What is Co-production?

Co-production is a way of working. It is a value based approach, built on the principle that those who use a service are best placed to help design it.

It is about people with lived experience, decision makers and service providers working together to create a decision or service which works well for all involved.

What does co-production do?

  • Unleashes the power from hierarchal systems
  • Empowers people and gives them a collective ownership
  • Helps services to better understand the needs of its users
  • Adopt a whole team approach
  • Become asset based – get past stigma and labels, instead look at skills and strengths
  • Encourage advocates
  • Allow the truth to come out and allowed to be heard
  • Encourage transparency - services should aim to limit the assumptions they make about what people want
  • Let go of power to ensure genuine equal relationships between staff and people with lived experience
  • Provide information, training and mentoring for participants and professionals
  • Create mutually agreeable expectations and responsibilities

How can we improve co-production?

  • Adopt a whole team approach
  • Become asset based – get past stigma and labels, instead look at skills and strengths
  • Encourage advocates
  • Allow the truth to come out and allowed to be heard
  • Encourage transparency - services should aim to limit the assumptions they make about what people want
  • Let go of power to ensure genuine equal relationships between staff and people with lived experience
  • Provide information, training and mentoring for participants and professionals
  • Create mutually agreeable expectations and responsibilities

Our principles

At Expert Link it is our mission to promote, inspire and support co-production. As part of this, we want to keep things simple when thinking about co-production, so that more people can see the benefits and join a movement that can bring about the change that we want to see.

To support this we have developed three principles – not definitions! – that guide us and our work.

These reflect challenges around letting go of power, giving people the means to participate, removing labels and stigma and looking at the skills and talents that we all possess.

Principle 1: No one person owns the truth. The wisdom and power should reside in the collective

Principle 2: All stakeholders are afforded every opportunity to sit at the table equitably

Principle 3: We focus on the group purpose using a strengths-based approach

The core purpose of co-production should be to improve people’s lives, a key part of which means improvement to services.

Conversations on Co-production

This is our free monthly event, a safe space for people to share their wisdom, experiences and research relating to coproduction.

This event is for all stakeholders with an interest in co-production. We have previously been joined by people with lived experience of multiple disadvantage, academics, front-line staff, managers, Chief Executives, commissioners, Government officials and many more from different sectors – all interested in co-production.

Whether you are new to co-production or an experienced practitioner, all are welcome.

We have put all of the events here on one point of access so please sign up to as many as you want and don't forget to add to your calendar. We will be sending out Zoom links for the events to all those signed up on the morning of the conversation.

Past Conversations on Co-production include:

Co-production in a Digital World

When to re-balance the power?

Employing people with lived experience