SIAA’s monthly peer support sessions are informal opportunities for SIAA members to meet colleagues from across the sector, share ideas and provide mutual support. Our latest session was focussed on Managing capacity. Members said they really benefited from hearing colleagues’ from different organisations across Scotland share their experiences and approaches, identify common issues and share good practice tips.

You can find some of the key points that were discussed and some useful resources below.


Managing capacity key discussion points

  • Understanding the complexity of managing capacity because everyone deals with things differently.
  • Importance of identifying trainings to improve staff skills. Organisations should try to provide relevant resources to support staff in their work. For example: time management courses, support and supervision meetings, informal spaces to check on wellbeing, and debriefing.
  • Different aspects of responsibility. Responsibility applies to managers and staff; it is important that they share any challenges that arise so they can be understood and addressed. Wider impact of responsibility needs to be kept in sight, fundamentally that the organisation needs to deliver a service.
  • Working with new projects can be an opportunity to ‘learn as you go’. Involving staff in strategies and planning improves collective understanding of the organisations and work.
  • Encouraging flexibility to keep what works well and improve what could be better.
  • Creating resources to prevent staff burn out. Organisations should pay particular attention to trauma-related projects and how it can affect staff’s mental health.
  • Virtual mental health assessment can be difficult, it is important to acknowledge this as well as try out different options that might work for different staff.
  • Value of safe spaces like peer support to share concerns and ideas from colleagues.
  • Importance of self-care: keeping active, prioritising, etc.



Here are some resources to keep improving our understanding of managing capacity:

  1. Online Training: Vicarious Trauma (Wed 27 Oct & Wed 3 Nov) from EVOC:
  2. ‘How to support staff who are experiencing a mental health problem’ from Mind:
  3. ‘Hybrid working’ from SCVO:
  4. Mind training at the workplace:
  5. The Lasting Difference® guide to Managing Capacity:

To give us your feedback, please visit the ‘Get involved‘ page and share your thoughts via the ‘Feedback and ideas’ form. We would love to see you at future SIAA events, visit our ‘Members events‘ page for more information.

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