Edinburgh Local

Best practice

As well as creating positive impact with local communities, community engagement should also do no harm. Below are some key considerations for you to look at before embarking on any community engagement activity. Depending on what your community engagement activity is, you may find that some considerations overlap.


It’s important to make sure that appropriate insurance is in place to cover your work in the community.


If you are involved with managing or leading any sort of community engagement activity, you will need to proactively manage risk in a way that is relevant and proportionate to your activity


When engaging with local communities, you will need to think about whether you’re doing so in an accessible way.


Depending on your background and role at the University, the term ‘ethics’ may mean different things to you.

Safeguarding and Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme

”Safeguarding” can often bring child protection to mind but, in fact, can mean making sure that anyone who comes into contact with what you’re doing does not experience harm as a result.

Managing volunteers

It’s possible that you may end up managing volunteers when undertaking community engagement activities.


Quite simply: always evaluate!

Working with primary and secondary schools

Working with local primary and secondary schools is a key way that many members of the University engage with local communities.

Data Protection

Data protection is a topic that overlaps with risk, ethics, safeguarding, and other key things to bear in mind when undertaking community engagement. However, it is so important that we have given it its own section.