How do we agree an information sharing protocol?

It is necessary for all partners to work together in order to function effectively and deliver the partnership’s stated purpose.

Effective information sharing is a key component to the successful functioning of a partnership, but is often made difficult by different organisational approaches. In order to start the information sharing process, it is important that all partners are able to commit to the sharing of their information.

An information sharing protocol aims to provide a high level, multi-agency framework for the sharing of information for a defined purpose.

By clearly defining why information sharing is required, the principles that will govern the sharing and how it will support the functions of the partnership, a protocol can provide the foundations for partners to agree, in principle, to share information.

The function of an information sharing protocol should only include the level of information necessary to achieve agreement in principle. It should not aim to detail every data sharing requirement between named agencies as it will later be underpinned by agreements which set out these further specifics.

The tools in this section will help you address the following questions:

  • Do we need an information sharing protocol?
  • How do I develop an information sharing protocol with my partners?
  • How do we implement and maintain an information sharing protocol?

Useful tools:

Guidance: Developing an information sharing protocol (PDF)

Template: Tier 2 information sharing protocol (DOC)

Checklist: Developing an information sharing protocol (PDF)