Learning from our first virtual event – Paving the Way

‘Paving the Way’ was Self Directed Support Scotland’s 2020 AGM, and it was our first major virtual event since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, our AGM was a day for our members to come together to learn more about Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) in person, with networking and workshops. Given that face-to-face events were prohibited due to COVID-19 restrictions, the SDSS team worked hard to ensure that our members still had a chance to discuss the work of SDSS over the previous 12 months, highlight key achievements and challenges, and share their thoughts about the future work and governance of the organisation.

Our 2020 AGM was delivered virtually (online) on Thursday 12 November, with over 80 members (and non-members) joining our virtual meeting space. Members participated in the AGM and following that, non-members joined for presentations and discussions around key topics influencing Self-directed Support (SDS) in Scotland:

  • My Support, My Choice – User Experiences of Self-directed Support in Scotland
  • Independent Review of Adult Social Care
  • Social Work Scotland’s Standards for Good SDS

You can access recordings from the day here.

As ever, attendees’ views and feedback are important to us to ensure we can meet the needs of our members and stakeholders and deliver an accessible, relevant, and engaging event.

Before the event, we asked attendees some questions to understand how they felt about the topics being discussed, and what they expected from the event.

Before the event, the majority of registered participants (61%) said that they were ‘Somewhat confident’ that their, or their organisation’s, expertise will be listened to and adopted by policy makers in relation to My Support, My Choice and the Independent Review of Adult Social Care.

However, following the event, it’s positive to see that 60% of evaluation survey respondents said they were now ‘Confident’ that their, or their organisation’s, expertise will be listened to and adopted by policy makers in relation to My Support, My Choice and the Independent Review of Adult Social Care.

Both ahead of, and following the event, attendees reported that they thought the My Support, My Choice research recommendations were ‘Relevant’ or ‘Extremely relevant’ to the Independent Review of Adult Social Care and Social Work Scotland’s “Standards for Good SDS”.

With ‘Paving the Way’ being our first major online event, it was important that we understood the expectations of attendees and what they thought of the event.

Were your expectations for the event met?

It’s great to know that 80% of evaluation survey respondents said their expectations for the event were met.

Some of the expectations include:

‘Finding out more about what is going on in social care.’


‘Hearing about the variations of SDS implementation in Scotland.’

How easy was the virtual platform to use?

It’s positive to know that 80% of evaluation survey respondents stated that the platform was ‘Somewhat easy’ or ‘Very easy’ to use. However, with 20% of the evaluation survey respondents stating that the platform was ‘Not easy at all’ to use, we need to explore the accessibility of the online platforms a lot more for future events. Things we can do to increase accessibility, besides looking at the platform, is to provide more guidance on how to use the platform before the event.

A top learning point from the day reported by evaluation survey respondents included:

‘That there is a recognition that social care delivery needs to change and it appears that we have people leading this who are realistic and willing to take on board learnings from the past 10 years.’

Things we could’ve done better:

It is clear from the evaluation survey respondents, that the technology was the main concern and is something SDSS will learn from. On the day there were issues around access to the platform, sound and connectivity which made it hard for participants to fully concentrate and engage.

Coming up

SDSS will use the feedback received from the AGM to plan other online events going forward so that we can deliver accessible, high quality, engaging events for our members and stakeholders.

We look forward to welcoming our members, supported people and other stakeholders to our annual National Voice conference in March this year (2021). More details coming soon.


Self Directed Support Scotland

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