Networks > Interest Groups


What is an Interest Group?

An Interest Group is a group of planners with a common interest who wish to engage in work in that particular area. This involves sharing best practice, keeping people up to date with developments in the field, offering professional development for planners, promoting the planning voice within and outside of the sector, and providing communities of practice to which others wishing to find out more about that particular topic can be directed. Interest groups are open to all members, and you can join by updating your preferences in your online HESPA profile, ensuring that you tick the name of the Interest Group you wish to join. 


As a guide, an Interest Group should:

  1. Have a lead member
  2. Hold meetings
  3. Link to the annual conference, if appropriate
  4. Produce resources for the website
  5. Review its own activity on an ongoing basis to ensure valuable outputs are being delivered and establish relevant next steps

Common features of an Interest Group:

  1. It is a defined, contactable group
  2. It provides a resource bank to those who are interested
  3. It has the ability to offer expertise
  4. It holds virtual sessions to share best practice and enable a forum for questions and discussion
  5. It performs the role of an advisory group
  6. It uses an online discussion forum
  7. It has a clear sense of remit
  8. It offers a sense of what members of the group can get out of it and fulfils these tangible outputs

Our current networks include:


Workload Management


Student Number Planning

Statutory Returns

Data Science 


Scottish Planners Group:

Scottish Student Number Planning

Scottish Funding Council Interactions

Data and BI in Scotland

Strategy Development in Scotland

Risk Management in Scotland

Scottish Policy



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