Working with Compact Partners

The Compact aims to have a positive impact on the relationship between the sectors and their joint commitment to establishing effective partnership working. ‘Working Together. Better Together’ means the VCSE sector and the public sector working together in a way that adds value to and improves the effectiveness of service delivery.

Compact Promise

“We will work together as partners to build stronger and more resilient communities.”


This promise:

Will help us understand how to be effective when working with partners


This promise:

Will encourage good practice in managing relationships with partners


This promise:

Enable inclusion and full participation

When considering a partnership we acknowledge:

  • Active agreement that one is necessary
  • A shared, clear and defined purpose
  • Confidence in the commitments, capacity  and actions of different partners
  • Commitment and the capacity to achieving the best outcomes for end users
  • Leadership by respected individuals
  • A clear and open decision-making process
  • Development of a shared vision of what might be achieved
  • Time to build the partnership
  • Shared or overlapping agendas
  • Good communication between partners
  • Effective partnership management.


The public sector undertakes to:

  • Recognise and value the skills, knowledge and expertise that voluntary and community sector organisations bring as partners
  • Recognise that voluntary and community sector organisations have a strategic as well as a service delivery role
  • Where relevant, identify an accountable body for performance and/or the acceptance of risk if not to be equally shared amongst partners
  • Be clear whether it is a voluntary and community sector advisor, representative or organisation in their own right that is being requested to participate as a partner

The voluntary sector undertakes to:

  • Ensure voluntary and community sector representatives consult and represent the wider views of the sector in an inclusive and accessible way
  • Respect and work to support the statutory frameworks (including monitoring) within which the public sector operates.
  • Ensure that issues concerning voluntary and community sector funding are raised only when directly relevant to the partnership’s current business to hand.