Digital Skills Portal Background


Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy

In November 2020, the Scottish Government published Transforming Places Together: digital strategy for planning. This strategy defined a long-term strategic direction, for the digital transformation of Scotland’s planning system, with the aim to embrace new opportunities for data and digital technologies.

Strategy’s 5 Missions as priorities for delivery

  • Mission 1: Data – Unlock the value of planning data
  • Mission 2: Digital Technologies – Deliver an end-to-end digital planning experience
  • Mission 3: Ways of working – Create the conditions for digital to flourish
  • Mission 4: People – Use digital tools to drive collaboration and engagement
  • Mission 5: Innovation – Embed a culture of digital innovation

Digital Skills

Improving the quality of Digital Skills, for all planners, sat under Mission 3 but it was also devised to connect into the other four Missions. This was to ensure that the Scottish planning profession had the skills, knowledge and ability required to deliver Scotland’s digital future.

Digital Skills Research

The Digital Skills Research undertaken by EKOS (late 2022) built on previous Digital Planning research by Deloitte. In doing so, the EKOS Research helped establish the levels of understanding and engagement, amongst Scottish Planners, with digital planning across the profession. In doing so, it highlighted the specific needs, of planners, through establishing a range of different digital activity, within the planning process, and identifiedlearning priorities. This has helped to allow future skills development work to be targeted to different needs.

Digital Activity

Research Report

The EKOS Report identified the following areas of interest in Digital Activity:

  • Development Planning
  • Development Management
  • General Operating


The table (above) has been fundamental to the creation of the Digital Skills Structure that now sits within the Digital Skills Portal. Critical to the design thinking, behind the Structure, is that it has been applied consistently, throughout the Portal, under each section i.e. ASSESS, LEARN, DEVELOP and ENGAGE. This is to ensure that everything links together, across the Portal, and provides an efficient user experience. The Structure will also be expanded upon, in time, to cover further planning processes.

Additional Digital Skills Support Work

Diagnostic Tool

The Digital Skills Diagnostic Tool was developed to allow planners to ASSESS their own skill needs and identify areas for future training. This can be achieved through creating a confidential personal learning development plan. Users will also be able to measure their progress by being able to re-test themselves as many times as they wish. It is hoped that as the Tool gets used it will be able to track, general, universal usage and impact.


The Digital Skills Handbook introduces planners to a range of different types of digital planning subjects. It is intended to be used as a handy, non-technical, online ‘dip in/dip out’ resource to help planners LEARN.


Understanding the range of Digital Skills that planners have is only one aspect in helping the profession. The other is identifying sources of training. This is why the DEVELOP section provides a consolidated place which identifies a wide range of training – whether you are a novice or more advanced – spanning from articles, case studies to courses etc – all at the click of a button!

Getting involved

The ambition is to create Networks which will allow everyone to ENGAGE. For now, please use this section to tell us about your learning experience and subjects you’d like more information.


The Digital Skills portal has been designed as an ‘one place’ online resource to help build digital confidence, amongst planners and add value to the Scottish planning system

All these outputs follow the same digital skills structure.