15 November 2021

The Authentic Involvement Charter

By Craig DonohoeQI Fellow, QI Coach, expert by experience and carer 

A project team led by service users and carers at East London NHS Foundation Trust is currently working with the aim of improving the authenticity of co-production in quality improvement projects in the Bedfordshire Crisis Mental Health directorate by November 2021. As one of their change ideas that they have started to test, the team have created a charter to help all teams working on improvement understand what authentic involvement is, and how to ensure they embody this. The team is led and coached by two trained QI coaches with lived experience and the project team members are a mix of service users, carers and staff at ELFT. The impact of their project has been felt Trust-wide and a full version of their project story will be published in due course.  

Watch the short video animation or read scroll down to read the charter. For more information about it, contact the QI Department at elft.qi@nhs.net 




This is a tool to enable quality improvement project teams to work collaboratively, and serve as a reminder of how to achieve authentic co production. Every project team should be encouraged to tailor their own charters based on the recommended practice:


Make important decisions together and in a fair and democratic way
“It felt good to decide together what we wanted to achieve in the first meeting.”
“I liked the way we all got to vote.”



Listen and value everyone’s contributions
“I want to speak, but I will wait until you are finished.”



Encourage all members to raise ideas, suggestions, issues and concerns
“It was nice to be asked what my thoughts were.”
“I don’t like being asked directly or on the spot but I get an opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas in other ways.”



Respect each other’s views
“I may not agree with you, but I am open to hearing your side of things.”



Enable every member to contribute in a way that makes them feel comfortable
“I don’t like to speak in front of a large group, but I am happy to note down my suggestions.”



Make sure each project member has what they need in order to be able to contribute effectively
“Without the Pocket QI training I would not have felt confident enough to discuss measures for testing.”
“Once I had been registered and had access to the LifeQI website , I felt more like a member of the team.”



Use appropriate language and communication methods
“An easy read version would be better for me please due to my learning disability.”
“I would like an acronym sheet please.”
“Can we make sure everything is not always discussion based?”
“Please consider whether I can understand what you’re saying.”



Allow opportunities for project members to develop new skills, knowledge and understanding
“I enjoyed being given the opportunity to chair the meeting today.”
“I thought the Pocket QI training was a great introduction to QI and I already feel like I have learnt new skills.”



Reflect on the way we work throughout the project
“I want to be able to tell someone how frustrating I found that meeting.”
“It was great to hear that I wasn’t the only one thinking the measure we had chosen wasn’t the right one.”
“I reminded the Chair about one of the points in our Charter today and pointed out that we had not adhered to it.”



Encourage solution focussed dialogue
“It is so refreshing to have constructive feedback and not just people ranting.”
“Having a focus on a solution rather than the problem made the whole issue feel more manageable.”





= Co-creators values
= Co-creators charter


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