This includes advice on issues such as the most appropriate evaluation approach for involvement activities, involvement training, and standardised payment policies. The Involvement Advisory Group will also take an overview of the involvement activities occurring across the research and cross-cutting themes, to ensure we deliver against the ARC’s ambitious Involvement Strategy.

Role and purpose

The Involvement Advisory Group will advise the ARC South London Executive and Board, and others across this ARC, on how best to strengthen involvement by patients, service users, carers, community organisations and the wider public. It will also oversee, and contribute to the successful delivery of the ARC’s Involvement Strategy

This will include:

  1. reviewing the functioning of the ARC Board and ARC Executive with respect to involvement, and making recommendations for improvement
  2. advising on best practice in ARC-wide involvement activities, including:

(a) working with the Capacity building theme to ensure appropriate involvement training is provided for both researchers and public contributors

(b) ensuring ARC-wide events and activities have appropriate and diverse involvement  

(c) resourcing involvement activities and payment policies

(d) developing a comprehensive framework for evaluation of involvement activities.

3.   reviewing delivery of the ARC’s involvement strategy, against agreed milestones at a theme level, and ARC-wide, as appropriate. Highlighting any areas for improvement or escalation to the Involvement and Implementation Team, ARC Executive or ARC Board as appropriate. 

4.   encouraging involvement activities which seek contributions from diverse communities, deepening knowledge of how to improve, and reduce inequalities in, health and social care and putting this into practice;

5.   drawing on the experience and understanding among patient, service user, carer and public contributors across the ARC, involvement champions within themes, the Implementation and Involvement team, Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Research Theme and people attending the Involvement Learning Network;

6.   taking account of wider developments of knowledge around involvement and useful resources and guidance, including the UK Standards for Involvement and Equality, and learning from good practice in other ARCs;

7.   electing and supporting one public contributor, in addition to the Chair, to serve on the ARC Executive and Board.



The Involvement Advisory Group will be made up of:

(a) 4 representatives of patient, service user, carer and public contributors within ARC themes;

(b) 1 representative of public members of the Public Research Panel;

(c) 3 staff from the ARC Implementation and Involvement team, (ARC Implementation and Involvement team lead, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead, the Involvement Coordinator, Implementation & Involvement Manager and HIN Head of Insights)

(d) 1 (preferably service user) researcher from the PPI research theme’

(e)  2 representatives of involvement champions within themes;

(f) up to 2 other patient, service user, carer and public members, if this might help to broaden the range of backgrounds and experiences reflected. 

Deputies may not attend in the place of absent members. The majority of patient, service user, carer and public members will reside in south London. Some public members may contribute to ARC South London’s work on a national basis, in which case, there may be occasions when a member is from outside south London.

Others in the ARC, or working for or contributing to partner organisations, may be invited to attend on an ad hoc basis if there is a relevant matter on which they might usefully contribute.

Theme representatives will be appointed on a 2-year basis, though all will be eligible for re-election so as to be able to serve for up to 4 years. The Public Research Panel representative will be chosen annually.


Meetings and activities

  1.  Meetings will be held three times in a year, depending on the need, and meeting dates will be set at the beginning of each financial year.
  2. Meetings will be held online, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience or another suitable location, with travel and other necessary expenses (if any) paid for patient, service user, carer and public members.
  3. Every two years the members will elect a Chair from among the patient, service user, carer and public contributors, and the Implementation and Involvement lead will serve as Vice-Chair.    
  4. The agenda shall be set by the Chair working jointly with the Involvement Coordinator, Implementation and Involvement Manager and Vice-Chair, whilst taking account of any issues raised by other members. 
  5. Meetings will be organised and administered by the Involvement Coordinator / Implementation and Involvement Manager with support from others in ARC core services and facilities, including ensuring that notes are taken and circulated, along with any other meeting papers. A note of key decisions will be made publicly available, however any personal details shared by individuals or how they voted will be kept anonymous (though ordinarily decisions will be made by consensus).


These Terms of Reference will be formally agreed at the first meeting of the Involvement Advisory Group, and then reviewed after the first year and every 2 years subsequently.

Date of publication - July 2021

Date signed off by Involvement Advisory Group - TBC

Date of most recent review - April 2023

Date of next review - April 2024