Area Profiles (PDF, 207kb) was developed by the Audit Commission in partnership with local services over a period of three years from 2003 to 2005. Through the project guidance was created to help users to paint a rich picture of the quality of life and service provision in a local area. Area Profiles was designed to:
- help local public service providers to identify where improvement is most needed locally;
- make publicly available a summary of data and information on the quality of life and local services; and
- aid government and regulators to concentrate strategically on those areas that most need support.
Area profiles were designed to bring together all the data, information and assessments about local quality of life and services. It placed a strong emphasis on people and place, addressing issues and provision that cut across traditional boundaries, to look at all the services and quality of life issues in a local area from a range of perspectives.
Creating an area profile involved analysis across the following aspects:
The findings from each of these components were considered together to provide a final synthesis of the findings (PDF, 438kb). All of the components focused on ten core quality of life themes (PDF, 76kb).
Area Profiles was designed to show how the quality of life can be assessed for everyone in a local area, or alternatively to focus on the perspectives of a smaller group of citizens. This community might be on the basis of a neighbourhood, common identity (e.g. young people, older people, gender, race, disability), specific service engagement (e.g. chronic disease, benefit claimants) or a combination of these. Through the pilot guidance was provided developing older citizen perspective (PDF, 567kb) and black and minority ethnic citizen perspective (PDF, 455kb). Citizen perspectives: a community angle on your local area (PDF, 424 kb) provides generic guidance to identifying and developing perspectives to support specific priorities within a local area.
Further guidance (PDF, 373kb) to support a review of the community and voluntary sector’s capacity and contribution to local quality of life and services is also provided.