health inequalities, it is also an opportunity to help tackle childhood and adult obesity. HIA includes all potential impacts on health including the need to plan environments that promote better diet and increased physical activity and which do not encourage the unhealthy behaviours which lead to obesity. 

1.4    Section 4.1 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code requires, where the expected value of a contract for services is between £10,000 and £150,000 the services required should be tendered or called off from an accessible framework. Section 5 provides however, that an exemption from this requirement may be approved where there is a complete absence of competition. 

1.5    It is proposed here, that the training will be delivered by members of Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU). WHIASU is the only organisation currently providing quality assured, accredited training in UK Health Impact Assessment. The quality of HIAs currently produced in London and nationally is inconsistent. Poor quality HIAs fail to provide adequate recommendations to mitigate the negative health impacts of developments. WHIASU developed this course with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Wales Directorate and has successfully accredited 38 delegates to date. WHIASU’s expertise in HIA is internationally recognised. WHIASU will adapt this course to be bespoke for the needs of officers working in London. The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Public Health Wales (PHW). No other body is placed to deliver a quality assured training course to upskill public health and planning professionals across London in rapid HIA and provide accreditation for successful course delegates. 

1.6    The University of Liverpool offers a one day HIA introductory course but this is delivered as a basic introduction to HIA and does not give delegates the opportunity to apply the training or develop competency in producing an HIA. This University of Liverpool one day course costs the same as the two day WHIASU course (£300/delegate) but does not provide accreditation. The WHIASU course provides more comprehensive practical accredited training and therefore represents better value for money. The University of Liverpool offers a 5 day comprehensive HIA course however this costs £900/head and involves a much greater time commitment which would limit the number of planning and public health professionals in London who could attend the course. Delegates of the 5 day course would only receive accreditation if they register to complete the Masters level module at the University of Liverpool which would incur a higher cost. 

1.7    Officers consider therefore, that there is an absence of competition and best value would be secured by the proposed award of contract to WHIASU. The Assistant Director’s approval of an exemption from the requirement of section 4.1 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding to tender for the services required or call them off from an accessible framework is sought accordingly.             

1.8    Each course will be delivered over two (non-consecutive) days, however the two streams would be held on consecutive days to make organisation easier and save incidental costs. Sessions will be held at the GLA where possible if suitable rooms are available, but given limited availability of meeting space anticipated within the planned delivery time this ADD includes allowance for the cost of using external meeting facilities if necessary.

Day 1 will cover:

•    Understanding the background to the HIA and the different approaches and types
•    Quantitative and qualitative methods and how these can be used
•    Participation and community planning
•    Policy context
•    What constitutes a good quality rapid HIA

1.9    Participants are given assignments to work on before the next session. The second day forms the course assessment with delegates having to submit and present a rapid HIA. There is an opportunity to discuss and learn from HIAs submitted by other participants. Delegates who pass the assignment will receive a Certificate of Competence in carrying out a Rapid HIAs accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Public Health Wales (PHW).

1.10    This course is aimed at officers who may wish to carry out a Rapid HIA in practice, but who have received little training on the subject. In total the training will be delivered to 40 planners and public health specialists, over two full two day courses with 20 participants in each. HIA is recommended for major developments in London Plan Policy 3.2, and local policies are increasingly adopting this recommendation. Because of this, and because the training will be offered at no cost to participants, we expect there to be ample demand for the 40 places available. Participants from local authorities will be encouraged to make linked applications with a planner and public health specialist from the same borough to build relationships and encourage future joint working. 

 

Decision

The Assistant Director approves: 
1.    Expenditure of up to £15,000 as follows:
i.    Up to £6,000 to cover training and accreditation costs for a first stream of 20 specialists.
ii.    Up to £6,000 to cover training and accreditation costs for a second stream of 20 specialists.
iii.    Up to £3,000 to cover venue hire and facilities costs for both streams training and accreditation days.

2.    An exemption from the requirement of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to allow the GLA to enter into the contract with Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit without prior competition for the provision of the services noted at decisions 1i and 1ii above.

 

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    This decision seeks approval for expenditure to deliver Health Impact Assessment (HIA) training to maximise the health enhancing potential of urban planning across London. 

1.2    HIA is a key process for maximising the potential of urban planning developments to improve health and reduce health inequalities. Although it is a term often used, many people do not have the practical experience of how to commission or undertake a good HIA. A good HIA can help maximise the benefits on health of a particular project or policy and also identify and mitigate negative impacts. 

1.3    ADD355 included approval for £4,000 of spending to develop accredited training workshops for planners and public health professionals. This ADD seeks further funding for an additional training stream to deliver the training to a wider range of London Boroughs and GLA planning specialists and to cover the cost of assessment/accreditation of both streams. The additional £11,000 funding (from MD1551) is from money that was originally gifted to the GLA by NHS London in 2012 which has been rolled forward since to spend on obesity, taking a whole systems approach. This money has not yet been allocated to a project, and this programme should not only encourage local planners to develop neighbourhoods which reduce health inequalities, it is also an opportunity to help tackle childhood and adult obesity. HIA includes all potential impacts on health including the need to plan environments that promote better diet and increased physical activity and which do not encourage the unhealthy behaviours which lead to obesity. 

1.4    Section 4.1 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code requires, where the expected value of a contract for services is between £10,000 and £150,000 the services required should be tendered or called off from an accessible framework. Section 5 provides however, that an exemption from this requirement may be approved where there is a complete absence of competition. 

1.5    It is proposed here, that the training will be delivered by members of Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU). WHIASU is the only organisation currently providing quality assured, accredited training in UK Health Impact Assessment. The quality of HIAs currently produced in London and nationally is inconsistent. Poor quality HIAs fail to provide adequate recommendations to mitigate the negative health impacts of developments. WHIASU developed this course with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Wales Directorate and has successfully accredited 38 delegates to date. WHIASU’s expertise in HIA is internationally recognised. WHIASU will adapt this course to be bespoke for the needs of officers working in London. The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Public Health Wales (PHW). No other body is placed to deliver a quality assured training course to upskill public health and planning professionals across London in rapid HIA and provide accreditation for successful course delegates. 

1.6    The University of Liverpool offers a one day HIA introductory course but this is delivered as a basic introduction to HIA and does not give delegates the opportunity to apply the training or develop competency in producing an HIA. This University of Liverpool one day course costs the same as the two day WHIASU course (£300/delegate) but does not provide accreditation. The WHIASU course provides more comprehensive practical accredited training and therefore represents better value for money. The University of Liverpool offers a 5 day comprehensive HIA course however this costs £900/head and involves a much greater time commitment which would limit the number of planning and public health professionals in London who could attend the course. Delegates of the 5 day course would only receive accreditation if they register to complete the Masters level module at the University of Liverpool which would incur a higher cost. 

1.7    Officers consider therefore, that there is an absence of competition and best value would be secured by the proposed award of contract to WHIASU. The Assistant Director’s approval of an exemption from the requirement of section 4.1 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding to tender for the services required or call them off from an accessible framework is sought accordingly.             

1.8    Each course will be delivered over two (non-consecutive) days, however the two streams would be held on consecutive days to make organisation easier and save incidental costs. Sessions will be held at the GLA where possible if suitable rooms are available, but given limited availability of meeting space anticipated within the planned delivery time this ADD includes allowance for the cost of using external meeting facilities if necessary.

Day 1 will cover:

•    Understanding the background to the HIA and the different approaches and types
•    Quantitative and qualitative methods and how these can be used
•    Participation and community planning
•    Policy context
•    What constitutes a good quality rapid HIA

1.9    Participants are given assignments to work on before the next session. The second day forms the course assessment with delegates having to submit and present a rapid HIA. There is an opportunity to discuss and learn from HIAs submitted by other participants. Delegates who pass the assignment will receive a Certificate of Competence in carrying out a Rapid HIAs accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Public Health Wales (PHW).

1.10    This course is aimed at officers who may wish to carry out a Rapid HIA in practice, but who have received little training on the subject. In total the training will be delivered to 40 planners and public health specialists, over two full two day courses with 20 participants in each. HIA is recommended for major developments in London Plan Policy 3.2, and local policies are increasingly adopting this recommendation. Because of this, and because the training will be offered at no cost to participants, we expect there to be ample demand for the 40 places available. Participants from local authorities will be encouraged to make linked applications with a planner and public health specialist from the same borough to build relationships and encourage future joint working. 

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The expected outcome is 40 planners and public health specialists across London having increased skills in HIA and a better understanding of what is required within a good HIA. As a secondary outcome we also hope that linking planner/public health applications from boroughs will lead to greater awareness of how public health and planning can complement each other leading to closer future working at local level.

2.2    Participants taking the course will be assessed by having to produce a written rapid HIA (max length 3,000 words) on any subject or topic area relevant, or directly related to, their work practice. On the second day of the course they also need to deliver a short PowerPoint presentation describing their experience and reflection of completing the rapid HIA. One measure of the quality of the training will be the ability of participants to successfully complete this assignment and the participant’s accreditation will depend on displaying satisfactory competency. We will request evaluation forms be completed after each day of training which will help us see what parts of the training worked well and what would need to be developed if the course was repeated. We also intend to send out an electronic survey six months after the course to ask if attendees have had to complete or quality appraise an HIA in that period and if the training has been useful in the participant’s usual work.

 

Equality comments

3.1    In line with the London Health Inequalities Strategy, HIA encourages the creation and development of healthy and sustainable places and communities.

3.2    Some selection is expected for this training with an aim to achieve a balance of planners and public health specialists on each course and representation from all regions of London. Otherwise selection will be on a first come first served basis and will not be based on any protected characteristics.

 

Other considerations

4.1    The GLA Act requires the Mayor to have regard to the health impact of planning within the Greater London area. This work provides the opportunity for the GLA to play both a convening and an enabling role, which no other body is placed to do. This work enables the Mayor to fulfil the requirement of the GLA Act and the London Plan ensuring that effective HIAs are commissioned and undertaken and that sufficient emphasis is put on health and health inequalities in his strategic planning role.

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for the GLA to spend £15,000 to deliver an expanded programme of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) training for 40 specialist Health advisers as detailed within the main body of this report.

5.2    £4,000 of the cost of this HIA training will be funded from ADD355 (Health Team budget) and £11,000 from MD1551 (Obesity programme) carried forward Public Health budget. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

 

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

Dec 2015

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

Jan 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:

March 2016

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

March 2016

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

March 2016