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Champion Network

Promoting and embedding research and innovation

IRISS’s champions network charter


IRISS is a third sector organisation whose purpose is to promote positive outcomes for people who access support. One way of doing this is to develop meaningful engagement with those working in the sector that have expertise on the issues affecting social services in Scotland. Broadly, engagement helps us to:

  • be better informed about where we need to focus our priorities and work
  • shape projects with people who work in the social services and people who access support
  • make sure our resources and support have a wide reach
  • get feedback on our future plans

Who are champions?

Champions are people who are enthusiastic about championing a culture of continuous improvement. They promote evidence-informed practice, innovation, knowledge sharing and better outcomes for people who access support. The champion network is vital in defining what works and what doesn’t. Champions can spot good practice, identify barriers and suggest ways forward. Current champions come from a range of organisations across the statutory, third and private sectors. They specialise in a variety of areas and roles (e.g. practitioners, team managers, trainers).
Example activities of champions include:

  • disseminating our resources (e.g. evidence summaries, guides, learning materials, reports, case studies, toolkits. Access the full range here:
  • sharing information across their networks, and to colleagues, their team and wider organisation about how to get involved in our work, our events and the support we offer
  • organising lunch time sessions for colleagues on a range of topics linked to evidence-informed practice, ways of innovating, improving outcomes for people who access support and other relevant areas
  • holding joint workshops or events with us on key issues affecting practice and people who access support
  • collaborating with us to develop project ideas, providing comments on draft business plans and draft resources
  • keeping in regular contact with us about issues impacting practice and people who access support
  • promoting new ways of sharing knowledge within and across organisations
  • telling us about new approaches, models, developments and ways of working in their area

What are the benefits of being a champion?

Our current champions benefit from:

  • contact with a designated member of the IRISS team with whom to discuss ideas and issues impacting on practice
  • having an opportunity to influence the areas we focus on
  • having a gateway to peer support and knowledge sharing with other champions in the network
  • access to other parts of the sector through IRISS’s networks
  • opportunities to further develop their role by gaining insights into evidence-informed practice, innovation and knowledge sharing
  • attending the annual champions event - a two-day residential workshop to gather together champions from across the network, the IRISS team and invited speakers to explore key issues, challenges, ideas and ways forward

The ask

  • champions will be committed to keeping in regular touch with their IRISS contact - at least a catch-up phone call or meeting every two months
  • champions will be able to feed back on the activities they have undertaken in their  champion role and to share the impact of these with IRISS
  • champions will regularly participate in the IRISS champions group on LinkedIn
  • champions will attend the annual event (usually held in the Autumn)

New champions are offered six months to try the role after which a replacement can be found, if necessary. IRISS will periodically review the network membership to ensure we have meaningful engagement with all champions. The review will help to address any areas where contact may be slipping or where champions are struggling to fulfill their role. You can at any time talk to your IRISS contact if you can no longer be part of the network.


If you wish to join the champion network please contact Vivien Moffat to discuss.

Further information


A taster of resources from some of our champions events:

Resources from our first Annual Champions event, 6th and 7th October, 2010:


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