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Lived Experience Advisory Panel: Terms of reference

Role

The Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) provides expert independent advice to the Gambling Commission. Its advice is based on its members personal lived experience of gambling harms.

The Gambling Commission considers a wide range of evidence to inform decisions to make gambling safer for consumers. An essential part of this evidence is input directly from people with lived experience of gambling harms.

The Gambling Commission is responsible for decision-making which draws on the advice it receives from its expert advisory groups alongside other evidence and input from a wide range of stakeholders.

To ensure balance, the Gambling Commission engage with other consumers, including those who gamble without suffering harm. This is done through a variety of surveys, panels, stakeholder engagement activities and research.

Scope

The advice provided by the panel will be relevant to the Gambling Commission’s:

  • safer gambling policies, such as the requirements placed on operators and how the Gambling Commission contributes to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms
  • operational activities, such as ways of interacting with consumers
  • advice to other bodies and government.

The focus of the LEAP's work is managed through a workplan agreed between the Gambling Commission and the group itself.

The group is not responsible for directly advising other bodies beyond the Gambling Commission.

Membership

The members of the LEAP are appointed by the Gambling Commission based on their individual personal experience of gambling harms.

The target membership for the group will be ten members – with up to twelve members as a maximum. This will include a chair/co-chair.

The group’s membership, collectively, is designed to provide perspectives from experience of a wide range of gambling harms. Gambling harms take many forms and can result from people’s own gambling or from the gambling of somebody else – such as a family member. Examples of the types of harm members may have suffered are explained in a published framework paper (PDF opens in new tab).

The group is formed through an open recruitment process, designed to encourage diverse participation from people from a wide range of backgrounds and from across England, Scotland and Wales.

The members of the LEAP are appointed as individuals. They do not serve to represent any other body or organisation. The members are remunerated and serve terms of two years – and will serve a maximum of two terms. The day rate will be £270 per day and members are expected to commit up to one day per month to the role.

The chair/co-chair is appointed by the group itself and their role includes facilitating meetings and acting as the primary point of contact with the Gambling Commission. Recognising that members capacity may change over time, the chair serves a fixed-term which can be rotated between members of the group (for practical purposes we expect these terms to be no less than six-months). The chair can also appoint vice-chairs to support them if required.

Values

In the same way as other Gambling Commission Advisory Groups, the group works in accordance with the Nolan Principles of Public Life (opens in new tab):

  • selflessness
  • integrity
  • objectivity
  • accountability
  • openness
  • honesty
  • leadership.

Conflicts

In the same way as other Gambling Commission Advisory Groups, the approach to managing conflicts of interest is designed to demonstrate that the group’s advice is free of influence from any vested interests.

All members interests related to gambling are declared and published in a register of interests on the Gambling Commission website.

Whether they are acting as individuals or for organisations where they have a senior role (as Chief Executives, Directors, Senior Management or Trustees – whether paid or unpaid) members of the group will:

  • not be employed directly by the gambling industry
  • not work in an advisory capacity to the gambling industry – whether paid or unpaid
  • not receive funding generated through voluntary donations from the gambling industry
  • not be eligible to receive the annual financial contributions which are required by the Gambling Commission by gambling operators – i.e. be on the LCCP RET list.

Members of the group will not be prevented from making an application for or receiving a Regulatory Settlement, approved by the Gambling Commission, during their term. We note however, the need for interests related to these to be clearly declared and these will be managed on a case by case basis, taking into account factors such as links with industry.

These measures are in place to avoid perceptions that the advice provided by the Lived Experience Advisory Panel could be influenced by any possible current or future commercial benefit.

People with past criminal convictions linked to gambling harms are welcome to join the group. These people will have relevant experience of this form of gambling-related harm and these perspectives will be valuable to the work of the group. If someone is subject to a live and on-going criminal investigation, they would not be able to be a member of the group. If someone is subject to live and on-going regulatory case work, then conflicts arising will be managed on a case by case basis.

Meetings

The LEAP meets with the Gambling Commission on a regular basis. These will be arranged based on the required timetable to deliver workplan priorities. The meetings will be no less frequent than once every two months. An action note of LEAP meetings will be drafted for members by the group coordinator, with notes approved by co-chairs and then circulated to the group.

In between meetings, advice may be provided in writing via correspondence. Where agreed by all members of LEAP, time limited groups may also be formed to work on specific topics. Subgroups may meet on a more flexible schedule, as required.

Meetings of the LEAP are routinely attended by relevant Gambling Commission staff. Chairs of LEAP will also meet with the CEO and Chair at least 3 times per year.

Reporting and publication

The LEAP advises the CEO, senior executives and the Board of Commissioners.

Formal written advice from the group will be published on the Gambling Commission website, alongside the Gambling Commission’s response.

The Chair will meet with the Board of Commissioners at least twice a year. In addition, there will be further engagement through workshops, seminars, meetings and other activities as appropriate.

With the agreement of the Gambling Commission's public affairs team, LEAP's work may also be shared more widely via blogs, webinars or other formats.

Press and media

You are not expected or required to engage with press or media enquiries. If you are approached by the media and you do not wish to make a comment or you would like support or guidance, please contact Kelly King in the first instance, and the Commission public affairs team will manage the situation.

If you are engaging in any media or press activity, we ask that you to inform us in advance so that we can support you and also be prepared if we are approached by the press for comment.

To be clear, the Gambling Commission does not seek to restrict your public comments on gambling but would ask that you make it clear that you are speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the LEAP group.

Resources

Secretariat will be provided through the Gambling Commission and will support the group’s training, capacity building, development, administration, note taking and the support it requires to produce its independent advice. Secretariat support will be flexible and agreed with the Chair to ensure the group is adequately supported to undertake its role.

Although the LEAP has no delegated budget, the Gambling Commission will support the group to access appropriate training and development to meet needs identified by the group.

Arrangements will be kept under review to ensure the group is supported to develop its capacity and carry out its role effectively.

Co-chair

LEAP will select Co-Chair annually via a ballot, administrated by the Gambling Commission. All candidates will submit a written expression of interest to all other members of LEAP before the ballot takes place. The Gambling Commission will host the ballot and support all candidates during and after this process each year.

The Co-Chairs will work with Head of Advisory Groups with the Lived Experience Co-ordinator to plan a workplan for LEAP; this will set out the topics that LEAP will focus on and form the basis for planning of meetings. They will represent the views of LEAP in meetings with the Gambling Commission CEO and Chair – these will be scheduled so that both Co-Chairs can attend. They will represent views of LEAP at other meetings with the Gambling Commission – feeding into sessions with Board and Exec as required. They will also help ensure members of LEAP can access safe-guarding and well-being support as needed.

Co-Chairs will be renumerated for up to two day’s work per month.

Safeguarding

The Gambling Commission recognises the need to ensure members of this group can engage safely in the development of advice and minimises the risk that further harm is suffered by members because of their involvement.

A separate safeguarding guidance document is in place and is reviewed by LEAP Members and the Lived Experience Coordinator on behalf of the Gambling Commission at least annually. The safeguarding guidance is aimed at supporting members of LEAP. It should be used as a wellbeing support tool when members are discussing and sharing their personal experiences of gambling related harm.

The LEAP will be free to discuss policy topics with other groups representing people with lived experience in other organisations that work to reduce gambling harms.

Two-way lines of communication will be established with lived experience groups involved in supporting the implementation of the National Strategy in UK nations – for example the Health and Social care Alliance facilitated group in Scotland (opens in new tab).

In any discussions with other groups, care should be taken to avoid disclosing any information shared in confidence by the Gambling Commission.

Review

The Gambling Commission will review these terms of reference annually in April to ensure they remain fit for purpose. The next review will take place in March 2023.

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