It is good practice to have a clear policy on payment and recognition in place prior to involvement, so that members of the public know in advance what is being offered and are able to make an informed decision about getting involved.  However, policies do not need to be long or complex documents. They should explain, in plain English, what those involved should expect before, during and after their involvement, and the processes for claiming payment and expenses during that period. Some organisations prefer to separate their payments policy from their expenses policy.

A good payment and recognition policy:

  • is developed with the involvement of members of the public
  • is developed in consultation with the organisation’s or institution’s finance and human resource departments, to ensure that it can be fully implemented
  • is written in clear language, and is available in a range of formats if required
  • offers a clear explanation of what payment rates members of the public should expect to be offered for each activity – and if necessary states those activities for which payment will not be offered (for example, whether payment is offered for preparation time, or while attending training sessions)
  • clearly describes who can claim payment (for example, only those who are not already employed full-time in the public sector, and only those who will offer a public perspective)
  • clearly explains the procedures for claiming payment, including any cut-off dates for organisational systems, and the likely timing of when payment will be receive
  • offers an explanation of the responsibilities of the person receiving payment (for example, whether members of the public need to declare payment for tax, National Insurance or welfare benefits purposes, and who they should contact)
  • clearly explains the process for claiming expenses, including which expenses will be covered (and which will not), and any limitations to claims (or it may refer to a standard organisational policy if that clearly describes the process)
  • is reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains appropriate
  • offers a named person who should be contacted if there is a problem with payment or expense