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The NIHR has partnered with colleagues from across the UK to develop a core set of standards and indicators for public involvement in research.

As researchers, we sometimes lose sight of the reason we do research – to benefit the patient. Involving them brings us back to that. We look forward to seeing how these will improve our current practices and make a difference to future research”.
-Steven Blackburn, Research Fellow in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement, Keele University

The PPI standards, launched at the Patients First: Pioneering Partnerships Conference in London today, were designed to improve the quality and consistency of public involvement in research. One of the ten test beds is part-funded by the School and based at Keele University's Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences. The Implementing the New Standards for Public Involvement in Research Environments (INSPIRE), is one of only ten pilot studies chosen to test these standards, from 53 proposals submitted. Read more.

By implementing the new National Standards for Public Involvement in Research, researchers will assess and improve the quality of Public Involvement at the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences and Keele Clinical Trials Unit. Working in partnership with the Research User Group, the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, NIHR Research Design Service West Midlands, and the West Midlands regional public involvement network (PILAR), this co-produced project will:

  • Implement and test all six National Standards throughout a Research Institute.
  • Use the Standards as a mechanism for reflecting on current practice
  • Assess the impact of implementing the Standards on improving the quality and visibility of public involvement practices
  • Ensure successes and learning are shared with regional and national partners throughout the lifecycle of the project and beyond



Dr Steven Blackburn


Tel: 01782 734846


Twitter: @keelePPI / #KeeleINSPIRE

The PPI Platform supports researchers across the Centre to involve people affected by asthma in every step of the research and works closely to ensure the strategic direction of the Centre is relevant for those affected by asthma. AUKCAR will build on current infrastructure to pilot the PPI Standards. The project will be co-developed and delivered by PPI volunteer leads and researchers.

Guidance for SPCR researchers

Emma Palmer-Cooper has condensed the information into a quick assessment table and notes for researchers and teams who wish to assess their practices.




Background in England

In 2013, INVOLVE carried out a review of existing work on principles and standards for Public Involvement (PI) in NHS, public health and social care research. A series of projects then led to the development of INVOLVE’s Public Involvement in Research Values and Principles Framework.

In 2015, the NIHR strategic review of PI included the following recommendation:

“Culture: The NIHR should commission the development of a set of values, principles and standards for public involvement. These must be co-produced with the public and other partners. They should be framed in such a way, and with a clear set of self-assessment criteria, so that organisations across the NIHR see their adoption as integral to their continuous improvement in public involvement.” Going the Extra Mile report

In March 2016, an NIHR workshop brought together a group of PI practitioners and involved public contributors to explore how best take this forward. A slide set and workshop report (full and summary) outline views from participants and suggested next steps.