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Approvals Processes

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SCIM Review : pilot programme

The Scottish Capital Investment Manual is currently under review. This work is being undertaken by a SCIM Project Group and is at an advanced stage. The Project Group has decided to pilot this guidance on a phased basis and is therefore recommending that new and existing business cases follow the revised guidance which can be found on the Capital and Facilities website at the following link:


For all other SCIM guidance, users should continue to refer to this website

For further information on the current status of this guidance, please contact the
Health Finance and Infrastructure Team directly

Tel: 0131 (2)44 2363 | Email: alan.morrisson@gov.scot

Scottish Capital Investment Manual

The Scottish Capital Investment Manual (SCIM) provides guidance in an NHS context on the sector-specific processes and techniques to be applied in the development of infrastructure projects within NHSScotland.

The SCIM guidance has been developed as a web based resource to make access easier to all of those with an interest in the development of NHSScotland infrastructure projects and to allow for the updating of guidance in line with new developments in policy and improvements in the investment process.

The SCIM web site contains both the technical manuals that support the NHS sector-specific investment process together with supporting materials including the approvals process and training and development. The SCIM is mandated through NHS CEL 19 (2009).

Purpose of the SCIM

The main purpose of the Scottish Capital Investment Manual (SCIM) is to support the effective delivery of infrastructure programmes and projects within NHSScotland.

The SCIM provides detailed guidance on the various stages of infrastructure development from inception to post project evaluation and review. This guidance covers not only the technical issues around investment appraisal and procurement but also the project management and governance arrangements required to support the development of such programmes and projects.

The principles set out in the SCIM are applicable to the development of all infrastructure schemes regardless of their size and complexity and it is expected that SCIM guidance will be applied by all NHSScotland Bodies. The SCIM guidance is mandatory for all infrastructure projects

The SCIM has been revised to update the practices and processes associated with the development and approval of capital projects within NHSScotland. These changes not only result from changes in the structure and organisation of NHSScotland but from the development of improved approaches and techniques which support the development of capital schemes across NHSScotland.

This revision of the SCIM has been expanded to provide clarity over the decision making and approvals processes within NHSScotland and the Scottish Government Health Directorates.

In developing the revised SCIM recognition has been made of the guidance that currently exists on a Scottish, UK and international basis with a view to drawing together best practice that can be applied within an NHSS context. To that end the SCIM does not set out to rewrite such guidance but to act as a conduit which brings together appropriate guidance in a form that supports identified stages in the development of capital schemes.

The guidance included within the this edition of the SCIM applies to all NHSScotland Bodies with effect from 1 April 2009 and applies to all infrastructure investment.

Design Assessment in the Business Case Process

An assessment of design quality is now part of the SGHSC Business Case process. All projects submitted to the SGHSC Capital Investment Group for approval are now subject to an assessment of design quality and functionality, including technical and sustainability standards. This Design Assessment will take place at the Initial Agreement, Outline Business Case and Full Business Case stages of approval. This requirement is mandated through NHS CEL 19 (2010) which announces the 2010 revision of the Scottish Government's Policy on Design Quality for NHSScotland.

The Scottish Government Health Directorates’ purpose in developing and implementing this process is to ensure that the outcomes of development projects meet the Government’s objectives and expectations for public investment. The aim of mapping design into the Business Case process is to support the implementation of the 2010 revision of the Policy on Design Quality for NHSScotland by improving the level of design quality achieved across NHSScotland and, ultimately, the outcomes achieved by doing so.

To assist NHS Boards in utilising good design to achieve the best outcomes from their development projects, Boards are required to develop and produce a Design Statement prior to the submission of their Initial Agreement. The Design Statement is the first control document produced for a project and should be consistent with the Board’s overall vision contained within the strategic Design Action Plan.

Additional guidance on Design Assessment and the Business Case process has been added to the Supporting Guidance section of this website. The guidance also includes advice on the preparation of the Design Statement.

The Design Assessment process shall apply to all projects submitted to CIG for approval of the Initial Agreement (IA) after 1 July 2010. Projects that have not received approval of their Outline Business Case (OBC) by 1 July 2010 shall be considered for Design Assessment on a case-by-case basis by CIG as part of the initial pilot phase. However, the development and application of a Design Statement should be considered as good practice for all projects.

New Supplementary Guidance

Implementation of Performance Metrics to New Primary Healthcare Facilities

As of 29 October 2013, SGHSC has implemented new supplementary guidance which relates to business cases associated with new Primary Healthcare Facilities. This will require, as part of the business case submission, the completion of a Value for Money Scorecard which compares a new project against prescribed performance metrics.

Technical Guidance and a VfM Scorecard template is available on the SCIM Supporting Guidance page.

Please see the notification letter sent from SGHSC Deputy Director Capital and Facilities Division to Chief Executives, Directors of Finance and Strategic Facilities Group which explains the rationale.

Roles in raising finance on Health NDP projects

Provides an overview of the roles of the key parties involved in the raising of finance for health NPD projects to promote an open, transparent and collaborative approach to financing NPD projects.

The guidance is available on the SCIM Supporting Guidance page.

Construction Procurement Policy

NHS HDL(2001)47, issued in 2001, set out the Scottish Government Health Directorates Construction Procurement Policy in the NHS context in a manner consistent with the Scottish Government’s Construction Procurement Manual.

NHS(2001)47 has now been superseded. NHSScotland Bodies as bodies sponsored by the Scottish Government and thus subject to the provisions of the Scottish Public Finance Manual, must now follow the mandatory principles and procedures set by the Scottish Government Construction Procurement Manual when managing or delivering construction projects, regardless of whether within SGHSC Delegated Limits or subject to SGHSC approval.

Formal notification has been issued under cover of Chief Executive Letter CEL 50 (2009) (Links to SHOW site in new window)

Scottish Procurement Policy Note SPPN 8/2009 : Payment of Invoices in Public Contract Supply Chains Within 30 Days

The Scottish Government Procurement Directorate issued a Policy Note on 28 October 2009, the purpose of which is to ensure that purchasers are aware of a new clause that has been introduced into the Scottish Government standard terms and conditions of contract and to ask other public bodies to adopt the clause in their terms and conditions of contract. The Policy Note can be accessed via the link below.

SPPN Policy Note 8/2009


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   Site last updated
 04 November 2015

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