Practical Guide to Collaborative Working

In this guide you will find a comprehensive overview to the steps to be taken when setting up a new collaboration. It contains 29 different tools and templates that can be adapted to support the work of your partnership. These include a self-assessment tool to gauge readiness for organisations thinking of going into partnership, workshops to shape your partnership vision and values, spreadsheets to help you manage reporting and word templates for core policies and agreements. 

The content in this guide has been developed and tested with many of our current partners to ensure it is practical and useful for a range of organisations. It particularly draws on the experience of the Building Young Brixton Partnership.  


Whilst any organisation might find the tools and resources helpful, this guide has particularly been designed to support smaller voluntary and community sector organisations who may be thinking of working in partnership but do not currently have the structures in place to do so. 

Resources include:

Tool 01 – Expression of interest
Tool 02 – Visioning
Tool 03 – What can be achieved collectively?
Tool 04 – Defining partnership beneficiaries
Tool 05 – Values and behaviours
Tool 06 – Different types of partnership
Tool 07 – Clarifying mutual expectations
Tool 08 – Are you ready to be lead partner?

Tool 09 – Due Diligence Checklist
Tool 10 – Developing a Theory of Change
Tool 11 – Developing indicators
Tool 12 – Detailed activity planning
Tool 13 – Creating a partnership budget
Tool 14 – Financial reporting

Tool 15 – Managing conflict
Tool 16 – Developing Governance structures
Tool 17 – Terms of reference
Tool 18 – Collaboration Agreement Template
Tool 19 – Safeguarding Policy
Tool 20 – Data sharing
Tool 21 – Developing a Communications Plan
Tool 22 – Mapping risks
Tool 23 – Risk Register

Tool 24 – Developing Meeting Agendas
Tool 25 – Project Plan
Tool 26 – Annual Partnership Survey
Tool 27 – Annual Away Day Outline
Tool 28 – Induction Pack

Tool 29 – Partnership Review