Macbook displaying the information sharing guidance

To share or not to share? How we’re using our collective knowledge for effective collaboration

One of the key building blocks of collaboration between the Inspection Wales partners’ is the sharing of information. And, tapping into the collective knowledge and expertise of our organisations has already started to improve the strength and scope of our work.

Our most recent report on regional education consortia in Wales is a great example of this. As detailed by Estyn’s Mark Campion in a previous post, the sharing of our collective data and research was a great way for us to add value.

By establishing a framework that allows us to share information before we started this joint piece of work, we were able to work together to reap the benefits and produce two reports, for Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales, without wasting resources and duplicating effort.

It is, however, important that we get it right when it comes to sensitive information and over the last few years we’ve operated a working group across our partners to make sure that what we do share is appropriate and proportionate.

This group explored:

  • what information we all had
  • how we store it
  • what we should share, and
  • explored how we should do this safely and legally.

You can imagine, given the breadth and depth of partner responsibilities, how complex this is. Ultimately, what our staff needed was a framework to share information, and perhaps most importantly, permission from the Heads – the Auditor General for Wales, the Chief Inspector of Care and Social Services, the Chief Inspector of Estyn and the Chief Executive of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales – to do so when our work requires it.

Sharing information is vital for the success of any collaboration and having the framework in place means that we don’t get caught in the trap of hoarding expertise. It also means we can work together towards our shared goal – to support better outcomes for the people of Wales.

Read our overview to find out how we share information.

About the author

Mandy Townsend on holiday sat in a boatMandy Townsend started work as the Inspection Wales Programme Manager in February 2015 and is seconded to the part-time role for two years.

Mandy, who is based in North Wales, spends the rest of her week in her original role as a Health Performance Auditor at the Wales Audit Office.