Getting ready for content strategy

In October 2019, the Scottish Parliament got its first content strategy. The strategy was approved by Leadership Group (the senior management team), and adopted as a corporate strategy. The aim of the strategy is to help us deliver the best quality information for the people of Scotland. 

Our content strategy 

The Parliament’s values and strategic plan include being open and accessible, and involving the people of Scotland. The content strategy is a bridge between these values and priorities and what we publish online.

The content strategy has 4 principles.  All information we post online must meet these principles which say our content is: 

Exceptions to the content strategy 

Some information on our website is exempt from the plain English requirement of the content strategy. This might be because:

  • it’s provided by external people or organisations (for example, views or correspondence to a committee) and expresses their views 
  • it is (or relates) a Bill or other legislation that has to be written in a certain way 
  • it’s written for or by a committee and is primarily intended for their use (like committee papers or reports) 

However, if a document is exempt from the plain English requirement, it must still meet other accessibility requirements (for example, headings and structure, alt text to describe images, and appropriate colour contrasts). 

What we’ve done  

The Web Project has been responsible for delivering the Beta website and getting the Parliament ready for the new way of creating content. We’ve used research to understand our users’ needs and where they look for information. We check content against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to make sure it is accessible. We’ve implemented a design system and a style guide to ensure a consistent look and feel across our online platforms. 

We are confident that information published on the beta site follows content strategy and meets the needs of our users. And as the project nears completion, it’s important everyone who creates information for the web understands the content strategy and what it means for our website. We’re working with offices and teams to ensure they’re ready for the big move to the new site, which will happen in the spring. We’re making sure staff are ready for the new content creation and publishing processes that begin with the next Parliament session. 

Over to you 

The Web Project completes at the end of March and the Beta site will become the main Parliament website. With a content strategy in place, the new site will continue to grow and adapt to user needs. By following the 4 principles of the content strategy, we should have a site that is accessible, consistent and user-centred with findable information.   If you would like any more information about the content strategy please contact